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While goals can be placed in many different categories, they will always have the following three things in common:

bullet A goal will always begin with "I Will".
bullet A goal will always be specific.
bullet A goal will always have a time limit.

You may be thinking, "Ok, I can think of a few things I would like to accomplish that I would be able to incorporate into a goal, but I am not sure where to begin." That's okay, because almost always if we are honest with ourselves, we know exactly what we would like to accomplish or which areas of our lives in which we would like to (or need to) make change. What is often most difficult is identifying the goals on which we should focus first.

The first thing you will need to do before setting a goal is to consider your own individual needs. Goal setting is very personal. You will need to consider your own personal values, wants, and needs. Values are basically objects, ideas, or traits that an individual finds desirable or places a value on. Each person has his or her own set of values. Many of our values are learned as children, but the things we value can and will change over time. Young children do not value money in the same manner as adults. The value of money is learned as the child grows up. Values may change due to unexpected occurrences too. Perhaps someone you know becomes terminally ill. The value of having a healthy lifestyle may become more or less important to you. Education may also change the things we value because of our increased ability to judge both sides of a situation.

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This program was developed by the West Virginia State Department of Education, the West Virginia Workplace Education Program, and the Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) V.