I hate setting goals; I find it a tedious process, yet I still do it. Whether you are setting goals for professional success or personal happiness, there is a lot more to goal setting than just saying “my goal is __?__” and moving forward. While that is important, it’s also important to ensure that you are setting the right goals at the right time so that you can reach them successfully. When it comes to setting the right goals for yourself, here are a few questions you should consider:
– Are your goals realistic?
While setting goals may sound like a simple enough task, but it actually takes research to ensure that a goals are realistic and attainable. If you’re not sure if the goal you’ve set is achievable then you haven’t done enough research. I am a firm believer that you can do anything you set your mind to; however, for a goal to attainable it has to be realistic.Here is an example of a realistic goal: I want to master the art of yoga this year. Here is an example of an unrealistic goal: I want to become an astronaut and land on the moon by next month. While the first goal is something that is scaled over a reasonable amount of time to be achievable the other is not.
– Are your goals specific?
Once you’ve set a goal that is realistic, then you need to be specific enough in your description of it so that it’s also easy to take the goal, and work backwards to create a schedule of actions needed to succeed.
For instance, you want to double your income but you’re working at a company that doesn’t promote from within. What will you do to achieve your goal? Take on a second job, change jobs or start a business? The more specific your goals are the easier they will be to reach.
– Are your goals multifaceted?
Focusing on only one part of your life is a bad idea. People live multifaceted lives and need to make goals for all areas of their lives in order to feel successful. If you have a wonderful business and career but your personal life suffers, then no matter how successful you are, you won’t feel successful.
Something will always feel as if it’s missing from your life if your goals aren’t in line for overall happiness. So, make sure your goals include something from each aspect of your life and that you have a plan for reaching them over a set period of time.
– Is your scheduling beneficial to success?
Once you create the schedule for yourself to reach each goal that you’ve set, you need to truly consider how representative it is of reality. Say your goal is to be healthy and reduce your cholesterol by 10 percent in six months, but you haven’t set aside time in your daily schedule to exercise and eat right.
If you don’t schedule in the time needed reach your goal, you won’t succeed because something will always get in your way taking time away from what you want to achieve.
For instance, if your goal is to exercise 30 minutes per day, you need to choose a time that will fit into your routine and include time for getting ready, warming up and cooling down so you aren’t rushed or stressed when trying to accomplish the task.
– Are you learning from failure?
Many times when setting goals and schedules, instead of learning from failure, people give up. Using the example above, once you implement your schedule to reach the goals that you have set, when you notice there are things you’ve forgotten to take into account, don’t give up. Learn from the failure and change the schedule to be more realistic.
You might find that in practice, you have to rewrite all your goals and your schedule, but this is perfectly acceptable. Many people believe failure is something negative, but the truth is, if you don’t fail sometimes you’re not going to learn much and it’s likely your goals are too easy.
– Do your goals belong to someone else?
Many people set goals that represent what someone else wants instead of what they want. This can lead to bad feelings and resentment, which can derail even the best laid plans. As you set your goals, ask yourself if they’re really what you want for yourself or what someone else wants for you. Ask yourself if you’re okay with any goal you make being for someone else before you embark on your journey.
It’s okay to do things because of someone else, but it’s important that you are honest about that and make some goals for yourself too that don’t involve anyone else’s needs or wants.
– Are you staying on track?
Schedules are very important when it comes to reaching any goal in life, whether its’ professional or personal. To do lists pale in comparison to a well laid out calendar of tasks and activities that get you from point “A” to point “B”. Many people set goals but they don’t schedule time to accomplish them which is a recipe for failure.
To achieve any goal big or small you must write it down and plan to accomplish it. Ensure that you look at your schedule every morning and every night and note when you succeed on sticking to your schedule and where you don’t. Noticing a pattern of activity can be helpful in fixing a poorly written schedule as well as staying realistic about whether or not you’re sticking to the plan.
– Are your goals focused?
When writing a goal it’s important to write them in a positive way, or at least a way that feels positive to you. In the quest to improve your life, try writing down a goal and then changing the words to sound more positive to see if it isn’t more motivating. For instance, “losing weight” seems like a good goal, but for some people it might signify deprivation. So instead, the person might frame the goal as “improving my BMI by 10 points” or “improving my cholesterol by 10 percent.”
– Do you have too many goals?
Just as setting too few goals can be a problem, so can setting too many. All of us have busy lives that include professional and a personal obligations. If you have set goals in too many areas of life at once, you might tire yourself out and get overwhelmed. Instead, pick one personal goal, and one other type of goal to focus on until you reach them, and then you can add more goals as time goes on. You don’t need to do everything today. When it comes to reaching any goal that age-old saying “slow and steady wins the race” are words to live by.
Setting the right goals for yourself takes thought and consideration. Don’t try to set all your goals in one day instead, set some goals in different stages and in different areas of your life and give a lot of thought to why you’re making the goal in the first place.
Till next time …
Onward & Upward!