Everyone has dreams and one of the most important things to achieve those dreams is to create milestones or goals. Goals setting is very important as it enables you to know what you are accomplishing and how you can accomplish even more. It is advised to always express goals positively as it provides momentum to overcome all the hurdles and achieve what you want. It is observed that people without goals are not as successful as they are hoping to be.
Many people think that they work so hard but don’t get results or achievements. One of the reasons is that they are not spending enough time on thinking and setting formal goals. First, decide what you want in your life and then commit to it.
Why set Goals
Every successful person or achiever in all fields has the habit to set goals. As goal setting gives
- Long-term vision
- Improve career prospects and sense of identity.
- Focus is important to avoid distractions.
- Helps to organize time and resources
- Acknowledgment of your progress
- Makes you succeed faster and more efficiently
- Self-confidence that is based on achievement of goals.
Levels of setting goals
Goals setting and achieving progress is a step-by-step process. You have to set goals on several levels
- Setting lifetime goals
It is important to acknowledge what you want to achieve in your life to give an overall perspective that is helpful in decision making. Lifetime goals must include achievements regarding career, financial status, education, family etc. It is recommended to spend some time brainstorming and set the small number of really significant goals that you can focus on.
- Setting smaller goals
Dream big but start small i.e., break down your lifetime goals to smaller targets like set a one-month plan, 6-month plan, 1 year and a 5-year plan that are based on previous plans and linked to the achievement of lifetime goals. Make a “To-do list” on a daily basis to get your plan working. It is also recommended to start goal setting with reading books and gathering information about how to achieve your target smartly in a time-efficient manner. Review your plans regularly to make sure they fit according to your current situation.
- Staying on course
After planning, work hard to achieve all these small targets to get your ideal future. Keep updating your plans according to changing priorities and experiences as it helps you to keep on track. A computer-based diary is recommended to keep a record of all your targets and achievements. Passion is the key to success so keep working passionately to make your dreams come true.
Golden Rules for Setting Goals
There are certain rules that you need to follow as advised by experts to achieve your dreams. There is a new approach known as the “SMARTER” goal approach that is followed by so many people and helps in accomplishing their dreams.
Be specific about your goals and write specifically how you want to achieve them. It is very necessary to concentrate your efforts as there are a lot of distractions that can lead you astray. For example, be more specific about your plan to expand your business to a particular extent in a year.
To make the goal measurable we need to be able to see the progress over time. For example, I will open at least one new outlet in one year
A goal is actionable when it is clear what and when a specific action is to be taken to achieve that
It is important to determine either your goal relevant or relatable to your life or not. Always be honest and think about your current situation while setting a goal. It is not recommended to make a 10X goal i.e., to create a goal that is nearly impossible as that will force you to stretch yourself beyond the limit. So you need to create goals that you can accomplish at the current stage of your life.
Every goal must have a deadline so there is an urgency to take action in a certain time-frame. For this, map your path for success or otherwise, you will always have the goal but never have the motivation to accomplish that.
It is very important to regularly evaluate progress to achieve your goal. It is recommended to evaluate and reconsider monthly. That is a reminder of what is the goal and ensure to take action accordingly.
Every person needs a reward and a sense of pride in the achievement of a particular goal. This gives a sense of accomplishment and makes you ready for the next step. For example, if you achieve a yearly goal try to get something that you never have and that makes it more exciting and challenging.
- Set Goals that motivate you
It is very important to achieve something that you dream of or fascinate about as motivation is the key to achieve your goals. If the output is not attractive to you it will not give you enough determination and dedication to achieve that. It is advised to set goals that relate to high priorities in your life. Try to set one goal at a time as it requires commitment and too much pressure and failure leads to hopelessness.
- Be Realistic with your Goals
Most people start goal setting with too much gusto ignoring many aspects of their lives. Goals should be realistic according to your current situation as if it’s too big it will always give you pressure and scare you off ultimately lead to failure and disappointment. So, to avoid this it is suggested to first evaluate your situation honestly and set goals accordingly. Research suggests that keeping your goals specific and realistic makes it more convenient for you to achieve them as it removes all irrelevant distractions.
- Keep a journal
Write down your goals statement positively as writing makes it real and tangible instead of just a vague idea and a positive statement can make you excited to achieve them. It is recommended to keep your written goals somewhere that is visible to you most of the time as it will help in reminding you of priorities and keep you on track. It is observed that people who do not write goals are less likely to accomplish them.
- Create an Action plan
An action plan is mandatory so that you know how exactly you can achieve your goals. It includes all the steps you take and every aspect of these steps to achieve your goals. Be creative while making an action plan and use a timeline marker to help visualize the deadlines to achieve that particular goal.
- Work on your plan
After planning all the steps it’s time to take action and work hard accordingly. Take every step in a way that leads you to achieve your next goal.
- Tackle your negative thoughts
Almost every one of us doubts ourselves after setting the goal and planning. Be confident and realistic about what you want and how you will achieve that. Don’t let your negative thoughts distract you.
- Be accountable for yourself and others
The action plan is easier to make but difficult to follow and stick to. Goal achievement is the journey full of obstacles so accountability is very important especially in the beginning it is recommended to have an accountability partner who has similar goals that will help you focus on performance and monitor progress. Reevaluate and access your progress time by time to ensure that you are on the right track.
- Find joy in the process
It is very important to have a good feeling while thinking about your goal and steps to achieve them. Finding joy is necessary throughout the process not only at the end otherwise your mental stress will make that achievement unworthy. If there is a feeling of restriction then it’s probably not the right time or goal that’s why it is very important to choose goals according to your priorities or dreams.
Acknowledge the completion of your goals and celebrate accordingly. Celebrations and rewards give you motivation and courage to achieve the next milestone.
Thus, the goal setting process fuels ambition and helps you get tangible results. You may have struggled for the goals before or you might fail all of the goals you set for yourself but this should not stop you from dreaming. As rightly said by C.S. Lewis
“You can’t go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending”
It is a reminder that how the goals we set for our lives will help us change our story in the end. As they will help us chase our dreams and see them come true. Thus it is the powerful process of thinking about dreams and motivation to turn this to reality thus considered as a “career-accelerating” process.