By setting goals
Rather than drone on about the importance of setting goals, I have decided to tell you a little about my goal-setting journey as it relates to the development of Career & Life Direction. That way, you can gain a better sense of how identifying and clarifying goals could make a difference in a variety of areas in your life.
So, here we go. I have three simple goals right now for this website:
1. To improve and expand the service that I offer.
2. To increase the number of people who are interested in this service.
3. To find a way to make this service profitable.
In other words, I am trying to provide a valuable service, to a growing number of people around the world, and eventually make a living in the process.
Goals give general direction
These three goals act as my guide each day that I work on this website.
The other day, for example, I signed up with Google feedburner in order to keep track of the number of subscribers on my RSS feed. I am hoping that more and more people will be interested in the service that I offer (goal #2), and using their service is one way to find out. This program also includes the option to place ads in my feed (goal #3). I may or may not do that, but it is an option.
A few days ago I took a couple of pictures, edited them a bit, and put them in a recent post. I also improved another post (goal #1) and advertised it in the widget sidebar on the left side of the screen. Everything takes time. In the near future I am planning on recording another interview for the “Help others” section (goal #1). Stay tuned.
Having goals helps to focus my activity and establish priorities.
As I look at my goals, I realize that the first one is presently by far the most important. There are millions of blog/websites on the Internet, and likely hundreds of career-related websites, so I need to give you a very good reason to come to visit mine. Hopefully, you are reading this not become someone forced you to, but because you find this site interesting or useful to you in some way.
There are technical questions that need to be addressed for search engines to even find this website. And marketing, at some level, is a must. But for the most part, the content of this site needs to be polished until it shines. It is coming, but it still has a long way to go.
If you are not sure which direction you are headed, or where to focus your energy right now, maybe this is due in part because you haven’t taken the time to simply set some general goals. What are your goals? If you like, you could pick an area of your life (i.e. career development, etc.) and make an attempt to write a few goals down.
Goals lead to a specific destination
As I pause to look out my office window, I realize that my goals are incomplete – at least as far as this three-point written list is concerned. If I took the time, I could list a variety of secondary, and a little more specific, goals that plug into each of the main goals listed above. Maybe I should.
For the “how” and “when” questions cry out to be answered. Deciding to travel to, say, Toronto or Frankfurt or Riga or New York, isn’t going to amount to much unless I also decide how I am going to get there and when I am going to go.
Interested in a couple destination details?
If you listen to the audio introduction in the “Why bother” section, you will gain a greater understanding of how I hope to go about improving and expanding this service. If you notice a job board on the left of the screen in the not-too-distant future, you will know that I have selected a specific method to simultaneously improved the services I offer and move towards making a living doing it.
In the goal-setting process, it is easy to become overwhelmed with details and lose sight of larger goals. I don’t want to do that and I suspect that neither do you. So begin with general goals, fix them firmly in your mind, and then slowly work out the details. This, at least, is what I am doing and it seems to be working for me.
What you will read next is a bit of an aside, and something that you have heard on this site before, but I think it ties in here nonetheless.
Don’t begin the career and life direction goal-setting process by asking yourself, “What exactly should I do with my life, and how, and when, and where, and with who?” Don’t ask young people you have just met, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Ask yourself, and ask other people, rather, questions like: “What do you enjoy?” “What are you good at?” “What are you passionate about?” “How have you been affirmed in the past?” “What could you do to make the largest possible positive impact with your life?” “How do you sense that God is leading you?” Things like that.
If you are floundering right now, try to get yourself going in a general direction that is a fit with who you are, and then slowly (or quickly, if you can) work out the details and write down some very specific goals.
It has been said before, approximately 10 million times, but I’ll say it again: If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.
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