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How to set yourself goals

Goal-setting is your blueprint for success. Dr Pam Brown gives some pointers

Goal-setting is your blueprint for success. Dr Pam Brown gives some pointers

* Goals are simply targets we set ourselves. Goal-setting creates the compelling future we want, so it inspires us to take action.

* Research confirms that people with written goals are more often financially successful than those without goals

* As well as setting goals for our career, we can set goals for health, finances, family, relationships and other important areas of our lives. We can set weekly, yearly and lifetime goals, or goals for each of our roles – GP, wife, daughter, writer.

* Goals can focus on achieving material things, (a luxury car or a yacht), or less material things (a great relationship with our partner).

* Set aside protected time to set goals. Start with a clear picture of WHAT you want to achieve (brainstorm/use ‘blue-sky' thinking), examine WHY you want it (to provide motivation), then write down both the goal and HOW to achieve it (your step-by-step action plan). Having all three parts sharply in focus greatly increases the likelihood of success.

Ensure your goals are ‘SMART' –

S simple, specific

M measurable, meaningful

A achievable, all areas of your life

R realistic, responsible (compatible with other aspects of your life)

T timed, towards what you want

* If it is difficult to think of goals, relax and visualise your ideal future. What do you need to get there? These are your goals. Or imagine you are elderly, looking back at your life. What would you like to have achieved?

* Stay flexible. Goals will change as life situations change.

* Keep a ‘future goals' list of things you are not ready to tackle right now.

* Enjoy the journey towards your goals, taking time to ‘smell the roses' on the way.

Finally, celebrate achieving each goal.

Dr Pam Brown is a GP in Swansea

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