What’s the big deal with goal setting?
Storytime. There were three people who wanted to achieve something for their lives. One of them didn’t know what to do to get there. The other had goals but not written while the third had written goals. Years later, those same people came back to be interviewed. The one with unwritten goals was doing better than the one with zero goals and the one with written goals was doing excellently compared with both of them. What was the success secret? Goal setting.
By the way, this was an experiment conducted in the book, ‘What they don’t teach you at Havard Business School’ for some students and the results came out as in the story above.
Why do we set goals?
Benjamin Franklin said, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
Goal setting enables us to know what to do at appointed times sort of like a to-do list otherwise we will just move through life counting the days and months and years wondering, what did I do with all the time I had?
Goal setting helps you track the progress of your life by achieving what you set out for.
It also helps guide your focus and organize your time and resources. You also take pride when you achieve those goals.
Set long-term goals and short-term goals and as the names imply what you want to achieve in the long-run and in the short-run. More importantly, write them down so that you can track your progress.
When it comes to setting goals it is important to note that you won’t know all the goals to set at one appointed time. Instead, you continue to add up to whatever it is you have set.
A goal without a plan is just a wish. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Why do some people never set goals?
Mainly because they have not thought about what they want from life so it becomes difficult. I’d say from experience that it seems like a lot to handle but just take it one after the other, bit by bit and build a bigger picture from little ones. What do you want? What things do you love to do? What will your ideal life be like? And what can you do to get there?
What are SMART Goals?
In goal setting, the acronym SMART is used.
Your goals should have a certain target you want to hit. They should be clear and well defined as much as possible.
Your goals should be tracked and progress should be measured, analyzed, and evaluated by another party. A good question to ask yourself is how will I know when I have achieved this?
Your goals should be achievable. Make sure that it is something that you can actually do.
R Realistic or Relevant
Your goals should be achievable even within the time frame you set. They should be important enough to be set and worthwhile.
Your goals should have an allotted period of time to complete both deadlines and sub deadlines.
How do we set goals?
Ask yourself questions such as;
• What do I want to achieve at the end of this year or month?
• Why do I want to achieve this? The ‘why’ is so important as it determines the ‘what’.
• What measures can I put in place to achieve this?
• When will I achieve this?
• How will I know if I have achieved this?
• What setbacks could there be in achieving my goals?
• What things, knowledge, skills or people will I need to achieve this?
• How much time will I need or how long will this take?
You can set goals for any aspect of your life whatsoever but you can start with these.
Goal setting is not a one time thing and don’t panic if you don’t get it right the first time. Continue to improve upon it and it’ll be great.