Setting goals is a great way to keep yourself motivated and having something to look forward to can help you to feel more inspired and positive. These goals do not have to be huge scary milestones. In fact, it is very important to bear in mind that whilst you may want to stretch yourself, your goals must be achievable. several times. There are those who think nothing of relocating, not only within their own country but also internationally, taking their entire families along with them. It is also now quite common for people to be married more than once and have more than one family.
There are lots of benefits to setting goals. First and foremost, they help you to develop clarity, which is the first step to helping you achieve what you want in life.
As you set and reach your goals, you will, in turn, become more confident in your ability to do what you say you will do and get what you want in life. Success most definitely breeds more success. You can make your own luck!
One of the main reasons that your brain needs goals is that it behaves as a goal-seeking mechanism, similar to a precision-guided missile. As these missiles fly, they continually make small adjustments and corrections to their trajectories to realign themselves to their target.
The key factor in goal setting is to assertively take control by identifying exactly what it is that you really want to achieve with a clear understanding of why you want to achieve it. Very often you may set yourself goals that you are not really committed to because you don’t really understand how you will benefit from the final outcome. This is ultimately what will keep you motivated when you go off track, which will happen from time to time. So a good solid reminder of what you are doing and why you are doing it is very important.
The SMART acronym can be used to help you set what experts consider to be ‘good’ goal statements because they contain most of the essential factors for setting achievable objectives.
The benefits of goal setting and goal achievement are numerous. There is a whole world of possibility out there and setting goals will allow you to become more empowered and altogether more responsible for your own future and personal success. When you make progress, your self-esteem and self-confidence will be boosted, which in turn will have many physical, emotional and mental health benefits.
I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.’
Steps to Success
Positively embrace the benefits of goal setting
Be clear about why you are trying to achieve something
Use the SMART formula – set goals that you are committed to
Ensure that you record your personal action plan
Share your plan with someone else
If it is important to you, stick with it!
Setting SMART Goals
The SMART acronym is used to describe what experts consider to be ‘good’ goal statements because they contain most of the essential factors for setting achievable objectives.
Setting SMART Goals
S – Specific and significant
M – Measurable, motivational, methodical and meaningful
A – Action-oriented and achievable
R – Realistic, relevant and recorded
T – Time-bound and tangible
Your SMART goal statement should be a clear and specific statement of what you want.
The main reason is that your brain behaves as a goal seeking mechanism, similar to a precision guided missile. As these missiles fly, they continually make small adjustments and corrections to their trajectories to realign themselves to their target.
Your brain also works in a similar way. Dr Maxwell Maltz, author of the classic Psycho-Cybernetics, said that human beings have a built-in goal-seeking ‘success mechanism’ that is part of the subconscious mind.
This success mechanism is constantly searching for ways to help you reach your targets and find answers to your problems. According to Maltz, you work and feel better when your success mechanism is fully engaged, pursuing clear targets.
All you have to do to use this mechanism is to give it a specific target. Without one, your success mechanism lies dormant, or worse, pursues targets you didn’t consciously choose.
When your target is vague or ambiguous, your success mechanism can become confused and either shut down or go after the wrong target.
Significant goals are the ones that will make a positive difference in your life. If a goal is not significant, why are you even contemplating it? Is it really your goal?
There is an old saying that goes ‘What gets measured gets done’. Making your goal measurable helps you see your progress, recognise whether you are moving in the right direction, and determine how far you still need to go. Some types of goals, like saving a certain amount of money each month, or reading 100 pages per week, are very easy to measure, while other goals aren’t really measurable directly.
For example, if your goal is to improve your relationship with your one of your colleagues, how do you measure it?
One option is to use some sort of rating. For example, you could say that your relationship scores six out of ten, and your goal is to increase this to eight out of ten. The problem is that these types of ratings are very subjective, can change from day to day, and don’t really give you very good feedback.
A better option is to focus your goal on specific actions you can take that will help you achieve your overall objective. For example, if you want to improve your relationship, your goal might be to practice the ‘four small steps to a better relationship’ every day. This is something that you can easily measure.
Even though measurable goals are very important, it is equally important to remember your original objective. Otherwise, it is easy to lose yourself in your goals and forget the reason you set them in the first place.
Goals need to motivate you. They need to inspire you to take action and make progress. One of the best ways to make goals motivational is to ask yourself why you want to achieve it.
When you have achieved a goal, take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. Absorb the implications of your achievement, and observe the progress you have made towards other goals. If the goal was a significant one, reward yourself appropriately. All of this helps you build the life you deserve!
With the experience of having achieved this goal, review the rest of your goal plans:
- If you achieved the goal too easily, make your next goals harder.
- If the goal took a dispiriting length of time to achieve, make the next goals a little easier.
- If you learned something that would lead you to change other goals, do so.
- If you noticed a deficit in your skills despite achieving the goal, decide whether to set new goals to fix this.
Failure to meet your goals does not matter much, as long as you learn from the experience. Feed lessons learned back into your goal-setting programme.
Remember too that your goals will change as time goes on. Adjust them regularly to reflect growth in your knowledge and experience, and if goals do not hold your attention any longer, then let them go.
What you do after you set your goals will determine your success. Even if you set the most interesting goal of your life, you will never achieve it if you do not do anything once you have set your goal.