Set better goals by remembering the main elements of goals. Get a clear path before you set out to attain them.
1) Set Goals That Matter
Setting goals that result in you being a better person, being better able to handle a task, or just improving your life, are wholesome goals to have, but when you are interested in becoming better in some way, make sure that it matters to you.
There are many different areas to try to be an expert in, so don’t waste your time trying to be something you are not. For you to truly achieve something meaningful, the outcome has to be important to you. It has to somehow lead to a better way of living, even if it’s only a tiny bit.
Without having a goal that matters, you will lack the important reasoning that goes behind the goal. You will lack the necessary motivation, values, and passion to be better in that area.
Sometimes you have a goal that you can see would lead to a better way of living, but it is hard to see how it matters to you. In this case, you need to be able to think your way through it. Find how achieving that particular thing could improve your lifestyle in some way.
Connecting yourself to the goal as much as possible before setting out will help you that much more when you get out on the road.
2) The Time Frame
When you set a goal, you need to have a distinct time frame to achieve the goal within. It has to be just perfect. How perfect it is depends upon the goal itself. If you want to pay off all of your loans, you may need to get yourself years to get there. However, if it is trying to lose weight, you may give yourself a few months.
However, in all cases though there needs to be a time frame. Why? If you don’t set yourself a time limit there will not be any deadlines. There’s nothing to stop you from procrastinating at any chance you get.
Here are some questions to ask when looking at deadlines:
- How much time to I have to give the goal each day? If you can’t devote that much time to it, don’t expect to achieve within a short amount of time.
- Why do I need the goal? If the rewards of getting that goal are needed right away, you may need to set your deadline closer.
- Is the goal narrow or broad? If the goal is fairly narrow, it is possible to achieve within a short amount of time. The more broad the goal is, though, the more time it will take to make your way through the path.
Asking the right questions will ensure you that the deadline you give yourself is just about right.
3) Goal Specificity
The more direct your goal, the better you’ll be able to handle it. Just saying “I want to lose weight” is not enough. Saying “I want to lose 30 pounds in four months” is measurable. You can keep track of how you are doing. Also, you can find out just how much you need to lose each week in order to achieve it.
A specific goal brings with it a possible plan. You can make objectives you must reach along the way. The path is practically laid out for you, you just have to do it.
Without that path, you are likely to wander around for awhile, wasting time that could have been spent on the goal.
Set goals that make sense. Set one’s that are attainable.
Sure we all want to have the passion to aspire to great things, but to be great you first have to be good. You can’t just skip a step. So before you set out to play in the NBA first make sure you make the high school varsity squad.
If you are only looking at the top of the mountain while you are walking, you won’t notice the pitfall along the way.
There are common areas where people fail in making realistic goals.
- Making money. Everyone wants to get on the fast track to big bucks, but the more realistic goal would take years to accomplish.
- Health. The body is a complex thing. Give yourself enough time to understand your own body before you set out to be the best athlete in any sport.
- Knowledge. You just can’t learn everything in a short amount of time. You have to be willing to work at it a little each day.
Make realistic goals. Achieving them will give you the motivation to achieve even better ones.
5) Challenging Goals
Make the goal something worth achieving. Make it so that in order for you to get it, you must change a certain behavior or change a way of thinking that will stay with you forever.
Achieving a truly challenging goal is a feeling that is unmatched by most other endeavors. You leave the experience a better overall person. Not only did the goal test your mind, but it tested your body, your spirit, your soul.
My final goal in my time on the track and field team in college was to get All-American at my level, NCAA Division II. I was able to achieve that goal after 5 years of competing. I have no regrets during my time on the team, and I feel as though all of the work has forged me into the kind of person that is able to take on even greater challenges with a smile on my face.
Look for those kinds of goals. Strive for them with every fiber of your being.
When you achieve them you will come to know the feeling, and be addicted to it.