If you’re finding it hard to get things done in your life, things you’ve wanted to do for a long time, you’re probably missing out on goal setting.
It is the most overused term in motivation and life-coaching circles.
Fact is, it is a little thing that can go a long way in recognizing our aims and ambitions.
Otherwise, they might simply remain as unattained objectives. And every time we think about them, we feel discouraged and our activities seem purposeless.
Goal setting is an important process because it helps us move forward in our lives. Goals are the beacons of inspiration that push us to do more, to strive a little harder.
They force us to work beyond our limits and we realize that in fact, we don’t have any limits at all.
The final goal is not the only benefit to be attained, the whole process of achieving our goals makes us better versions of ourselves.
We all have a lot of unmet goals. We might often push them away as mere ‘wishes.’
If they remain only wishes, we ourselves are at fault. We don’t put in enough time and energy to achieve these goals and hence we are stuck.
And yet there is no blame game we can play, as we have our day-to-day work and chores that demand our immediate attention and take up our time.
As we are engrossed in the complications our daily life, our goals are pushed to the back of our mind.
This is why systematic goal setting is an important part of achieving our goals. It includes the process of breaking down the steps to be taken to reach our goals into minuscule tasks that we can complete one by one.
Goal setting, be it personal or professional, is a sure shot at achieving our goals. We can say with certainty that we will reach our goals.
Here are some effective tips in goal setting that will help you achieve your goals, one step at a time:
1. Clarity regarding your goals
You should first clear your head and think about exactly what you want to achieve. It is not enough to simply have a clouded idea of what you desire.
You should have a distinct objective. It is best that you write it down on a piece of paper; you can start with “I want to - “and complete with your goal.
This is your official goal statement.
Keep it somewhere you will always see it, as it will remind you of what you are striving towards. You should also be very sure of why you want to achieve that goal.
Is it for personal satisfaction? Is it for a growth in your career? Is it for monetary benefits? These are the two aspects of your goal that you need to have clarity about.
2. Use the SMART technique
How do you know if you’re setting smart goals? It is in the word itself:
Specific – your goals should we well-defined and sharp
Measurable – The methods of achieving your goals are to be precise and measurable
Attainable – Your goals should be practical and achievable
Relevant – What you aim for should be relevant to your life, career or desires
Timely – You should have goals that are time-bound and achievable within that time
If you goals follow these parameters, you have more chance of achieving them.
3. Emotion and Imagination
If your goals are simply items on a checklist to be ticked off, like doing your laundry or cleaning your room, you won’t be motivated enough to achieve them.
You need to have an emotional attachment to your goals.
One method to induce this is the process of creative imagination. Spend some time to think about what it would be like once you have achieved your goal.
Think of the happiness and satisfaction you will feel. This does not mean you have to go daydreaming!
Imagining such a scenario will provide you with the energy to realize your goals so that you can actually live what you imagined.
4. Make your Action Plan
The action plan is the most powerful tool in this process.
It is the step-by-step guide to achieving your goals. The action plan is what sets the process in motion. You need to make a list of all the different steps to be taken to reach your goal.
Time these steps, on a weekly or monthly basis. If you can work out the intricacies, you can also include daily steps in the action plan.
The action plan is a basically a break of what all you need to do to reach your goal.
All you have to do is to set up different dates and times to complete them so that you actually start to work towards the goal.
Make sure that your action plan I in sync with your overall schedule so that you do not place any extra stress on yourself.
5. Reminders for yourself
You should never lose sight of your goals.
Always leave clues around so that you remind yourself of what you’re actually working towards.
A great idea is to create a vision board with all your goals and steps pinned on it.
Not only will this remind you of your goals, it is also a great outlet for the artist in you!
If you lose sight of your goals, you tend to fall out on your action plan, and then you’ll have to start the whole process again.
6. Rewards for yourself
As a rule, we humans work for rewards, no matter how small.
Don’t stress yourself with only achieving the goals; once you’ve completed a major chunk of the process reward yourself, by going out to a nice dinner or taking a break.
This will relieve any monotony or stress that may be side-effects of the whole process.
7. Be Patient
I cannot stress enough the importance of patience when it comes to achieving your goals.
Sure, you may have done everything necessary, and yet you may find yourself stuck, and your goals, ever so far away.
Give yourself some time; be patient with yourself, and you will definitely reach there. Don’t look at other people who have already achieved their ambitions.
They too were once in your place, and so will you too be one day in their place.
You may be wondering, what if I have more than just one goal?
It is best to work on no more than two goals at a time.
Prioritise your goals: see which ones need to be accomplished the earliest, and work through all of your goals in that manner. In this way, with time, you can achieve all of your goals.