The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting and achieving goals — Og Mandino
One of the quickest ways to change your life is to start setting some goals and acting on them.
Now, before you pick up a pen and paper or some file management tool to do some serious goal-setting, take some time to set and chase goals that will actually make a difference to your life.
If done right, goal setting can make your life much more exciting, challenging, rewarding, and can elevate your growth 10 times as a person. Before we delve further, let’s take a look at the importance of setting goals in life.
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Why is it important to set goals
The very act of setting goals is the first step to success. When you set an intention to commit to doing something wholeheartedly, something magical happens. It teaches you about the greatest lessons needed to succeed in life. Some of these lessons are:
- It makes you believe in yourself
- It helps you become more hardworking
- It teaches you about the importance of patience and consistency
- It gives your life a direction
- It allows you to take control of your life
- It makes you more focused and less distracted
- It gives you a reason to look forward to something in life
- It helps you become the best you could be
- It allows you to take control of your life
The process of goal setting
Someone has said it right that goals are like oxygen to our dreams. Just like we need oxygen to breathe and survive, similarly our dreams need goals to see the light of day.
Since we are talking about the process of goal-setting, let me tell you that there is no right or wrong way of doing it. Different people follow different processes, approaches, and techniques of goal-setting. So, you have to see what really works for you.
When I set goals, I weigh them on a simple parameter and ask myself two questions:
- Is this goal motivating enough to wake me up in the morning without an alarm clock?
- Is the goal SMART enough?
While referring to SMART goals, I want my goals to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. That’s how simple I like to keep my process but I do keep certain things in mind while deciding my next milestone.
Here’s how you can create the right goals
- Make your goals your own
Make sure you know what you want from life and set goals accordingly. Don’t listen to opinions of other people. Listening to other people will either confuse or sidetrack you from your goals.
Develop a vision for yourself and your life. Make plans, create goals, and take action in accordance with your ultimate vision. Spend some time with yourself and listen to your heart. Contemplate if you are content with your current standing in your life. If yes, great. If not, then it’s time to do some serious goal-setting.
2. Brainstorm both short-term and long-term goals
What would you do, if you know you wouldn’t fail? This is an interesting way to understand what you really want in life. Don’t think about the how, just focus on the what. If it is something that makes you both excited and scared, go pursue it. Before you do it, make sure you have a proper plan in your head.
Create both short-term and long-term goals. Make sure both the goals are practical and have a deadline. Just keep one thing mind that your short-term goals are in alignment with the long-term ones. If your long-term goal is to become a CEO in the next five years, your short-term goal should be to gather experience, knowledge, and relevant certifications that enable you to get there.
This is my favorite part of them all — prioritizing. Once I have written my goals, I like to have a quick glance over them. This gives me an opportunity to take things in perspective and it is effective to know if I’ve missed out on something or not.
From all that I’ve written, I start prioritizing them. For example, if I have penned down five goals that I would like to achieve, I assign a number to each goal in terms of preference. This method of numbering goals gives me a sense of accountability that I have to tick off a certain goal in order to start working on the next one.
4. Change goals if they aren’t working
It’s hard to achieve every goal on your to-do list as there are multiple factors that come into play while working towards your goals. There will be times when you won’t be able to accomplish a certain goal even after giving your heart and soul to it — it’s life, things happen!
The best way to handle a situation like this is to take things in perspective and analyze what’s going wrong. If it is something out of your control, it is better to discard the goal and set a new one and give your hundred percent to it.
Over to you
The best thing about goals is that they make you more disciplined in life — a quality that enables you to achieve even the most difficult things in life. The practice of goal-setting has done wonders to my life and I’m sure it will leave a positive impact in your life as well.
Vartika Kashyap is the Marketing Manager at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2017. Her articles are inspired by office situations and work-related events. She likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, entrepreneurship among others and contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click.