People with goals succeed because they know where they are going. It’s as simple as that.Earl Nightingale
Does this sound familiar?
- You feel like you’re not living to your full potential
- You believe that life could be better, but you’re not sure how
- You haven’t found anything important enough to apply all of your efforts
- You struggle to put enough effort into what you are passionate about
- You haven’t made significant progress in any one direction
The solution to these common problems is goal setting. Goal setting allows you to take control of your life by focusing on clear targets and developing activities to guide your actions. Goal setting helps you improve your outlook by taking your life from where it is now to where you believe it should be. And while the future may be full of possibilities, knowing where to start on the path from your current life to the one you envision for yourself can be challenging; this is where goal setting is the most useful. Setting a goal gives you something specific to work towards, which can also help you stay motivated and on track.
Think of a goal as a debt you owe yourself. Envision the opportunities available and how you can make your future positive and bright. You cannot control the past, but you can have a lot of input into the future you desire.
Tips for setting achievable goals
Start with the end in mind
Begin by making each goal a positive statement. What will your life look like after you have achieved your goal? For example, “I will fit into that little black dress.” This statement is better than saying, “My goal is to lose 30 pounds,” because it allows you to envision your life after you achieve your goal.
Set high but achievable goals
While you don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself to achieve something nearly impossible, you want your dreams to be significant enough to give you the determination to reach them and a sense of accomplishment.
Self-evaluation is a crucial part of any journey toward success. Frequently evaluating your goals, plans, and progress will keep you focused, help you learn from the process, and allow you to make minor adjustments as needed.
Stay on track
When it comes to goal setting, staying on track can be difficult. This is why finding an accountability partner to help you review your goals and stay motivated is crucial.
What if you can’t seem to achieve your goals?
Despite your best efforts, you may not achieve your goal. It is important to keep in mind some of the common reasons why a goal may fail. Sincerely ask yourself these questions to determine the root cause of the failure:
Is my goal realistic?
Setting a goal that relies too heavily on finances, physical capabilities, or time you do not have will make your goal unattainable, especially in the short term. For example, there is a slim chance that someone who does not regularly exercise could become a ballerina within the next six months.
Is my goal well-defined?
Goals that do not meet the SMART criteria (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) are missing essential elements of successful goals. Ensure that you define specific, relevant goals that you know you can achieve within a certain time frame.
Am I forcing myself to achieve someone else’s goal for me?
If someone else has pushed you to set this goal, consider whether or not it is something that you want or need, and can therefore achieve.
Am I afraid of the impact that this goal will have on my life?
It’s normal to feel apprehensive when facing a big goal because it often requires significant changes in your life. Don’t let your fear hold you back! If you genuinely want something, push through and go for it.
Am I working on too many goals at a time?
As with the first point, be realistic about what you can achieve. You can’t change your entire life overnight, so you must settle on one ‘big’ goal with many ‘small’, supportive plans leading up to it.
Remember, success is a journey, not a destination. Start setting goals and make 2023 a year of change!