Setting goals - and coming back to them when you get lost

Setting goals is a crucial part of any personal, professional or business development. The best goals are small, manageable and measurable, and linked inextricably to a general direction.

In a sense, these goals should represent a path and in achieving each small goal you should move further down the path and closer to your desired destination.

But while setting goals is easy, setting the right ones isn't. For many people the path is confusing; there are many varying options, and so deciding which goal to work on can easily become a never ending battle with the self.

For others the destination is unknown. In these cases all the hard work and endeavour you can imagine is often fruitless. It's a recipe for endless procrastination and frustration. Confusion and doubt are the enemy of progress. Easy to say, but not as easy to rectify.

I recently fell into this energy sapping spiral. Although I didn't lose sight of my destination, I became bogged down in deciding which path made most sense. Each day became a mishmash of unfocussed work on conflicting projects.

In writing this now it seems fairly obvious, but I found returning to my list of goals incredibly helpful. If you haven't yet written these out in long form then you should. But if you have, go back to them. Read through what you wrote a few months ago. If you feel they have changed then you need to rewrite them out again in full, expressing the motivations behind them.

But the chance are that you when you read them back you'll feel like they haven't changed. In which case it's time to get back to them.

Analyse the way you are spending your time and cut out things that deviate from your plans. Do everything you can to strip back projects that pull your focus from these goals.

Getting lost on your path is inevitable, it's part of the journey; we often forget to use our blueprint though. When we can't see the wood for the trees, reminding ourselves what and how we are trying to achieve will almost always bring us closer to what we want.

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