Goal Setting 101

posted in: Personal Development | 0

You have goals in life just like everyone else. Whether magnificent or miniscule, there are objectives you desire to accomplish in life. The problem is, perhaps, you don’t know what kind of goals you should set or how to achieve them. It can be an exhausting process, especially when you focus more on the end result, and fail to enjoy the journey!
Goals come in many shapes and sizes. You can set daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, yearly goals, lifelong goals, etc. The list is endless. There are no right or wrong goals because each goal is up to you, the individual. What you view as a meaningful goal might be unsubstantial to someone else.
The benefit of goal setting is germane if you aim to reach your full potential. Many experts advocate writing down your goals so they are clear and visible, serving as a friendly reminder. Perhaps your goals are so ingrained in your mind that jotting them down is unnecessary and overkill. Either way it is important to consider your goals as often as possible.
Why do people struggle with setting goals? Is it laziness or lack of effort? Is it ignorance? Why do people fail to comprehend its relevance? I will attempt to unravel some of the details.
1. Set purposeful and meaningful goals- This sounds super obvious but if you don’t set goals that are in line with your purpose in life than you are always going to come up short. Even if your goal is to watch as much television as possible you still need to set goals in order to accomplish it.
Your purpose should guide your decision making. If you consider your purpose as you set goals then you are headed in the right direction. If you don’t know what your purpose is then keep searching. Eventually your purpose will find you.
2. Set realistic and attainable goals- I would love to soar through the sky like an eagle but right now that is not a realistic goal for me. It would be a waste of time if I set goals to accomplish flying naturally through the sky because it is physically impossible.
While the previous example is extreme it serves an important point. Too often people become absorbed in achieving futile goals. I believe everything is possible but you have to realize your own present limitations. This doesn’t mean you won’t eventually thrust through these limits and establish new ones. But don’t expect to become a millionaire by next week when you have $10 in your bank account and no job. Anything could happen but set goals that don’t rely on luck or chance.
3. Plan for your goals in the short term- Once you have set purposeful goals that are attainable, plan for them. How are you going to accomplish these goals? What needs to happen for you to climb to the mountain top? What action steps do you need to take?
You aren’t required to develop a long term master plan for your entire life in which every detail is accounted for. This is not constructive planning. Determine what needs to be accomplished every month, week, or day in order for your yearly goals to be met. As you begin succeeding in your goal setting than create more challenging goals for five or ten years. All goals can be planned for in the short term whether they are long term goals or short term goals. The onus is on you to use your time wisely to plan for them!
4. Don’t focus too much on the end result- If you concentrate solely on the final outcome you are missing out on the enjoyment of the experience. I often read about people who are so fixated on saving money for retirement that when they finally reach the age to retire, they realize they have missed out on so much in life. They were so wrapped up in their financial goals that they didn’t relish the everyday moments.
Don’t be someone who regrets and reminisces on what could have been. It is nice to ponder on your bright future, but don’t fail to enjoy the ride. Goal setting is imperative, but don’t allow these goals to prevent you from taking it all in.
5. Set goals that serve others- As you set personal goals don’t forget to set goals that will serve others as well. More often than not these goals are more meaningful and abundant than the ones that serve you alone. You are going to be more impacted by the people you served through volunteerism, charities, donations, and random acts of kindness as opposed to the amount of money you earned at work. Set goals to help others every day. In return, you will be helping yourself.

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