Goal setting is not a cakewalk. Not everyone can come up with great goal setting. There are ways through which you can come up the skills to set great goals. So if you are looking to have your goals set and wish to stay on track in order to realize them, we bring you a beginner guide in this regard.
Goal setting without actually achieving desired results is a waste. Often we achieve the results but what matters at the end of the day is whether the achieved goals were effectively and efficiently realized. If not then are they still relevant?
When working towards achieving your goals, it is essential that you work smartly (more on this later) than working hard. Although, hard work cannot be contested but if you work smartly your hard work will pay off in a lesser time. So if you do not have the habit of setting goals and are starting out, we have compiled some points that will enable you in their setting and subsequent realization.
Keep them few in number
It is being said that you cannot focus on more than 5-7 items at a time. So in order to ensure that your goals are actually attainable, you should not exceed with more than 5-7 items on your list at any given point in time.
Any number of items greater than this will lead to loss of focus and those you could have achieved will also fall flat in their realization. With few goals, you can focus better and you can recall them from memory only.
Make them “smart”
For those of you who know this that “smart” is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound goal setting. By being specific it means that you will know what precisely you wish to achieve, is it an autobiographical account you wish to write or just a book? Measurable means that something which you can manage because if you cannot manage something, it can be measured.
Thus, do you want to earn more money than you did last year or do you wish to earn 10,000 dollars more than last year? See? Similarly, an actionable’ plan means your goals are starting with an action verb such as ‘quit’, ‘finish’ and the likes thereof instead of a to-be verb. “Am”, “have” and so on.
Realistic goals mean something which gets you out of your comfort zone but is feasible. It can be that you want to become the next Tiger Woods but what exactly you can do to achieve that level of precision and then working on it is being realistic. Tiger Woods has his USP (unique value proposition) that made him the name he is today, what is yours?
Time-bound means that a goal which has been assigned a date or which needs to be completed within a certain timeframe, past that, it will go irrelevant. Consider this, if you have to lose weight, in order to pursue this goal diligently you should assign a date. This will keep you motivated. Merely telling yourself that you want to lose 20 lbs. is not enough instead say l want to lose 20 lbs. by December 2017 which is bound to produce groundbreaking results.
Write them down
You have probably heard of writing your goals down zillion time. It is because written goals are more likely to be realized than those which stay in your head. By writing your goals down you are expressing your intent for getting things done for real.
Review them frequently
Okay, once you have penned down your goals, it is advisable to frequent them on a routine basis. This repeated viewing of your goals is the step towards turning those goals into reality. There is no hard and fast rule to visit these goals daily. You could visit them on the weekly or monthly basis as well. This way you will know what necessary measures you need to take further down the road for the fulfillment of your goals.
Share them selectively
It recommended that you share your goals with others. Going public with your goals help others to work on theirs. If it is about losing weight, others who have similar goals will also have the drive and motivation to work towards their weight losing goals. It is also advisable to blog about your goals. By blogging you can detail which steps you undertook or are currently practicing for the fulfillment of certain goals such as, weight loss.
People who are usually shy in asking for advice or talk about their weight problems will have the chance to benefit from your blog and get in touch with you for seeking tips on reducing weight. Also, with publically shared goals, you yourself benefit by having insights from any number of experts, mentors, mastermind groups and/or business partners.
Although, there is a downside to goal sharing. Once public you feel stressed that more people know about it and this psychologically impairs you which makes the realization of the goal highly unlikely. When you fail to achieve them (on the off-chance), the embarrassment takes its toll on you. Basically, it is a double-edged sword so be very careful as to which goals you go public with.
Hold Yourself Accountable
The hardest part of goal setting is to hold yourself responsible because no plan is fool proof and things are bound to go haywire. Once the goals are realized, celebrate and give credit to yourself for having stayed on track and pursued with zeal and zest. But if you have failed to achieve your goals, it is imperative that you own it as well.
When you hold yourself accountable, you realize what went so terribly wrong in the realization of those goals. Weren’t we disciplined enough or that we rushed things? What distracted us from following the course and which areas are lacking? What corrective measures need to be adopted? And so on so forth.
The biggest obstacle in the pursuit of your goals is a distraction. Distractions could be any number of kinds. It could be social media among which the Facebook “tops” them all, our mobile devices etc. Distractions breed procrastination and before you know it the time has passed.
So keep aside time to look at your goals amid all the distractions prevalent. I know it is easier said than done but there are ways to beat it; dedicate time to the completion of certain errand or task and focus all your energy into that and do not let yourself get carried away with anything else (unless it’s an emergency).
Create a rewarding experience for yourself by crossing off the goals you have accomplished. This will give you a confidence boost and will make you want to cross off all goals on your list with the same passion and enthusiasm. Enjoy your accomplishments and know that by avoiding distractions you are getting one step closer to achieving your ultimate objective (whatever that maybe).
Get Other’s In on It
This is different from sharing the goals publicly as mentioned above. Rather it is about bringing in your close family and friends on board. It could be your spouse, parents, high school friend – someone who knows you well enough to lend you tailor made advice in the pursuit of your goals.
These people will assist you as if the goals were their own. As humans, we tend to go lazy after some time and leave things which we started in high spirit. These people in your life will remind you of your goals in times like when you feel like quitting. This is a great way stick to your list of goals.
As stated previously, rewarding yourself has its perks as it will reinforce the positive behavior in you. The rewards do not necessarily have to be dining in a lavish restaurant. It could very well be buying a Frappuccino from Starbucks in your area or bunch of cookies from the local bakery.
Treating yourself like this often results in a satisfying and a day full of productivity. Your energy levels are rejuvenated. Even if you are not there yet, remember with this continued determination you have exhibited in the past, other goals on your list won’t be a problem.
Studies suggest that goal setting is a requirement for staying happy. And the realization of those goals adds to that happiness. Meaningful goals contribute to a person’s life expectancy and the person enjoys a satisfied life as opposed to those who do not have any goals or are without goals.
Author Bio: Dominic Lester is a student of human psychology and loves to blog. He often writes to educate his readers in the domain goal setting, life hacks such as on living a healthy lifestyle, and psychology on how human are wired to function in this society. He can be contacted for “do my coursework – Coursework Bliss” by following him for updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.