Every successful journey starts with a destination and a map to get there.
Entrepreneur recommends that you approach goal setting like creating a road map for a long trip – you start off knowing the destination and figure out points you need to get to along the way to successfully reach your final stop. Each stop along the way should get you closer to the destination- you wouldn’t set a pitstop in Miami for a trip from New York to Los Angeles, so make sure your goals map keeps you on track and fueled up.
A great start to creating that personalized road map for arriving at your desired destination is setting three types of goals:
1. Stretch goal.
A stretch goal is your long-term objective, your destination. Once you establish a stretch goal, you can sketch out checkpoints along the way.
2. Intermediate goals.
Intermediate goals are those checkpoints that help move you forward. Setting them might push you outside your comfort zone more than immediate goals and that’s great- discomfort can bring growth that helps you get that stretch goal.
3. Immediate goals.
Immediate goals are small goals that build to meet your intermediate goals. To set these, ask yourself: What small thing can I do today that will move me an inch closer to an intermediate or stretch goal I have set?
Not sure where to start? Take the tried and true approach of making sure your goals meet the age old SMART criteria:
Specific -clearly defined
Measurable -milestones to track your progress
Attainable -realistic and manageable
Relevant – fits with your overall mission/values
Time based – completed in a specific period of time