Do you have a goal in your life? And, have you ever set your goal properly to achieve it?
Well here is a saying:
To achieve your goal physically you need to first achieve it mentally. To achieve it mentally you need to set your goal properly.
Although, it is not necessary to set goal for the short term goal of one week or one month. But for longterm goal of 3 month , 6 month, 1 year and so on, you need to set your goal.
You may say, “Why should I set my goal?” Well, here are two major importance of setting goal which will make you aware about setting goal.
i. Helps to create single focus:
A goal helps to invest all your energy and effort in a specific area in more organized way. And focusing on single task helps to bring achievement easily and helps to gain depth skill in a specific area.
“In life as in football you won’t go far unless you know where the goal posts are” -Arnold H Glasgow
ii. Helps to accomplish the thing which seems impossible:
Many great athletes and successful person are able to achieve successes and break records by setting goals. Many successful organization and companies spends large amount of time and money to set goals. That’s why they are able to break previous record and get more successful.
To set goals you should follow these criteria i.e. SMART
Your goal should be specific. Your goal shouldn’t be like getting good marks, earning more money, doing better etc. But it should be something like achieving 80% in exam, earning Rs 5000 per month and so on.
For example if your goal is to achieve 80% in exam then try to be specific in marks to be achieved in each subject.
Furthermore you should be specific in your daily activity like studying XX hours daily, Studying XX subjects for XX hours, doing revision and so on.
You should also be specific in types of skill and habit needed to achieve your goal. To be specific you can use these following questions:
- How many hours do you need to invest daily in order to achieve your desire goal?
- Which area needs your major focus?
- What kind of habits and skills are needed to achieve the goal?
The more specific you will become the more better it will be. Thus, be more specific as far as you can.
Is your goal measurable? Can you track whether you are moving towards your goal or not? By making measurable goal it will be easier for you to see if you are progressing as planned or not.
By being specific it won’t be very hard to measure the progress of your goal. For example, to achieve your goal if you have set certain tasks to do daily or weekly, then you can track whether you have completed it or not.
To track your tasks more efficiently all you need to do is journalize your daily activities related to goal. For this, create a to do list of tasks for next day, upcoming week or upcoming month. And at the end of each week or month, try to compare how much you have accomplished or not. If you get failed to achieve tasks of to do list then brainstorm why you failed to achieve that tasks and try to prevent such mistakes in upcoming days.
In this way, if your goal is measurable then you can track your progress and improve yourself.
3. (A)Action oriented:
A goal should be action oriented. Only setting goal is not enough you should work according to plan in order to achieve your goal. You should be able to accomplish the tasks of to do lists in order to achieve your goal.
Your goal should be realistic to achieve. For example, if you had got 40% in previous exam. Then, it is unrealistic to achieve 80% in next exam which is just three months ahead. People say “Nothing is impossible.” Yes, it is true. But if you set too much difficult goal which may cause you to doubt in yourself to achieve it, then you won’t feel motivated and action oriented to achieve your goal. So, your goal should be realistic but it also should be challenging enough to make you get out of your comfort zone. Study also suggests, that specific and ambitious goal leads to higher performance than easy or general goal. Challenging goal gives you opportunity to grow and learn something new.
Next thing is don’t overestimate yourself. Many people while trying to set their goal, sets unrealistic action steps. They ignore to set time for other activities like rest, recreation, social life and relation. Then within few days of practice of such unrealistic action steps, they get frustrated and hopeless. So, what should you do is try to balance things like rest, recreation etc and set realistic action steps. For example, if you don’t have a habit of studying, then in the beginning make a target to study only for 30 minutes or less than 30 minutes. After few days of practice, try to add next 30 minutes or less than 30 minutes to it, in order to increase your study session. Continue doing like this until you meet your desired study session. In this way, try to gradually intensify your action steps.
So, set realistic but challenging goal.
5. (T)Time bound:
“A goal is a dream with deadline.”
There should be time limitation in your goal. If you don’t set deadline while trying to achieve goal then you will be unable to achieve your goal, according to your efficiency and capacity. Because there will be no urgency to complete it. For example, if you set time bound of 2 hours to complete your homework of 10 pages and even if you don’t complete your homework in that time but you will be able to utilize each seconds of that 2 hours properly and efficiently.
Next thing you have to do is try to break down your goal in small and manageable goal of one week or one month or both. Set certain small targets for each small goal and give your major focus to achieve such small goals. But don’t forget about your big goal and don’t forget to set time bound also for big goal. After achieving the target of each small goal give yourself a treat. This will not only help you to get motivated but also makes your goal achievable.
These above mentioned things are the five major things that you should fulfill while setting and achieving your goal.
There are also other important things which you should bear in mind and they are given below:
i. Think positively:
If you want to achieve something then always think positively. Because the more you think negatively the more negative result will occur. Even while saying don’t say, “I won’t be fail.” but say “I will be passed.”
Remember everything around us is made up of energy. So, to attract positive thing in your life, start by giving off positive energy and positive thoughts.
ii. Revise and improve your goal:
While walking in a journey it is necessary to look below in your path to avoid tripping, but it is also necessary to frequently look ahead of path and periodically over the map to make sure whether you are moving in right direction or not. In this way, to make sure whether you are progressing towards your goal or not you should review your action steps, smaller goals and plans.
Generally, try to review your goal after each month. While reviewing, try to find out whether you are progressing as planned or not. If not, then find out what is holding you back. After finding that problem, try to improve or solve it. Try to find out which action step is helping you and which is not. If an action step is not helping you to achieve your goal, then don’t get afraid to remove it. Whereas, if an action step is helping you more, then try to give more focus to it.
Sometimes you may achieve your target earlier than your expectation. For example, imagine that you have aimed to run 3 km in 5 minutes within 3 weeks. But you achieved it within 2 weeks, then in such case reward yourself for your achievement and again try to achieve more advance target like to run 5 km in 6 minutes within 3 weeks.
In this way, review and improve your goal to make it more effective and better.
iii. Motivate yourself:
Although, this topic may sound less important to you but it is also equally important as other. Because only motivation can keep you going, make you able to face obstacle and do hard work.
Below I have mentioned some way to get motivated:
- Write down your goal in a first page of the note book in which you journalize your daily activities and create to do list. After writing your goal, write down why you want to achieve it and what kind of change will occur in your life after the achievement of that goal. Don’t forget to write, what kind of effort will you need to spend in order to achieve your goal and how hard are you going to work? After writing try to review whatever you have written in that note-book as much as you can, on daily basis.
- If you share the progression of your goal with positive people and if they give you positive comment and encouragement then you will be so much motivated. So try to share about your goal to positive people.
- You can also use your environment to help you get motivated and reminded to achieve your goal. To do so, write down your goal on a piece of paper and paste it on the place of your house where you and other people can see it frequently. Sharing of your goal to the person who cares you or to the positive people, will help you to be accountable, responsible and motivated to achieve your goal. Because by doing so you start to get unseen pressure like, “If I don’t achieve my goal, what will other people say about it, what will happen to my respect…..?”
- At least once a day, especially in the morning, imagine about your goal. For example, if you have made goal to be doctor then imagine you have already become doctor, you are already treating patients, imagine how you struggled and worked hard to become doctor, imagine how everything changed in your life after achieving that goal. Like this, try to imagine the condition of your life after being doctor or anything else which you have set to achieve. Remember the more clearly you imagine the more motivation and inner desire you will get to achieve your goal.
Using these tips start to set your goal right now.
Remember, “It is better to learn and apply 1 thing, than learning 100 different things and doing nothing.”