Goals are what drive us to do the things that we want in our lives. Without goals, it's easy to lose focus and become disorganized, which can lead to dissatisfaction with one's life. Goals give shape and purpose to our dreams, motivating us until they are realized or achieved.
Importance of Setting Goals:
Setting goals give you direction, allowing you to identify the steps you need to take to get there. Goal setting is important because it allows us to:
- Create a better life for ourselves and our families
- Accomplish more in less time with fewer resources
- Experience adventure and excitement through travel or new experiences
Objectives vs Goals:
Objectives are closely related to goals, but there are some key differences. While objectives work towards the completion of a goal, they do not provide any clear indication of how to achieve it. When you want to get from point A (where you currently are) to point B (your desired outcome), an objective tells you that your result is at Point B and offers no insight into how to achieve that outcome. Goal setting is an effective strategy for making sure you accomplish what you set out to do, but it's important to remember that goal-setting isn't just about dreaming big and hoping for the best - if no steps are taken towards achieving your goals, they will remain nothing more than dreams.
Goal setting is an effective strategy for making sure you accomplish what you set out to do, but it's important to remember that goal-setting isn't just about dreaming big and hoping for the best - if no steps are taken towards achieving your goals, they will remain nothing more than dreams.
There are many strategies for setting goals, each with its approach to goal-setting. One of the most popular is a system called SMART Goals, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
This model has five steps: Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Achievable, Realistic/Relevant, Time-bound. Goals must be specific for you to know what exactly needs improvement or if the goal is accomplished. The more detailed the better your chances are of accomplishing the goal. For example, instead of saying “I want to lose weight”, say “I will burn 500 calories each day through exercising for three days a week starting on July 12th and ending August 19th”. This is more specific because you know exactly what needs improvement (exercise), how much time it will take (three days a week), and you can measure it by counting the number of calories burned each day.
The goal should be measurable to track your progress, so you know if you are on track or not. For example, instead of saying “I want to lose weight”, say “I will burn 500 calories each day through exercising for three days a week starting on July 12th and ending August 19th”. This is more specific because you know exactly what needs improvement (exercise), how much time it will take (three days a week), and you can measure it by counting the number of calories burned each day.
The goal should be attainable/achievable or realistic. It should not be too difficult to achieve that you know chances of success are low, but also it shouldn’t be too easy where there is always a chance for failure. For example, instead of saying “I want to lose weight”, say “I will burn 500 calories each day through exercising for three days a week starting on July 12th and ending August 19th”. This is more realistic since you know that exercising for three days a week will help improve your health, but also not too easy where there is always the risk of giving up halfway through because it was nothing difficult to achieve like saying “I want to lose 100 pounds in three months”.
The goal should be relevant to you in order for you to want to achieve it. It should not be too difficult or impossible that when the time comes, you will give up due to lack of motivation or interest because there are no benefits in achieving them for yourself.
Some other strategies for goal setting include the GROW model, EXACT model, ARROW model. Each of these models is different but has similar characteristics to the SMART model.
GROW stands for Goal, Reality, Options, and Way Forward. First, you need to define your goal, then think about the current state (reality) and brainstorm options to help reach that goal.
Once you have your options, choose the one that is best to move forward with.
Ex: Goal - I want to finish writing my book by July 2018 Reality- Right now I only have five pages written and no outline for the rest Options- Hire an editor, outsource some of it Way Forward- Get someone on Fiverr to edit my first five pages
Exact stands for Execution, Accountability, Consequences, and Tracking. Write each goal with exact precision of what is expected to happen when you accomplish your goal. Be accountable by creating consequences if the task has not been completed or tracking every day how much work you are putting into it until completion.
The exact model is a more complex version of the SMART goal-setting method. The acronym EXACTS stands for Experience, Act on and Change your experience, Create strategies to make it happen, Take action based on those strategies (systematic), and Stay committed to achieving success over time.
ARROW stands for Awareness, Responsibility, Reaction, and Way Forward.
The model is to focus on the four stages of awareness (e.g., I am aware that my current job is very unfulfilling), responsibility (e.g., What can I do about it?), reaction (e.g., Create a plan of action to change my job), and way forward (e.g., I will apply for a new position).
Step 1: The Power of Three.
The power of three is an easy trick that you can use when setting up your goals to make them more memorable, meaningful, specific, and achievable. This means creating a list of three things you want to accomplish. The key is that each item on your list will have a goal, deadline, and action step associated with it. This makes your goals more concrete and easier for you to track over time.
Step 2: Determine Your Definition of Success
A clear definition of success can help keep the momentum going toward achieving the goals you set out to accomplish. What does success mean to you? How will know when your goal is achieved? Is it about the money, recognition, or accomplishments that come with reaching this goal?
Step 3: Set Your Own Pace
Goal setting should be realistic and achievable so that you’re able to achieve them in a timely manner. If you want to set up goals for yourself, it’s important not to overwhelm yourself. Start small and work your way up so that you can see success with each goal along the way rather than feeling discouraged or burned out when one of your larger goals is taking longer than expected
Step 4: Set a Timeline
A good trick to use when setting up your goals is the timeline. Set a deadline for each goal and stick with it! If you need some help, set smaller deadlines along the way to keep yourself on track.
Step 5: Make Yourself Accountable
Accountability can be very helpful when trying to accomplish goals that may seem daunting or overwhelming. Find someone to hold you accountable for your goals so that you’re not just trying to get it all done by yourself, but rather have an extra person or persons cheering you on!
Step 6: Keep Track of Your Accomplishments
Keeping track of the things that you accomplish is a great way to stay motivated and keep yourself on track towards achieving your goals. If you use a journal or tracker to keep note of the steps that it takes to reach these goals, then when things get hard and you’re feeling like giving up, look back at what you have already accomplished!
Step 7: Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Once you cross the finish line and achieve your goal, take a minute to celebrate! This will keep you motivated toward achieving future goals. Acknowledging what it took for you to accomplish these things is an important step so that when the next big thing comes along, you’re ready with all of the knowledge and tools that got you there in the first place.
So, you know what you want. You have a clear image of having it, experiencing it, doing it. You truly believe it can happen. You know you deserve to have it.
But before you act to achieve your goal – particularly a major, life-changing one – you may want to ask these questions first:
1. Is this goal really mine?
Oftentimes, we adopt goals based on what others want for us or because of societal pressure. Make sure your goal is authentically yours and that it inspires you from the inside.
How much time am I prepared to invest in this goal each day/week/month? You'll need enough dedication towards reaching your objective; otherwise, it will be difficult (if not impossible) for you to attain it. Consider how much effort – consistently overtime – is required for success.
2. How badly do I want this?
Do you have a passion for accomplishing your goal? Is it something you believe is nice to have but can do without? If your aim is significant and might have a big influence on your life, it's best to choose something you care about. You may be prevented from achieving your objective if you choose one that isn't very exciting or doesn't appeal to you. You may also wish to consider the reasons behind establishing that goal in the first place at this time.
3. What are the benefits of this for me?
How will you change as a person once you've achieved your objective? Will certain sections of your life, such as your lifestyle and relationships, be affected? If so, how will they be altered? In your imagination, picture yourself, the people around you, and the situation. Allow it to play out like a film in your mind. Do you enjoy what you see? Do you like what you're feeling at that time?
The feeling you desire from achieving your goal should be something motivating, such as happiness, satisfaction, pride, love or joy. If the feeling doesn’t excite you just thinking about it then it may not be a good goal to pursue.
4. Will I be compromising any of my values in achieving this?
Is your goal in line with your principles, or does it go against them? When you established your goal, what were the values at work for you?
What are my beliefs about this goal? How confident are you that you can achieve your aim? What evidence do you have to support your belief? Is there anything holding you back from achieving it?
What do you think would happen if you achieved your objective but it was inconsistent with your beliefs? Can you accept the consequences of achieving it? How would you feel if this happened to you?
Be clear on what's motivating you to pursue this dream.
5. Does it feel right?
At the end of the day, it's all about your intuition. If it feels right to you, go for it. If not, think it over once more.
Now that you have answered these questions, you can begin taking action to achieve your goal while staying confident in your ability to do so. Remember – Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your objectives be accomplished overnight. But if you consistently take small steps each day towards reaching them, eventually you'll get there!
After setting up your goals, you should keep track of them for you to know whether or not they are being achieved or if there is any progress that needs improvement. Tracking can be done through a journal where you write down your progress each day or week. Tracking can also be done through a spreadsheet where you list all the goals and track them by checking them off after they are achieved, adding information like what was accomplished and how much time it took to achieve (ex: I will lose 50 pounds in three months).
Goal setting is a process that can be used to achieve anything from losing weight, quitting smoking, or being more productive at work
For goals to have meaning and significance they should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. In other words: SMART Goals!
If you find yourself struggling with your goals, try using the GROW model.
One way to keep track of your goals is through a journal, where you write down each step
If you accomplish one goal and feel stuck or unmotivated with another then celebrate it! This will help give you that extra push when needed.
What Next? Keep on setting goals and keep on tracking them! Don't let yourself falter. You can do it!!
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