Here are some tips from a personal coach to help with your goal setting process.

1. First, you need to get very clear on exactly it is that you want. Clarity is the very first step in the goal setting - - - and achievement process. You need to be specific enough so that you can measure your progress and report that progress to your accountability partner (more on that later).

2. By being very specific and detailed, you will have a clear mental picture or image of what it is that you want, or what problem you want to overcome. See that picture, or feel what it’s like, as a 3D surround sound movie, as though you’ve already accomplished it. You’ll want to take note on how that future you is enjoying having accomplished that goal.

3. When you have a clear mental picture, you need to put words to it so that you write them down. Writing helps in the process of being mentally clear and articulating exactly what you want. If you can’t put it down on paper, you are still too vague on what it is that you want.

4. Next, all of your goals need to be stated in the positive. For example, I will never let my clients have a goal like “I want to get out of debt”. The first thing your mind has to do to ‘see’ “get out of debt” is to picture the debt. Whatever your mind is focusing on is what you will work to bring about. Rather, I coach my clients to say things “I want to have complete financial freedom”, or, “I want to live in harmony with my husband”.

5. Next, a specific date will help you start to prioritize the actions or behaviors that you need to focus on to bring your goal into reality. That doesn’t mean that you can beat yourself up if you don’t quite reach your goal by the specific date, it just means that you need to reassess what resources you need to pull in to help. Any date is better than no date – it helps your other than conscious mind to start to see solutions for you on the time line that you need.

6. Are these goals achievable by normal people? You wouldn’t support your spouse or your sister in an inhumane goal; why would you expect to be able to support yourself through a goal that hasn’t been run through a quality control check for reasonability and life balance. In fact, you won’t sustain motivation unless you really believe these two things: 1) I can do this, and 2) it is worth the effort I need to put into it.

7. Now, write these goals down on paper. Yes, on paper. There is something about the physical process of writing that will drive the goal deeper and bring an alignment with your thoughts. You can type them out, print them out and post them after you’ve played on paper.

8. The next step is to find an accountability partner to share the goal with. Pick someone that you know will love and support you through the process. This means you may need to choose different accountability partners for different goals on your list. Someone that will be very supportive in your efforts to loose weight may not be the best person to support you in you efforts to build more friendships. You will need to make a contract with the person that is supporting you - - - how often you need to report in, and what activities and behaviors are helping you to achieve your goal, and what activities or behaviors hindered you on the way to achieving your goal. And you have to be honest! Your partner can only help you to the extent that you are honest with them.

9. Finally, you yourself need to have a way to keep your goals in top of mind awareness until they become habits and a natural part of who you are. If you do morning meditations, put a copy where you can review it as a part of your meditations. My favorite is to make a recording of my goals and put it on my iPod and cut a CD to listen to in the car. Hearing my goals over and over again is a very powerful way of reminding me of what my intentions are.

Author's Bio: 

Denise Pederson, Coach Companion, presents an exciting new model of personal development. We empower busy professionals to experience their life and work to the fullest potential through coaching and training with an emphasis on self perception and goal setting to achieve rapid results. Get your success tips at