Did you know that you can live the life you want by setting goals and achieving them? Well, of course, the practical process is not as easy as it sounds on paper. BUT! You can do this once you put your mind to something you will definitely be able to set goals and achieve them.
Many times we are constantly frustrated by the lack of progress in our lives. If you are going through this you should know that you are not alone. Many of us have gone through the frustrations or are currently going through them. These could be great ambitions for your career, personal life or even relationships. This sounds unfair to constantly fail to make your dreams a reality.
You may not have realised the methodology behind effective goal-setting. Or perhaps you are just missing one or two things. In this article, we will go through the whole process of effective goal setting and achievement. The sooner you get the hang of it, the sooner you will discover its transformative power.
What are goals?
According to early pioneers in goal-setting theory, a goal is a future idea or desired result where a person or a group of individuals imagine, plan and commit to achieve. Goals are the decisions we make and the commitments we make in order to achieve our objectives, break bad habits, acquire good ones, or achieve greater success in various aspects of life.
They help us focus in life by assisting us in determining what we desire. Goals keep us motivated and moving forward, keeping us in a perpetual state of action. When correctly planned and pursued, goals can assist us in making the most of the one and only life we have.
Goals can be applied to various aspects of our lives, and they can also be time-based. Personal development objectives, job goals, educational goals, health goals, family and relationship goals, spiritual goals, social goals, and so on are examples of life-based goals.
They can also be set depending on time and duration, such as lifetime goals, long-term goals, short-term goals, and even stepping stone goals (milestones), which are little unit goals that we accomplish in order to attain our short-, long-, and lifetime goals. However, goals should always be SMART! SMART is an acronym for:
The clarity of goals is very important for you to be able to grasp and understand the steps needed to achieve a goal. This is why goals need to be specific i.e. clear and not vague.
Example: “I want to earn a Chief Executive Officer position for a tech startup company.”
This is all about the proof showing whether or not you are making progress towards your goal. It is important to set milestones to which you will always refer back. These will help you to re-evaluate and course-correct as needed. Do not forget to reward yourself in small but meaningful ways when you achieve a milestone.
Example: “I will apply to five open positions for the Chief Executive Officer position at a tech startup company.”
It is very important to always make sure the goals you set can be accomplished within a certain time frame. Referring back to the example above, you cannot set a goal to be a Chief Executive Officer if you do not know the experience and qualifications needed.
Before you start working toward a goal, consider whether it’s something you can accomplish right now or if you need to take further measures to get ready.
Example: “I will update my resume with relevant qualifications, so I can apply to five open positions for the Chief Executive Officer of a tech startup company.”
It is important to set goals that align with your values and long-term goals. If it doesn’t add value to your long-term goals or life goals you might have to stop pursuing it. You need to ask yourself tough questions like:
- Why is this goal important to me?
- What value does it add to my lifetime goals?
- How does achieving the goal help me?
Example: “To achieve my goal of being in leadership, I will update my resume with relevant qualifications so I can apply to five open positions for the Chief Executive Officer of a tech startup company.”
Every goal should have a timeframe. This can help you prioritise and it also provides motivation to achieving the goal. The timeframe should be realistic taking into consideration any obstacles you might encounter along the way.
Example: “To achieve my goal of being in leadership, I will update my resume with relevant qualifications so I can apply to five open positions for the Chief Executive Officer of a tech startup company this week.”
What are goals examples?
By now you do have the hang of what goals are with the typical example given above. Given that our lives are directed towards achieving some life goals we are going to give several examples below on SMART goals. These can be applied by anyone to improve their life.
Example 1: “To stay healthy, I will walk 30 minutes everyday for 5 days every week.”
Exercise for a suggested 150 minutes per week can lower your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and other diseases.
On Mondays through Fridays, go for a 30-minute brisk walk to meet this target. You may even split it down into 15-minute increments in the morning and evening.
Example 2: “To ensure I am an active listener, I will consistently ask for feedback from my friends.”
As individuals it is common that we are swift to talk but slow to listen. However, consistently asking for feedback from friends, colleagues and family can help us improve our listening skills. When asking for feedback you can say:
- Is my response sufficient to meet your concerns?
- Is there anything else that I can do to assist you?
Example 3: “To increase visibility, I will prepare thoughtful and meaningful contributions for all the meetings I attend.”
Are you one of those people who blends in with the crowd and barely speaks during meetings? Setting a personal goal to boost your visibility is something to think about. Plan ahead before each meeting to consider the agenda and prepare to make thoughtful and meaningful contributions.
Example 4: “To improve my public speaking skills, I will do thorough research and rehearse before every presentation.”
You can develop effective PowerPoint presentations and deliver great speeches with careful study, appropriate preparation, and rehearsals. Make it a mission to properly research your topics and to rehearse before each presentation. This is an excellent example of SMART objectives because it will benefit you both personally and professionally.
Example 5: “To improve my emotional intelligence, I will pay more attention to others emotions and motivations behind every action they take.”
You can make it a goal to become less reactive to problems and more interested in understanding the underlying emotions and motivations behind people’ actions. Learn to communicate with others on their own terms.
Example 6: “To improve my networking skills, I will attend 2 networking events every quarter to connect with people.”
Personal and professional development require networking. Make it a personal goal to go to three networking events per quarter to reconnect with old colleagues and meet new ones.
Example 7: “To manage my time effectively, I will create to-do lists or use scheduling apps to ensure all the tasks due are completed.”
Concentrate more on completing daily duties. Reduce distractions and boost productivity by 40% in the following three months, for example. To stay on track, try making to-do lists or using scheduling applications on your phone.
Example 8: “To add more hours in my day I will wake up early everyday at 5 am in the morning.”
Do you feel like you’re always running out of time? Set an alarm for 5:00 a.m. every day, and you’ll have at least an hour to accomplish the things you enjoy before the day’s job begins.
Example 9: “To consistently upskill I will ensure I learn a new thing every week.”
There is no limit to how much you can learn. Make it a personal aim to learn something new every week to broaden your knowledge and skills.
Example 10: “To improve my vocabulary I will read a new book every two weeks.”
Listen to a podcast, read a book, or acquire some new vocabulary terms for that new vocabulary you want.
Example 11: “To overcome my social media addiction I will limit the time spent on social media to 1 hour per day.”
You must learn to manage or overcome your social media addiction if you want to boost your productivity. Depending on how strong your resolve is, this can be accomplished in a matter of days, weeks, or months. This can also help to increase your self-esteem by eliminating social comparisons.
If you have an iPhone you can utilise the Screen Time feature on your Settings and set time limits for the various applications you use.
Example 12: “To keep track of my life key events I will keep a journal that I update whenever something new happens.”
Keeping a journal to document important events in your life will assist you in keeping track of your progress. When you are experiencing a difficult scenario, such journals can help you regain motivation. It may also assist you in working through difficult situations and staying grounded, making it one of the greatest personal objectives to begin with.
Example 13: “To be debt free I will work overtime to clear my debts in the next 6 months.”
Debt can cause a great deal of stress in your life. Set a goal for yourself to pay off all of your debts in six months. This can be accomplished by knowing how to get out of debt quickly: How to make money work for you as a millennial!
Begin working on this right away, and you’ll be astonished at how rapidly your debt will be reduced.
Example 14: “To increae spirituality, I will dedicate 30 minutes everyday to meditate.”
To different people, spirituality means different things. Whatever it means to you, you can make it a goal to be more dedicated to it and spend more time enriching it. This might be one of those SMART goal examples that also helps with your mental health.
This may or may not imply attending church. Some people feel that gardening, strolling in nature, or meditating are the best ways for them to connect with their spirituality. Find and follow what helps you connect with a deeper sense of significance.
Example 15: “To reconnect with my enemies, I will engage them and look past what happened in the past.”
It is natural in life for someone to irritate you to the point where you block them from your life. This is a common occurrence even on social media.
Make it a personal aim to let go of the past and see the people you have excluded in a new light. They may have turned a new leaf, and you may be shocked to discover that they are once again useful.
Why set goals?
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.Tony Robbins (Philanthropist and Author)
According to Brian Tracy, there are six reasons why you should set goals:
1. Goals help you stay focused.
Your efforts will become disconnected and even unclear if you don’t have a goal. A goal, for example, takes a hummingbird’s chaotic and unpredictable flying and concentrates it, much like a hawk swooping down for its prey.
It allows you to focus with laser accuracy on each day’s responsibilities, eliminating unnecessary effort and movement.
2. Goals allow you to track your progress.
It is only feasible to track your progress toward accomplishing a goal if you established one in the first place.
Being able to track your progress is highly motivating and will help you stay focused, keep your head up, and keep your energy levels high. It will also prevent you from being depressed.
It’s easy to become disheartened when striving toward success since you don’t believe you have “arrived” yet.
When you track your progress toward a certain goal, you will notice that, while you may not be where you want to be, you’ve made strides in the correct way and are well ahead of where you started.
3. Setting goals can help you stay motivated.
When there is no goal on the line, it is simple to put off work until tomorrow.
Consider the life of an athlete, for example. If they need to be in shape for something like an NFL combine, you can bet they will be working out every day, whether they feel good or not, whether they’re sore or not, whether they are fatigued or not, whether they want to or not, because they have a goal in mind.
They know where they are going.
When they would rather miss the gym, their desire to attain their goal keeps them there.
Having a goal will keep you motivated in the same way!
4. Goals can assist you in overcoming procrastination.
Procrastination is a problem that we all face from time to time, including myself. Setting precise goals for what you want to achieve in life, on the other hand, helps you comprehend that procrastinating is bad.
It is a waste of time. It’s another day when you have not made any progress toward your goal.
Next time you are tempted to put off that next step toward your goal, remember this phrase from Pablo Picasso: “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”
5. You accomplish even more.
It tastes like victory when you set a goal and achieve it. That is something you will want to try again.
What exactly does that imply? You push yourself to the next rung of the ladder, pushing yourself to break through another barrier, and you accomplish even more.
Working toward achieving and surprising goals allows you to accomplish far more than you ever imagined.
6. Goals assist you in determining what you want out of life.
Setting objectives forces you to think about what you really want out of life. Ask yourself tough questions like:
- What is your desired level of achievement?
- How much is your desired level of income?
- What does a life of leisure entail for you?
- Think about your ideal residence?
- What kind of money do you need to attain your goals?
You next break down your ambitions into doable, measurable targets after you’ve set this final aim.
These objectives help you stay motivated, prevent procrastination, and stay laser-focused on attaining your goals. It is thus the act of setting, reaching, and exceeding goals that allows you to live your greatest life.
Additional points on why you should set goals
Clear goals pave the route for you to reach your greatest potential
A caterpillar experiment was once undertaken by French scientist Jean Henri Fabre. Pine Processionary was the species he chose. They got their name from the way they always seem to follow each other.
Fabre created a ring of caterpillars around a flowerpot, then placed pine needles in the center as their preferred food. The caterpillars circled each other for seven days, attempting to reach those pine needles. They eventually perished of starvation, despite the fact that food was only inches away.
Many of us are like the caterpillars in the picture. We conflate activity with action that matters. However, if our actions do not lead us to a definite destination, we are simply going in circles. As a result, if you want to be successful, you must set goals.
You may believe that you are more intelligent than a caterpillar. But have you given much thought to what you want to accomplish? Have you made a list of your objectives? You’re not alone if you haven’t. Only 3% of Americans have clearly defined goals written down. These are the individuals that make their aspirations come true.
Having clearly defined goals can assist you in staying focused on your true objectives. It will also keep you from being resentful in difficult situations or distracted when you need to focus. You acquire direction when you have a clear aim with precise outcomes. Why? Because you know exactly what you need to do to reach your goal. Working for a goal gives you energy, which will drive you to put in the effort.
It takes time to properly create goals. You may believe you don’t have enough days, or even hours, to sit down and consider your life goals. This time investment, however, is well worth it.
Clear goals can help you focus, which will help you be more productive. They can save you up to ten hours every week, which you can spend on other things.
You’ll manage your time more strategically if you have clear goals since you’ll prioritize the tasks you need to take to achieve them. This will make you happier since you will be spending your time constructing a life you actually desire rather than becoming diverted by things that do not lead to your objective.
Setting goals necessitates time and thought
From owning a home to being a great golfer, most of us can think of a long list of things we’d like to have or do in life. However, there is a distinction to be made between a reasonable aim and a whim. If you want to accomplish something specific, you must devote attention to three critical goal-setting procedures.
First, figure out what you want to achieve. Then consider whether you truly want to put up the effort. Finally, think about how you’ll get there.
What is the best way to set goals?
Grab a piece of paper and write “Wild Dreams” on it. Then spend an hour writing down every single dream you’ve ever had. Include details such as who you want to be, what you want to do, and what you want to own.
Don’t be concerned if your dreams appear absurd or even conflicting. For example, the author recommended eating ice cream three times a day and jogging for an hour each day.
Then it’s time for some serious introspection. After a few days, go over your list again and ask yourself why you want to accomplish each thing on it. This can help you distinguish between whims, such as consuming huge amounts of ice cream, and genuine goals, such as achieving a healthy weight.
If you can’t explain why you want to attain a certain goal, cross it off your list.
Your list should be well-balanced. As a result, categorize everything on it. You could categorize them as “career,” “relationships,” “well-being,” or “finances.” You’ll be unhappy if all of your ambitions fall into one category because you’ll have disregarded other aspects of your life.
The third step is to consider the advantages of each aim as well as the resources required to attain it. Are you able to use those resources right now? If not, you might want to put off working on that particular objective.
Finally, make a list of four goals that you can begin working on right away. These should be the ones that matter the most to you. Why are there four of them? That is, realistically, the maximum amount of goals someone can juggle. This isn’t to say you won’t pursue other goals; it just means you’ll put them on hold until you’ve completed one of your top four.
With all of this, you’re ready to start realizing your aspirations.
How to achieve your goals?
Every day, work toward your goals
The author used to be significantly overweight, to the point where his doctor advised him to shed 37 pounds – a daunting task for someone who loves French chocolate almond ice cream.
The author was writing on a new book at the time, which he estimated would take 10 months to complete. As a result, he made the decision to deal with his excess weight during the same time period. That equated to a monthly weight loss of less than four pounds – not even a pound a week! By breaking down the task in this way, the goal became more manageable.
If you break down your goals into smaller tasks or targets, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed. But that’s only the beginning. You must divide those tasks into daily dosages in order to reach your objectives.
You must hold yourself accountable if you want to complete those everyday responsibilities. Purchase a goal planner and chart out the steps that will bring you to your goal. Spend 10 minutes each night before going to bed noting the acts you took that day. Then come up with six tasks that you can undertake the next day to help you get closer to your goal.
And if you don’t accomplish anything to support a goal on a given day, it’s time to pull out a red pen and write “Nothing” in your planner. You’ll be able to rapidly assess your progress at the conclusion of each week this way.
If you have a trusted partner or friend, tell him or her about your goals and invite him or her to do the same so you can support each other. The greatest way to achieve ambitious goals is to operate as a team.
Take Roger Bannister, for example, who aspired to be the first person to run a mile in under four minutes. He devised a target speed, then measured his stride and determined how fast he needed to be at each quarter-mile portion. Three men he’d hired as pacers assisted him in keeping track of his speed. Bannister was successful thanks to their help and his own resolve.
It’s critical not to listen to whispers in your head that tell you that you can’t attain your goal. Every day, we are exposed to around 90% negative messages. It’s no wonder, then, that 70% of our internal dialogue is negative.
Visualize yourself living your dream to combat negativity. When others try to discourage you, this will keep you devoted and focused.
Drive is what fuels goals
You may make a cup of tea by heating water to 211 degrees Fahrenheit. If you heat it only a few degrees more, steam will form. If you want a hot beverage, steam is useless, but it can accomplish something even more impressive: it can power a train. That final degree is what turns promise into strength.
Many people with lofty ambitions never raise the temperature. They forget to include the last degree, which is critical for success. This is due to a lack of motivation to reach their objectives. Develop a strong drive to succeed if you want to soar above mediocrity.
People who don’t attain their objectives frequently believe it’s because they aren’t good enough. They claim that if they had a stronger voice, they would be famous vocalists. They could also own million-dollar enterprises if they had stronger sales skills.
However, most of these folks don’t make use of the gifts they already have. They never take action instead of maximizing their potential. Why? Because their negativity is preventing them from moving forward. In reality, if they developed their innate talents, they would be able to learn new skills that would help them achieve their objectives.
These folks lack one of the most important ingredients for success: determination. When you’re determined, you’ll find a method to overcome any obstacle that comes in your way of achieving your goal, even if it’s tragic.
When Bernie Lofchick’s son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a physician predicted that the child would never walk or speak. But Lofchick was determined to help his son in whatever way he could.
Lofchick and his wife started an intensive, daily therapy program with their son after receiving guidance from another professional. It took years for little David to begin to show signs of improvement, but they never wavered from their approach. David grew up to be a happy married father and a successful real estate agent as a result of his parents’ unwavering commitment.
You can turn hardship into opportunity if you have the desire to attain your goal no matter what. When you face a roadblock, instead of quitting up, change your mindset from what you can’t do to what you can. You’ll find ways to get closer to your objective if you make it your mission.
Hard work is the only path to success
Many people believe that obtaining a high-priced education is the key to achieving success. You can, however, graduate from the top institution in the country and yet fall short of your objectives. This occurred in the United States during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Despite spending roughly three times as much on education as in prior decades, SAT results have plummeted.
A report from the US Department of Education gave some light on the subject. It was discovered that looking at school fees or class size was not the best approach to predict educational attainment. No, homework was the most accurate predictor. Whatever school they attended, students who did high-quality homework received the highest grades.
It is hard work, not pricey schools, that distinguishes an A student. This means that no matter what type of education we have, we can all attain our goals. To assist members of the new generation in attaining their goals, we must begin by assisting them in developing a strong work ethic at a young age. It not only helps people achieve their goals, but it also benefits the country.
It’s plausible, for example, that one of the reasons the United States has an import deficit is that Americans are outworked by their Japanese counterparts. Tokyo and Osaka residents aren’t necessarily smarter than New Yorkers or San Franciscans, but they certainly know how to work harder. And it’s something they picked up at a yo-yo.
A Japanese high school student has spent more hours in the classroom than an American college graduate by the time she graduates. On top of that, she studies for three hours outside of school each day.
The average American child, on the other hand, spends only half an hour every day on homework. She will be at a disadvantage later in life as a result of this.
Japanese students are also more focused than their American counterparts. Japanese teenagers can tell you exactly what they plan to do in ten years and how they plan to achieve their objectives. Teenagers in the United States are more likely to keep you up to date on the newest entertainment or sporting news. This, however, is not their fault. Adults must demonstrate to our young people that hard effort is the only way to succeed if we want them to live their best lives.
You should encourage a teenager to take pride in her work, even if she is merely waiting tables at a neighborhood steakhouse. How can a future employer trust her with a more difficult task if she can’t even do a simple job well? You can ensure that the young people in your life reach their greatest potential by showing them that hard work opens doors to opportunity.
To reach your goals, you must play the long game
One of America’s most prolific inventors was Thomas Edison. Despite his brilliance, though, success did not come easily. Edison conducted 10,000 fruitless tests before inventing the light bulb. However, he did not consider these experiments to be failures. He saw them as having discovered 10,000 different ways incandescent light didn’t function.
There is no such thing as instant fame. Achieving difficult goals takes time and dedication. What appears to be a sudden breakthrough is usually always the result of behind-the-scenes effort and hard work.
When it comes to reaching goals, former US president Calvin Coolidge believes that perseverance is more important than talent. In fact, most people underestimate how unglamorous success may be. The highest-paid vice presidents in a study of firm vice presidents earning more than $200,000 a year had stayed in the same job for more than 15 years. Over 80% of the respondents were still married to their original husbands, and they all credited their success to their hard work.
People with lofty ambitions frequently overlook the fact that success requires hard work. They believe that if their supervisor simply gave them that increase, they would work harder and achieve their next professional goal. But that isn’t how it works in the real world. You must put in the effort before reaping the benefits, just like a farmer must tend to his crops before harvesting.
And, if you think about the accomplishments you cherish the most, you’ll probably agree that they’re the ones that required the greatest effort – perhaps a promotion you worked hard for or an A in a subject you struggled with.
When the odds are stacked against you, discipline is what keeps you going. That’s why it’s critical to hold oneself accountable — remember the goal planner from prior blinks?
You may need to pursue thousands of potential answers before making a breakthrough, much as Edison. Every attempt will provide you with new information and insights.
Another thing you can learn from Edison is to never give up too easily. We frequently fail to achieve our objectives because we give up trying. However, you will never be successful unless you give it your all every day.
Persistence, in combination with hard effort and determination, will lead to the success you desire.
It is never too late to effectively set goals and achieve them. Give this methodology a try and unlock your full potential. You are guaranteed a more positive outlook. more motivation and you will start living the life you want. You won’t have a clear route to reaching your goals unless you put forth the time to thoroughly choose and plan them.
Even if you have a clear roadmap, you won’t be able to make progress until you put in the effort each day, track your progress, and keep yourself accountable. You can conquer any hurdle, achieve your goals, and live a full and meaningful life if you combine that commitment with an unrelenting will to succeed.
Getting things done takes time, effort, and dedication. That’s why, before you start working toward them, it’s a good idea to think about where you’re attempting to go. But what if you’re not sure what you want to accomplish in life? If you find yourself in this situation, set yourself the goal of producing a book. It may be called How to Live Your Best Life or something similar. Use the process of writing to delve deeper into what matters to you and what you consider meaningful. Instead of writing with the goal of selling a book, write to find and express what important to you.