“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
How important is it to set goals and why should you do it?
You may have probably heard thousands of times that it helps to have clear goals and take steps towards achieving those goals; but have you stopped to really consider this?
Setting goals helps you become the best version or vision of yourself, it is a plan that helps you work towards living your life the way you choose and want with clarity, persistence, purpose and focus.
It is not a scary or complicated process as so many people think. The process of goal setting involves you thinking about how you want your ideal life to look like. Once you know this, it will support you in taking short-term and daily steps or actions that would get you closer to your larger life goals. Setting goals does not apply only to your career or business, but also to your finances, personal development, health and relationships.
Knowing exactly what you want makes it a lot easier to focus on the things that are important to you and easier to spot those that are a distraction and irrelevant.
“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.”
– Zig Ziglar
In all fields, high achievers are known to set goals which serve as a motivating factor in the actions they take in their daily lives. When you set goals, it is easier to allocate your time and resources more appropriately, and identify the key competencies, skills or knowledge gaps that you need to work on in order to achieve your goals much quicker.
Setting and achieving goals
There are two types of goals that you can set: long and short term goals.
Long term goals are the “big picture” goals that give you the overall outlook that will determine your daily actions. They can be things you want to achieve in your life, in the next two, five, ten years or more. You can always review and amend your goals to reflect changing circumstances.
Short term goals are the smaller goals that you need to complete to enable you to reach your long term bigger picture goals.
Your big goals, regardless of how big or difficult they may seem, are just a sequence of smaller actions taken every day. Attempting to accomplish a big or long-term goal in an unrealistic time frame will make it unmanageable, unachievable and could affect your self-esteem. Keep always in mind that breaking your goals into smaller manageable tasks that you can complete daily will make your goals much easier to achieve.
“Know what you want. Clarity is power. And vague goals promote vague results.”
You may be familiar or have heard about SMART goals. It is important to set SMART goals for yourself because it makes them more powerful and real.
So, what does SMART stands for?
S for Specific (Significant) – specific goals have clearly identified objectives because if your goals are not well defined, it will be difficult to know when you have achieved them.
M for Measurable (Meaningful) – your goals should have criteria that can be used to quantify or measure them against. This helps track your progress and keeps you focused and determined.
A for Attainable (Action Oriented) – when setting your goals, you need to think about the tasks that you can achieve in a specific time frame.
R for Relevant (Rewarding) – it is important to have goals that are exciting, worthwhile and consistent with your other goals and values.
T for Timely (Trackable) – set a clear deadline when you need to accomplish your goal, allocating deadlines to your goals and tasks keeps you organised, focused and makes your goals real.
Having SMART goals also helps you identify any gaps in your skills or knowledge that may prevent you from achieving them. Once the gaps are identified, you can then take the actions you need to bridge them.
Has the lack of motivation stopped you from reaching your goals before? Giving yourself a reward after completing part of your goals or the tasks that you are performing to reach them, is a very good idea and helps you keep inspired and form a habit of completing your goals. A reward does not have to be a big thing, it could be allowing yourself some time to do something fun and relaxing or buying yourself a small item you want.
Whatever you do, remember that if you want to achieve the life you want, you need to spend some time thinking of what you really want and setting achievable tasks and goals.
We struggled with ways to organise ourselves, that is why we created the Inspire Now Journal. It is a productivity journal that you can take with you wherever you are and be your daily companion, supporting you to get organised and keep track of what is important to you.