Goal Setting and WHY it is so ImportantJan 11, 2023
As always, the new year got me thinking about my goals. What goals did I set for the last year, and how many did I achieve? What would my goals be for the new year? This is a process that I enjoy.
What about you? Do you set goals? Do you plan and follow through on your plans? Can you achieve your goals, or do you settle for whatever you have?
We often think that we haven't met any goals. The problem, however, is not with the process of meeting the goals; it is with how we set those goals. Instead of saying that I will walk a total of 3 hours weekly, we just say I will walk more. This is goal setting, and setting actionable and measurable goals is very important.
What is Goal Setting?
You cannot mimic the goals of anybody else, and your goals will be very unique to you. What is a goal? A goal is an aim you want to achieve, and goal setting is the setting time.
You can use goal setting for any aspect of your life. You can use it to attain an educational qualification, lose weight, learn a new skill or for financial freedom. Goal setting does not have to aim for one huge goal all at once. You can create goals in steps that you achieve in smaller time frames. The idea is that the smaller achievements will encourage you to reach the bigger ones. And when you get used to goal setting and achievements in one area of life, you can achieve them more easily in other areas.
Why is Goal Setting so Important?
It is good to keep improving ourselves and grow. When you set goals, you continually strive to reach those goals. If the goals help you grow and expand, reaching them improves your life. When you set a worthy goal, like learning a new skill or becoming healthier, you benefit by trying to achieve your goal. Naturally, as you progress towards your goal, you will be happier.
Setting a goal that helps you measure your progress is also very important. It helps you to avoid procrastination. It also enables you to make a detailed plan to achieve the goal. When you visualise, put a goal into writing or tell someone about it, it makes you more accountable for reaching the goal.
SMART Goal Setting
SMART goals stand for:
R- Relevant and
T - Time-Bound
A specific goal is more effective. Your goal should be able to answer the questions:
- What do you need to accomplish?
- Who is responsible for it?
- What are the steps needed to achieve it?
If you can answer these questions through your goal statement, it is a specific goal.
How can you quantify and track your goals? By making them measurable). You should be able to know when you have attained the goal. So, always set measurable and trackable goals.
Always set realistic goals. Unrealistic goals set you up for failure.
Look at the big picture and understand why you are setting the goal. A relevant goal adds value to your life.
Success can be measured when you set a timeline for your goal. This keeps you on track.
How to Set your Goals
How important is goal setting to you? Do you keep your goal in mind constantly, or do they just pass by, forgotten a while after you set the goal? Before reading this, you must have set at least a goal or two at some point in your life. How well did you follow through and meet your goals? Did the goals excite you, and did you feel compelled to reach them? Now, you may say that everyone has goals. But, I believe that if you have a vague goal without a set deadline, it is a dream and not a goal. So, how do you set goals?
This does not have to be a very long process. Take your time, whether a few minutes or days and think about your goals. What do you want to do… to create… to achieve. Then think about the timeframe in which you want to achieve them. Think about how valuable the goal is. When you are old and retired, would you look back on the goal achievement with pride and happiness? Is it that significant to you?
2. Refine & Rethink
Examine your goals and the timeline in which you can achieve them. Some goals are easy to accomplish in a few weeks. Some can be attained in a year, and others may take a lifetime. So, it is important to set realistic timelines to achieve goals. Some goals cannot be assigned a timeline, and for those goals, you can plan on how long you would like the goal achievement process to take. Goal setting is a way to attract what we want into our lives.
Assess your list of goals and choose the most important one-year timeline goals. Describe the goal and why you can achieve the goal in a year. The purpose of this exercise is for you to strongly identify why you want to achieve the goal. The ‘why’ will become the driving force that helps you to achieve the goal.
4. Step by Step
The best way to approach goal setting is to break down the goal into smaller achievable steps. You can be smart in goal setting by ensuring that your goal is
- has a clear timeframe
This helps you track and measure your progress towards your goal. Mini goals within the timeframe of the larger plan also make progress towards the main goal more exciting and doable.
How to Achieve Goals
The central aspect of goal setting is the actual process of achieving the goal. So, how do you go through this process with success?
Focus on your goal, think about it and give it all your attention. The best way to make that happen is to try and picture yourself attaining your gal. It brings the greatest push and energy to achieve the goal. Visualisation is used by entrepreneurs, dieters, athletes and many others to help them attain their goals. Some people need extra help with visualisation. So they create motivational boards and scrapbooks to give them a tangible visualisation. Even small post-it reminders to yourself are motivational.
Sharing your goals with a trusted friend, family member, or mentor makes you more accountable for achieving them, giving you the motivation you need.
The timelines you have set for your mini-goals, and the main goal will help you track your progress. If there are hurdles to your progress, identify them and fix them. Keep your goals fixed but your approach to them flexible.
Celebrate Every Win
Instead of merely checking off a goal on your list, celebrate the goal. Set aside some money to give yourself a treat when you achieve your goal. Share your success with your circle and celebrate it.
What Do You Gain from Goal Setting
Instead of wandering through life and letting things happen to you, goal-setting helps you manage your life and its path. Instead of letting things happen to you, you can plan and make things happen. It enables you to focus on what you want to do and helps you achieve your dreams in a practical manner. And that is worth everything!
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