What is Goal?
The state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve and that (when achieved) terminates behavior intended to achieve it; "the ends justify the means"
“The difference between a goal and a dream is the written word”
Your Lifetime Goals
The first step in setting personal goals is to consider what you want to achieve in your lifetime, as setting Lifetime goals gives you the overall perspective that shapes all other aspects of your decision making.
To give a broad, balanced coverage of all important areas in your life, try to set goals in some these categories (or in categories of your own, where these are important to you):
Career Goal Setting Tips
The following broad guidelines will help you to set effective goals:
A simple five-step process of setting goals that you can actually achieve, rather than just wish for
Step 1: Define your goal
This seems simple, but surprisingly isn't. Most people do not clearly know what they want. Defining a goal helps you articulate what you want -- not only to others, but also to yourself. Imagine leaving your home every morning with a vague idea of where you are headed. What are the chances you will get anywhere worthwhile?
So, how do we define specifically what we want? Take a rough sheet of paper and pick an area of your life (career, education, health, relationships, spirituality, personal growth, etc) where you would like to set a goal. Write down around 20 things that you want to see happen. Don't think or analyze too much. Let your thoughts flow.
Now prioritize this list -- rank these 20 in the order of their importance to you. What you are doing is gaining clarity into what is most important. You will find yourself a lot clearer in your head.
Step 2: How will you know you have achieved this goal?
As an example, let's work on your top three goals. Most often, if we don't have good validation criteria after having set a goal, we will never know if we actually succeed in achieving it. So, ask yourself this significant question: How will I know I have achieved this goal?
This might be straightforward for some goals. If one was 'to get a promotion', or 'get admission into XYZ institute', the for that is straightforward. But, if your goal is 'to become a better manager', that's a little vague. You might want to set the validation criteria as:
If these things happen, you will know you have become a better manager. Now, look at your goal and try making your validation criteria as specific as possible. Notice that all four points mentioned above can be measured tangibly.
Step 3: How to go about doing it
Take a good look at your goal and validation criterion. What do you need to do to make these results happen? This is the time to break down your goal into actions and sub-actions. Come up with a list by asking yourself this question.
Step 4: Set a time frame
Setting a time frame for your goal breathes life into it and also allows you to build it into your schedule. It also helps you create a sense of urgency about your goal. If you are having trouble doing this, refine your goals and make them more specific. The more specific your goals are, the easier it will be to set a time frame around it.
Step 5: Take Nike's advice
Just do it.
Unfortunately, this is what proves to be the most difficult step for most. Inertia, procrastination and laziness hold us back from doing what we know we should be doing. Here's some simple advice on how to get things done:
The trick is to keep your goals and action list on top of your mind somehow, and keep taking action. If you do not do this, chances are they will meet the same fate as your New Year resolutions.
Finally, if this sounds like too much work, try to spice it up by making it fun. Introduce elements of things you like. Most often, we need to tweak our mindset just a little bit to create huge results in our lives.
A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic.
While there are plenty of variants, SMART usually stands for:
For example, instead of having “to sail around the world” as a goal, it is more powerful to say “To have completed my trip around the world by December 31, 2015.” Obviously, this will only be attainable if a lot of preparation has been completed beforehand!
When you have achieved a goal, take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. Absorb the implications of the goal achievement, and observe the progress you have made towards other goals. If the goal was a significant one, reward yourself appropriately.
With the experience of having achieved this goal, review the rest of your goal plans:
Failure to meet goals does not matter as long as you learn from it. Feed lessons learned back into your goal-setting program.
Remember too that your goals will change as you mature. Adjust them regularly to reflect this growth in your personality. If goals do not hold any attraction any longer, then let them go. Goal setting is your servant, not your master. It should bring you real pleasure, satisfaction and a sense of achievement.
Goal setting is an important method of:
When you achieve goals, allow yourself to enjoy this achievement of goals and reward yourself appropriately. Draw lessons where appropriate, and feed these back into future performance.