Since my last post was about values, I wanted touch on goals. Goal setting is always something I’ve felt passionate about. Values and goals go hand-in-hand and make up who you are.

Once you define your values, the things that make you tick and how you want to operate your life, your business, and your online presence, the next step is to use those values to define your goals.

Whether they are social media goals, personal goals, or business goals, they all are intertwined with your values. Jeff Turner made a simple yet illuminating point the other day. He said that you make your goals around your values and not the other way around.

Sometimes people set unrealistic goals that are counter to who they are, in that case they are setting themselves up for a tough, if not impossible road. I’ve found that one of the keys to goal setting is to make them manageable. Set short term, medium term, and long term goals. These goals can all have the same end result in mind, but by breaking them down into manageable chunks it is much easier to develop the plan to reach those goals.

I used to teach goal setting to teenagers while working on sailboats in the Caribbean. We’d dive during the day, and do some pretty cool leadership development programs in the evenings. One night while working with the director of the program he asked me to start off the goals session with the shipmates. I’d never lead one of the sessions before but I was hooked! I just started asking them simple questions. What is a goal? Give me an example of a goal you set for yourself? From there we took off into an amazing discussion and I saw a lot of ah-ha’s on their faces as they started to identify the usefulness of goal setting.

I’ve found that the more specific you are with your goals, just as the more specifically you define your values, the more likely you are to achieve them.

When you write down your goals clearly and keep them in a place where you can review them on a regular basis it helps you actualize them. Many athletes use visualization to help actualize their goals to improve on their specific performance of their sport. This same visualization and actualization can work with anything. This is a great addition to the act of setting the goals.

The difference between a dream and a goal is that you also create a plan around how you are going to achieve that goal. You can’t say I want to lose 5 lbs a month for a total of 45lbs in the next 9 months and then continue to eat the same way, not exercise on a regular basis, and hope it will just melt off because you’ve said, “I want to lose 5 lbs a month.” That’s where the mini goals come in.

By setting a plan to achieving your goals the possibilities are endless. It all just depends on how hard you want to work and how well they match your values.

If you value chocolate and it must be a part of your life on a daily basis, it may not be very congruent with achieving the goal of losing 5 lbs a month. If you hate vegetables and your goal is to eat a salad every week day…you probably aren’t going to stick to that for very long either. That’s why it’s so important to look within yourself and know who you really are.

Figure out how to reduce that chocolate, and work around salads, exercise more and achieve the same result. But being honest with yourself upfront by examining your values will help you set more achievable goals.

What are some of your goals? And how are you going to achieve them?