Thursday, July 12, 2007

Long and Short Term Goal Setting Method - Steps to Success

Many people try to aim for big goals and feel overwhelmed right from the start. A big disadvantage of focusing on BIG GOALS is that you may not feel as confident of achieving them, hence you may not give your 100% effort. A further disadvantage is that you do not get instant feedback as to whether you are really progressing on the right path towards your goal or not.

I am not suggesting that you should not think about BIG GOALS. The solution which I suggest is that you have to have a BIG GOAL which you should strive for, but also to set many smaller goals that will lead towards that BIG GOAL.

Having smaller goals are like steps which lead to the top i.e. your bigger goal. These smaller goals give you instant feedback to measure performance and progress. You can then learn quickly from any mistakes you make while trying to accomplish these smaller goals.

Also by having a series of smaller goals, you will tend to focus better because you are just focusing on one single task at a given time. You will give 100% to each and every single task which leads to your main BIG GOAL.

Smaller goals can keep you working everyday on a consistent basis towards your main goal. We have a tendency to fall off track, to forget about our goals or give up on them if they take long time to achieve. You can avoid these pitfalls by developing smaller goals and keep working on them.

Remember that all big successes are usually a result of many small successes and likewise big failures a result of many small failures. So try to achieve many small successes which are related and would lead to your ultimate destination.

When you set smaller goals and achieve them your confidence and self-esteem would increase, so also your motivation level. Celebrate many small victories along the way to your big goal. Keep in constant touch with your ultimate goal through this series of small goals.

Big goals require a lot of willpower, knowledge, determination, motivation, skills and other things. Smaller goals too require all the above things but in a lesser measure. You would need to muster enough will power and determination to achieve a smaller goal. Once you have achieved it, you can repeat the same thing with another smaller goal and accumulate these small victories so that you might achieve that bigger victory you have been dreaming of. Do not underestimate the importance of smaller goals.

Another important thing to remember is to have a time frame in mind to achieve your goal. Decide in how much time do you want to achieve your BIG GOAL (a month, week, two months, 1 year etc.). Then set monthly, weekly and daily goals in order to keep yourself on track to achieving your big goal on time.

It is preferable if you can do something everyday in the pursuit of your goal so that you don't lose focus. It is better to make everyday count and not skip a single day to reach nearer towards your BIG GOAL. You can do this by having 'daily goals' to strive for.

Here is the goal setting method I suggest :

1. Have a BIG GOAL to strive for.
2. Break it into a series of smaller goals.
3. Break the smaller goals down into monthly and weekly goals.
4. Break them down further into daily goals.

Many people start with a big goal but fail to achieve it. One common thing among such people is that they usually do not divide their goal into smaller, more manageable parts thereby making the whole task difficult for themselves.

There can be many reasons why we may fail to acheive a goal:
1. Lack of commitment
2. they have lost interest and motivation in the goal
3. feel overwhelmed, frustrated or dissapointed
4. lack of standards against which to monitor their progress
5. are not able to acquire the required skills and knowledge necessary for acheivement of their goal.
6.lack of discipline, persistence and determination
7. they are not able to maintain their focus on the goal
8. lack of energy and enthusiasm while pursuing goals.

All the above problems can be overcome to a certain extent by having many smaller goals leading to ur big one. You don't belive me? Think about it yourselves.

For example, if a person shows lack of energy and enthusiasm for a bigger goal that may be due to feelings of desperation and doubt whether he/she is really capable of acheiving that goal or not. If that person breaks the goal into smaller ones which he/she are difficult enough to stretch them a little but not so difficult as to overwhelm them, I really doubt if they will still display the same laziness and lack of passion. On the contrary, they are likely to display a lot of energy because they are focussing just on a single sub-goal and believe they can acheive it with ease.

Take another example - if a person lacks sufficient knowledge and skills to acheive a particular goal, then it is not necessary for him or her to try and gain all the knowledge and skills at a single time. He/she can divide the major goal into smaller parts, and just focus on one part at a time - gain the knowledge necessary to accomplish just that one smaller goal then move on to the next. In this way they can make their task easier.

You should make your goals challenging and difficult to a certain extent so that you have to stretch a little, but they should not be so difficult as to completely dishearten you or overburden you. If such is the case, then you need to break that goal into smaller ones.

Breaking a big goal into smaller goals can be an effective strategy for long term goals. Long term goals can be divided into smaller short term goals.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Ways to Improve Memory Naturally

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Whenever we try to remember something - like an idea or a conversation or an event, the first thing we usually do is to recall the place where we were when it happened.

Can you guess why we try to recall the place when it does not have anything to do with the information we are trying to remember?

It seems that we are programmed to associate places with experiences. According to 'Scientific American Mind', we have special cells in our brain which keep track of various places we have been. These cells communicate with others that have the job of evaluating what we were doing at the time.

How can we use this information to improve memory naturally?
Since our brains may use places to trigger memories, why not pay special importance to our surroundings at all times so that we may remember and recall important information better. Thus we can improve memory skill.

We may follow various strategies or tips for remembering information we might need to recall later - like a telephone number etc. We might repeat it till it becomes drilled in our memory, or write it down etc. Let us add another technique to our memorizing.

Lets start paying closer attention to our surrounding.

How to improve long term memory?
By making a habit of being aware of your surroundings and observing small details within it, we might be making our memories stronger. Improving your observation skills might improve your short term and long term memory.

Lets consider this as a game to improve memory. From now on, lets start honing our observation and concentration skills. This can be one of the best ways to improve memory naturally. I came across this useful tip in the following article - Boost your memory

Useful Resources for you:
Memory Training for Students
Learn new languages easily

Related Articles on this site:

1. Practical tips to improve concentration
2. How to write faster and better
3. How to read textbooks - an effective strategy

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Altruism Study - Brain Effects of Altruism

Do you know what is altruism? A rough definition of altruism is the act of giving unselfishly without expecting returns. We do not expect any return favors in our heart and just want to help others.

We all would agree that altruism helping behavior is good but do you think giving to others unselfishly is beneficial to the giver in any way?

Do you think this helping behavior has any benefits to our health, self-esteem or our brain? Read on to be pleasantly surprised.

The Brain Effects of Altruism - Increasing Brain Power:
Surprise! Surprise! A new and interesting research suggests that it can help in increasing brain power. Yes you read it right!!!

It seems that both receiving and giving activate pleasure centers in our brain which give us instant gratification. However while giving, a couple of other brain regions in the cerebral cortex are also activated which is not the case while receiving.

So the act of giving might strengthen certain regions of our brain that are involved in higher levels of thinking, specially related to social interactions.

The act of giving might improve your skills of interaction with people, which can increase your
self-esteem. If you just care to receive things then you are thinking short term but if you are always willing to help and give then you are thinking long-term, even though you may not realize it at that time. So we now know a good method of how to increase brain power.

Isn't this an interesting and useful bit of information. I read about this research in the following article - Can giving Improve your brain ?

While this might be interesting to read, but it is not surprising to me because I have always believed that following Islamic injunctions would help me in many different ways. This new study just confirms my belief.

This study should make us adopt altruistic behavior and encourage our children to do so too. Try to increase altruism in yourself and children.

We would also need to change our thinking about helping others at our workplace. Altruism should be adopted everywhere - at home, workplace, neighborhood, while walking on streets etc. We have got another reason to be good to others and help with a clean heart.

Helpful Resources:
1. Do you want to learn how to control your nerves, handle anxiety and let go of panic? Click here.

2. Feel low on energy? What if you learn how to sleep 3 hours less each day and still have more energy than before - no need to drag through the day and procrastinate because you feel too lazy to do anything.

Other Interesting Articles on this site:
1. Obtain great success by just changing your outlook
2. How to improve quality of your work
3. Tips to prevent headache

If you found this article useful, you may do the following:
1. Give your ratings and comment at the end.
2. Email this link to your friend etc. by using link at the end of the article.
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