Are you 1 of those highly motivated people who know exactly what they want from life - and better still, how to get it? If so, you have probably already done some personal goal setting. Goal setting allows you to think carefully about what you want to do with your life and how you're going to do it.

It could also help you concentrate more effectively and give you more self-confidence. Setting personal goals could even make you feel happier and more satisfied with your personal and work life, especially when you can see those goals are being achieved.

And the best part is that personal goal-setting isn't as complicated as it sounds. Here are 5 tips to get you started:

Set big-picture goals

Begin by setting big-picture goals. For instance, think about what you want to have achieved in the next 10, 15 or 25 years. Then break those long-term goals down into much smaller goals, ending up with what you want to have achieved within a month that will lead to the next step in your 25-year plan.

Be precise with your goal setting - where possible add dates, times and amounts to each goal so that you can measure what you have accomplished against them more easily. And don't forget to write them down. If you keep your goals in your head, it will be far too easy to ignore them.

Set a variety of goals

Not sure what sort of things your goals should be about? Try setting at least 1 goal in each of these categories (or make up more of your own):

  • Work/career
  • Education
  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Family
  • Finances
  • Social life
  • Fun/hobbies
  • Personal development

For instance, in the first category your goal could be what you would like to be doing career-wise in 10 years' time. If you need extra qualifications or knowledge to achieve it, put those in the second category. And so on.

Be realistic

Be realistic with your goals. For example, there's no point in deciding you want to be Prime Minister in 10 years' time if you have absolutely no interest in politics. Think about what you'll need to do to attain your goals, and if there's no hope of you realistically achieving them, go back and have a re-think.

Similarly, don't set your long-term goals too low. If you do, you won't feel the satisfaction that comes with achieving a goal you've had to work hard for.

Use positive statements

Make sure your goals are positive statements rather than negative ones. For instance, if your goal is to improve your diet, don't write down 'Eat less junk food'. Instead, write 'Eat more healthily'. In other words, don't make your goal something you don't want to do.

Review your progress

Once you're happy with the goals you've set, don't put the list away and forget about it. Try to review your goals on a regular basis - daily or weekly, for instance - and update them where necessary. Make a note of your progress, and consider changing your approach to any of the goals you feel you're not getting anywhere with.

Remember, it's natural that your goals will change over time too, especially when your priorities change, so try to be flexible and let go of any goals you feel are no longer relevant.

Most importantly, when you do achieve a goal, no matter how big or small, allow yourself to bask in the sense of satisfaction that comes with it.

For lots more advice on personal development, read our help and guides. For advice and information call +44 (0) 1788 556 366 or chat to an advisor online 24 hours a day.

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