Most “impossible” goals can be met simply by breaking them down into bite size chunks, writing them down, believing them, and then going full speed ahead as if they were routine. ~ Don Lancaster
If one has never had a concrete plan for the future, then one has never tried setting goals. Setting goals may seem like a notion that has repeatedly been taught and ingrained in us from the moment we started school.
Back then, it used to be relatively simple: You envisioned a dream and started listing goals to get there. Little did you know that that dream became the catalyst for setting the gears of your life’s master plan in motion.
Today, we may still retain the same dream or we may have already achieved that. But regardless, setting goals is still an integral part of any success. It gives anyone with a plan direction, focus, and guidance.
Though heavily hackneyed, there is a certain truth about setting goals and achieving success. In fact, having and setting goals are pivotal to anyone’s success story. No one becomes successful overnight (unless they got there by sheer pure good fortune).
Success takes not only a gradual passage of time but the patience and passion in one’s person and of course, a healthy dose of grit in pursuit of it. However, setting goals is only the initial part of the process as much of what goes into the logistics in chasing success goes into ticking those goals one by one and achieving them.
For some, this may be a long, tedious task, but because of the consistent perseverance and resilience one has in pursuing goals, it builds and strengthens character as a result.
Although success largely depends on one’s personal definition of the word, it is undeniable that goal setting is a crucial factor in contributing to the success of your plans regardless of what your definition may be.
Setting your goals is a process that commences with a careful introspection and consideration of what you want to achieve complemented with your determination and hard work to make it. These following steps may help you formulate goals that would aid you in accomplishing it.
Steps in setting goals
Step 1 – Have goals that motivate you
One important aspect in goal completion is constant motivation. The goal is the driving force behind your determination in achieving each and every single one of your goals. This makes setting goals that would motivate you in an imperative aspect in goal setting.
Make sure they are important to you and vital to your overall end goal. This puts a sense of urgency and value in accomplishing them and doing so would be critical to the success of your overall end goal.
Should you list irrelevant goals or goals that you have little to no interest on accomplishing, you will only succeed in delaying them. Not only are the chances of procrastination high, but the determination needed to make this goal to happen is incredibly slim.
Have goals that are high priorities in your life and ensure that you have the right passion and commitment to complete it. To have a goal that would truly motivate you, consider how important it is to you. This is so that whenever you feel like delaying it, you would be able to convince yourself otherwise.
Step 2 – Set SMART goals
For those who are uninformed, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. These four characteristics are integral features of how your goals should be formulated.
If you applied these four characteristics to your goal setting, a more powerful set of goals would ensue. In essence, these four characteristics would enable you to craft goals that would make accomplishment easier.
This means your goals should be well defined and clear. Having vague goals would not get you anywhere as they would not provide you with adequate direction.
Make it easier for yourself to get where you want to so that you will be where you want to end up.
Make sure you have goals that have precise amounts, dates or whatsoever. This will enable you to measure the degree of success of your goals. Do not simply say, “become the best iOs developer in the Philippines”.
Instead, phrase it in such a way that you would be able to see if you were wholly successful in your goal and not only partially (e.g. Become the best iOs developer in the Philippines in two years’ time).
Have goals that you know would challenge you but are equally doable as well. Make sure these goals are possible to achieve so that when you do, you will capitalize on that success.
Do not capitulate on your goals because you made them unattainable, or you will risk eroding your self-confidence.
Needless to say, your goals should be the propelling force towards the direction you want to go.
With this in mind, keep your goals aligned to that and you will cultivate the right kind of focus you need for achieving the end result you desire.
Goals without a specific deadline are nothing but wishes.
Give your goals deadlines and you will feel a sense of urgency in achieving them.
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Step 3 – Write down your goals
Having your goals in written form makes it real and more tangible. This reminds you of the pact you made with yourself, and you will have no excuse for forgetting it.
Use the word “will” instead of “wish” and “would like to” or “might”. In this way, it gives your goals more force behind it and will give you more determination to do.
Step 4 – Have an action plan
Do not make goals just for the sake of making them. Make sure you put some teeth behind the words you have written by setting a clear action plan which you can see yourself really doing or else all that you have done will be for naught.
This often neglected step is so because people tended to get so absorbed and caught up with setting goals that they forget to plan the steps needed along the way.
Write down the individual steps and cross off each line as you have done them and this is how you will know you are making progress towards your ultimate goal.
Whether you are starting out small or are moving forward to the big goals, you need to set well defined and clear goals that would provide the roadmap in leading you there. This how you navigate your personal road to success.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that goal setting is not a one-day affair; it is an ongoing activity that requires your tireless dedication and determination. Keep yourself in check by reminding yourself every single day why you are doing this and how important the end goal is to you.
Start small and begin forming little habits that would push you forward to your ultimate goal and before you know it, you are on the final road towards your success.