I see a lot of questions coming in which clearly show a lack of goal setting and mainly focused on short term thinking .
Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn this vision of the future into reality.
I am dealing with this as a priority issue, where readers can use the document to enhance overall performance. The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You'll also quickly spot the distractions that would otherwise lure you away from your course.
More than this, properly-set goals can be incredibly motivating, and as you get into the habit of setting and achieving goals, you'll find that your self-confidence builds fast.
Achieving more with focus
Goal setting techniques are used by top-level athletes, successful business-people and achievers in all fields. They give you long-term vision and short-term motivation. They focus your acquisition of knowledge and help you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the most of your life.
By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals. You can see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind. By setting goals, you will also raise your self-confidence, as you recognize your ability and competence in achieving the goals that you have set.
Starting to set personal goals
Goals are set on a number of different levels: First you create your "big picture" of what you want to do with your life, and decide what large-scale goals you want to achieve. Second, you break these down into the smaller and smaller targets that you must hit so that you reach your lifetime goals. Finally, when you have your plan, you start working to achieve it.
We start this process with your Lifetime Goals, and work down to the things you can do today to start moving towards them.
Your Lifetime Goals
The first step in setting personal goals is to consider what you want to achieve in your lifetime (or by at least, say, 10 years in the future) 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 of these categories (or in categories of your own, where these are important to you). You can use the mind map on the right as a guide.
Spend some time brainstorming, and then select one goal in each category that best reflects what you want to do. Then consider trimming again so that you have a small number of really significant goals on which you can focus.
As you do this, make sure that the goals you have set are ones that you genuinely want to achieve, not ones that your parents, family, or employers might want (if you have a partner, you probably want to consider what he or she wants, however make sure you also remain true to yourself!)
Starting to achieve your Lifetime Goals
Once you have set your lifetime goals, set a 5 year plan, 1 year plan, 6 month plan, and 1 month plan of progressively smaller goals that you should reach to achieve your lifetime goals. Each of these should be based on the previous plan.
Then create a daily to-do list of things that you should do today to work towards your lifetime goals.
At an early stage these goals may be to read books and gather information on the achievement of your goals. This will help you to improve the quality and realism of your goal setting.
Finally review your plans, and make sure that they fit the way in which you want to live your life.
Staying on course
When you have decided on your first set of plans, keep the process going by reviewing and updating your to-do list on a daily basis. Periodically review the long term plans, and modify them to reflect your changing priorities and experience.
Goal setting tips
The following broad guidelines will help you to set effective goals:
Goal should be positive statements
Precision is important
Break it down into key priorities
Write them down
Keep day to day goals small
They should be performance oriented
Need to be realistic.
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 travel 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!
Gain a deeper understanding of SMART goal setting in our next article.
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. All of this helps you build the self-confidence you deserve.
Remember too that your goals will change as time goes on. Adjust them regularly to reflect growth in your knowledge and experience, and if goals do not hold any attraction any longer, then let them go.
Goal setting is an important method of:
Deciding what is important for you to achieve in your life.
Separating what is important from what is irrelevant, or a distraction.
Building your self-confidence, based on successful achievement of goals.
If you don't already set goals, do so, starting now. As you make this technique part of your life, you'll find your career accelerating, and you'll wonder how you did without it!
Use The Template below to set your goals.
Adapted from Buzan Mind Maps So go on, Find Direction. Live Your Life Your Way.