Setting goals for yourself. All people have a goal to achieve, either driven by a dream, a wish, or for anything they want to achieve.
People without goals are adrift. They have no direction; their efforts and energy lose meaning because they lack direction. Setting goals for yourself serves to provide focus. Without an obvious goal, people get lost. Goals make it easier to measure progress, improve productivity, and build self-esteem. And, above all, goals reinforce commitment.
In this article, you will know why it’s important to set goals for yourself and how you can do that to grow on a personal, spiritual, mental, and professional level in the best possible way.
Set goals, not resolutions
New Year’s resolutions always seem to fail, but setting goals for yourself doesn’t have to. Just a few minor changes can help you accomplish your goals and make them last.
If you’re like most people, you’ve set a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, save more money or kick the smoking habit. But a year later, chances are good that resolution is no longer on your mind, and the pounds are still around. Setting realistic goals for yourself is the key to achieving them. Goals aren’t resolutions.
A resolution is a vague statement of something you “should” do, such as exercising more or eating better. A goal is a specific action plan you take to accomplish something specific — such as walking 20 minutes a day, three times a week.
Goals also need deadlines. Long-range goals are simply dreams unless they have short-term objectives and deadlines attached to them. For example, if your goal is to get fit, your long-term goal may be losing 50 pounds by summer. Your short-term aim may be losing 5 pounds by March 1 and another 10 pounds by May 15. You also need accountability for reaching your goals — someone who will check on you periodically to see how you’re doing.
Think long-term, not short-term
Setting goals for yourself and then sprinting to the finish line are great ways to get things done, but they’re not always the best ways to achieve your long-term goals.
Trying to do everything at once will leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed, which can lead to a whole host of health problems, from burnout to anxiety and depression. Instead, try setting small goals for yourself along the way.
For example, if your goal is to improve your health by losing 20 pounds before the summer vacation, break that down into smaller goals. Make a list of small goals that will help you meet that larger goal. Maybe you’ll work out five days a week instead of four while increasing the intensity of your exercise sessions. Or perhaps you’ll reduce your portion sizes by 25 percent. Whatever it is, make sure each goal is something you can accomplish within a week or two, and use each accomplishment as motivation to reach your next goal.
This will help keep you motivated in the short term and give you a sense of accomplishment as you progress toward reaching long-term goals like losing weight or building new skills at work.
Break big goals down into small actionable tasks
The SMART goal-setting method is a time-tested approach to making your goals more achievable. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, an entrepreneur launching a startup, or a 9-to-5er with a dream. You can use this framework to turn any goal into an action plan.
The SMART method requires that you break down your big goals into small, measurable tasks — and then give each of those tasks a specific, measurable deadline. By using this method, you’ll be able to track your progress in real-time and make adjustments as needed.
The acronym sounds like what it’s all about:
Specific: You need to define exactly what you want to achieve.
Measurable: Give yourself tangible goals for success and failure.
Attainable: Make sure your goals are realistic and that you have the resources to accomplish them.
Relevant: Your goals should align with your overall vision, mission, or purpose.
Time-bound: Set a deadline for each goal so you can see.
Pick daily habits to work towards your big goal
When I started using the Pomodoro Technique, I set goals for myself that were so far off in the future (like “learn a language by the end of the year”) that they had no effect on my day-to-day behavior.
Not only did this make it harder to keep track of my goals, but it didn’t give me any motivation to get started working towards them. The solution was to break down my goals into short-term tasks I could easily accomplish during a single session.
I realized that my long-term goal was just several short-term tasks away. Every time I completed one of the short-term tasks, I would have accomplished one step towards my long-term goal. Most of these short-term tasks involved pushing myself out of my comfort zone – challenging myself in new and exciting ways.
Setting these daily goals changed how I approached practicing. Instead of seeing it as a chore, or something to be done “later”, it became something fun and exciting – an easy way to check off an item on my bucket list and see tangible results from all the hard work I’m putting into this language.
Setting goals for yourself and achieving those goals is the key to success.
When we first start something, which is true for any hobby, skill, or profession we want to master, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Suddenly, we face dozens of choices, courses of action, and responsibilities. It’s up to us to plan how to confront those roadblocks.
By setting goals for yourself the right way, you become prepared.
You can set specific goals that help you achieve your goals and achieve your dreams more easily.