Without setting your goal, you can’t acquire success; by committing your desires to the foreland of your mind, you make your purpose a reality. However, purpose is a long-range target and usually far ahead while goals are shorter. You may have a goal like achieving academic citations, starting a business, joining a charity for street children, running a marathon, etc.
Have you come across the acronym SMART goals? The terms behind this letters is that your goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & within Timeframe.
Goals are specific; they are actions you can take that lead you in the path of your life’s purpose. Start asking yourself “What do I really want?” you might already have a definite goal in your mind, but in case you still don’t, now is the time to get them. Goals should be one’s own personal belonging, although they may be link into someone else goals.
Goals are measurable, which allows you to judge how much progress you have made towards achieving it. Take time to review your progress and improve any areas you find as your weakness in achieving your goal.
Goals should be achievable; it shouldn’t be so easy that you won’t even get taxed from it (e.g. getting productive) and it shouldn’t be so hard that you become disillusioned by it because of failing in a regular manner to achieve it.
Goals should be realistic; it should fit with who you are & what your capabilities are. If you have a 17/20 vision it is smart to pick up goals aside from becoming a pilot since in order to become one, your vision must be near perfect. (i.e. 20/20 vision).
And lastly, goals must be set within a definite time frame. With no time frame tied to it there's no sense of urgency. Most people work better under deadline, and if you don’t set deadlines then you work may expand to fill your spare time in which you have to do it. Telling others of your plan and announcing the completion date can give you extra motivation to finish it up within the dead line.
Now that you know what goals are, here are some tips on how to set up effective goals:
Breaking down your goals
In my previous post Completing Major Projects & Problem Solving Techniques I stated that if you have something big to work on, you should break it down into small parts or small chunks to make it more manageable. It’s also the same when you’re working towards achieving your goal. You must break it down into sub-goals and try working on those first. A complete project like earning a million pounds may seem intimidating. By breaking it down into sub-goals, and be determined to work on those, you most likely to achieve that big goal of yours.
Think and visualize your goals constantly
The more details you think or visualize goals contain, the easier for the subconscious to embrace them. Imagine yourself getting hold of that goal. Imagine you already have the outcome. What are the things you see, hear, feel and experience that will let you know you achieved your goals? If your goal is to have a nice car by the end of the year, try to visualize that you are test-driving it. When your mind accepts your visualized goal as reality, you will work long and hard to achieve it.
Write your goals
Writing down your goals represents a commitment and has been proven to have a powerful influence on the brains subconscious. Here’s how:
- Think of something you would really like to achieve, but eventually you feel you can’t. Write it down on a clean sheet of paper. Append judgment of yourself and to your capabilities and spend 15 minutes of completely uncondensed fun just listing all of the reasons why you know that you are the person to do this thing.
- If you are in a solitary position to have knowledge about this thing, say it’s because it’s in your school or workplace, write it down.
- If you believe that you could achieve your goal if you believed more powerfully, write it down.
- If you know people who could help you, it doesn’t matter whether you think they would or not, write it down.
- If you know someone or all of the steps you would have to take to achieve your goal, write it down. Writing your goals down makes you achieve it with an almost certainty.
Goals are within timeframe
Work your goal within a limited amount of time. Let’s say for example your goal is to get an academic recognition for this semester, better break it down into small sub-goals by attaining A+ grade for the whole month. When you read my previous post How to give up smoking, my goal is to quit smoking, and I did this by following a time frame goal which is not engaging to cigarettes for 3 days-3-weeks-3months… and so on.
Set your goals with a deadline on when you want to achieve it.
Work smarter not harder, you don’t need to become a busy bee on giving all of your time working that you almost looks like a zombie due to lack of sleep and making yourself stressed. Your cognitive ability will suffer if you haven’t sleep enough and if you’re stressed-out.
Here are some strategies for working smarter:
- Planning ahead
- Organizing projects into manageable segments. (See Completing Major Projects)
- Scheduling demanding work at peak performance times.
Goals are extension of your values
When your goals support what you believe in, life becomes meaningful and exciting. Goals based on values make it easier for you to decide your priorities.
Getting into the habit
Achieving goals is a constant process, never a destination in itself. You should always keep trying to set new goals every time you succeed in achieving one. Engage on setting goals regularly and constantly and you may hold on to your key that may lead to greater success. Commit yourself in doing something to achieve your goals everyday. Try to make it a habit, and that habit will lead you to greater success.
Life is growth. Your successes are to be savored, but it’s the journey that provides you the most excitement and fun. Good luck on achieving your goals! :D