Goal setting is something that everyone does, but not everyone does well. The majority of us have goals that we would like to reach, but somehow life has a tendency to get in the way time and time again. While there is no cure for circumstance, the reality is that some of us are actually just not efficient at setting goals. Knowing how to set good goals is the key to actually obtaining them.
When it comes to goal setting, we personally value the incredibly popular SMART approach. This stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Following this approach, it is much easier for you to not only understand what you want to achieve, but also take active action steps to meet your goals. With this approach, it is easy to know exactly where you stand and what you need to do in order to truly complete your goals.
When it comes to getting the most out of a good goal, you need to make sure that you are setting the right goal in the first place. One incredibly important aspect of setting a proper goal is the details that go into it.
In order to effectively set a realistic goal, you must avoid the mistake of making a vague goal.
It is easy for people to make general goals, and even easier to break them. In order to avoid this, you want to make sure that your goals are completely defined. Understanding how to make a specific goal rather than a general goal can help you to stick to it more effectively.
A common mistake that people make when it comes to making goals is to leave them entirely too open. People will decide that their goal is to get into shape or learn something new. While these are great categories for your goal to reside in, they are far too vague to be useful. When your goal isn’t something that can be specifically met, you will find that it is incredibly easy to give yourself way too much room to pursue it. If your goal is just to be more active, you are chasing a notion more than an actual action step. This makes it easy for you to give yourself passes on partial actions that don’t actually take you towards your goal. Worse, it makes it easier to just miss out on your goal as a whole. When you fail to define your goal for what it is, you will ultimately end up not taking direct steps to make it come true.
In order to make an effective goal, you should always focus on making it as defined as possible. Instead of saying you want to dedicate to a working out more, decide what workout you want to do and when you want to do it.
Clearly defining this element of your goal setting will allow you to know exactly where you stand with it. If you want to get more flexible, instead commit to doing yoga three days a week. Knowing that will help you to determine if you are actually meeting that goal. It gives you the direct steps necessary to move towards your goal.
A huge part of having strong goals that you will feel confident in pursuing is to make sure that they are measurable. Being able to apply metrics to your goals is imperative for helping you to stay motivated when it comes to meeting them. If you have goals that are vaguely defined and don’t have a way to be measured, it will be difficult to hold yourself accountable. When you make a goal that cannot easily be measured, you run the risk of getting into some pretty serious problems. If there is no way to measure your success, there is no way to determine how effective you are being at meeting your goals.
When you think about meeting a goal, you want to see progress. A huge problem that people have with goals like working out is that they expect to see results very quickly when that simply isn’t a reality a lot of the time. This lack of change in response to the effort being put in can result in people getting discouraged and ultimately quitting before they see real results. This is why making goals that can be measured is so incredibly important. By giving yourself goals that can be measured, you allow yourself to actually see milestones and progress. This is encouraging and will help you to push harder for your goals even when you don’t want to on days when you are tired or just not feeling it.
Making your goals designed to be measurable is an effective way to make it worth it. You might not get that six pack overnight or you might not become instantly enlightened as a result of meditating, but when you can see that you have met your gym obligation your designated three times a week or that you have spent an hour over the course of the week being more mindful, it can help you to get the sense of pride that you should have for your efforts. More importantly, it helps you to avoid slacking off because you will be able to distinctly see whether you have met your agreed upon goal or not. You can acknowledge if you have actually practiced a new language four nights a week like you wanted to or not. It will help you to be more realistic about how you are actually doing when it comes to meeting your goals.
A huge problem that people tend to run into when it comes to setting goals is setting unrealistic goals. The simple fact of the matter is that if your goals are not achievable, you will never feel good about them. They will make you feel worse every single time because it is an impossible standard for you to achieve. Many people make goals that they berate themselves into thinking are achievable when in reality they are not. You don’t want to do this to yourself. It will only discourage you and make you feel terrible when it doesn’t work out. This kind of behaviour can actually be incredibly damaging for your self-esteem and your future confidence when it comes to achieving your goals.
A bad goal is a goal that is either simply too big or just not right for where you are at. People have a tendency to jump into an all-or-nothing mindset that drives them to reach for things that are way too big for them. A person who hasn’t run in ten years will suddenly decide that they want to be ready for a 5K in a month. When that person has to face the fact that they are way too out of shape to meet that goal, their instinctive response will be to get discouraged and quit. It can be incredibly damaging to realise that you want to change something very quickly and actually can’t do it. Many people find this to be a reason to give up completely because they feel ashamed or embarrassed about their inability to meet this impossible goal. This is why making sure that your goals are achievable is crucial when it comes to finding success with them.
An achievable goal is not necessarily a small goal. It is just a smaller goal that can be used to help you to improve over time. You might decide that you want to write a novel, but that takes a lot of time, energy, and a dedication to improving your craft. Rather than saying you want to write a novel right now, commit to writing for twenty minutes every single day and see how that builds over time. You can still ultimately want to write a novel, but by focusing on more realistic short-term goals, you can enjoy your accomplishments and meeting goals before crushing yourself under the weight of a giant goal that is simply too much at the time.
When you set a goal, you want to make sure that it is relevant for your life and where you are at with it. One interesting thing that so many people do is choose the goals that they see other people choosing. While there is nothing wrong with creating goals that your friends are doing, don’t just do it because they are.
So often people commit to chasing down goals that don’t align with their interests or where they are at in their life. If you want to meet goals and feel the improvement in your life, motivate yourself by choosing goals that are appropriate for who you are and what you value.
In the social media age, bandwagon goals are becoming a huge thing. You can see people online who are all chasing the same random goals. In most cases, the people doing this have no actual commitment or dedication to the goal. It just is a goal that sounds like a good thing to do, so people will jump on board to try and do it too. While some good can come of this, in a way you are setting yourself up for failure.
When you set goals that don’t align with who you are or what you want out of life, you won’t be motivated to see them through. This can build bad habits when it comes to working towards goals that you actually want to meet.
If you are going to commit to making your life better, make sure that you are living for yourself and not someone else. Choose goals that will inspire you to become a better version of yourself. Rather than relying on generic popular goals that the people around you are doing, personalise your goals so that you always remember why you are doing it. Instead of facing a challenge and thinking about how you don’t want to do it, you will have the motivating truth that it is really what you want. This will help you to work harder. More importantly, it is your best chance at becoming the best version of yourself.
When you set a goal, it is always helpful to give yourself some kind of time limit. A goal that is completely open-ended is a goal that you will continuously put off. When you are chasing a goal that has no true milestones, it become easier and easier to just start tomorrow rather than putting in the effort today. This is why it is so beneficial to focus on timing with your goals. Using this approach, you can force yourself into action in order to achieve greatness because you will actually be able to see a finish line.
Choosing a timeline for you to follow with your goal is a great way to really set it all into motion. If you know that your goal is to be able to program a basic system in three months, then you will be more motivated to get to work. By making sure that you have an actual timeline or endpoint for each phase of goal setting, you will be encouraged to try that much harder when it comes down to it. Rather than pushing off your start date time and time again, you will be ready to push that much harder to meet that ultimate end goal within the allotted time. It takes out a lot of the uncertainty that can come with setting and achieving goals.
There are few things better than setting a goal and achieving it. Whether you want to work out, learn a new language, perfect a craft, or just be more mindful, having the right goals can help you to achieve greatness. Every single person on this planet has a version of themselves that they would like to someday meet. By setting realistic goals, you can take yourself that much closer to be that person every single day. You will love seeing it all come together, so do yourself a favour and set the right goals. You are undoubtedly worth the investment.
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