The Issues Of Life

Go Beyond Goals, Do Empowering Goals Part 1

Goal setting is a process of intentionally laying out the want or need for a new skill or project in a step-by-step manner. Once the goal is clearly identified, a plan of action is created to accomplish it.

Goal setting requires a thoughtful plan and a set of steps to be successful. It requires hard work and dedication. It is essentially deciding to take control of your life by identifying where you want to go and working towards it.

1. Why Having Life Goals Are Important

Having life goals to some may sound like a waste of time, but overall, it is a critical practice to adopt. Any expert will suggest it to help you assure your success. Whether you like where you are now or you are having trouble in your life, set out some life goals that are important to you so that you can work toward them.

This method works because, beyond the goal itself, the experience of working towards the goal provides so much more joy and excitement and fabric to your life. Without goals, you essentially have nothing to look forward to and it’s easy to fall into despair. But when you know where you’re going and how you’ll get there, life becomes fun, exciting, and worth living. In essence, setting life goals is setting your plan or road map to life and how you plan to ride it.

Without goals, you essentially have nothing to look forward to and it’s easy to fall into despair.

A Sense of Purpose

Goal setting provides a sense of purpose. It redirects your focus to completing something – whether it be daily, monthly, or yearly. It motivates you to continue your daily life. Each goal you set is another day to look forward to. For example, if you know that walking 30 minutes a day leads to better health, and you check off each day over a year, it helps you understand why you’re doing it.

Each goal you set is another day to look forward to.

 

 

Essential to True Happiness

When you set life goals, you are essentially making a life plan: a life plan to true happiness. Any goal you set, no matter what steps it has, the end goal is happiness because you know once you accomplish that goal, you will be happier in the end. Every goal you set allows you to get more of what you want out of life.

 

Focus and Motivation

Setting goals provides a sense of focus and motivation to an everyday life that generally may be convoluted. With each goal that is set, there is also a clear end in sight, which motivates you to continue and accomplish each goal.

The desire to achieve the goal and seeing the finishing line provides the determination and drive to get it done. Without goals, your time could likely be wasted on pointless tasks that lead nowhere. You may be busy, but you won’t be productive without goal setting.

Sense of Pride

Nothing feels better than working hard and accomplishing a set of goals. Achieving your goals will fill you with a sense of pride in yourself and what you can do. It is also another way to track your accomplishments. You can check off each milestone as they are completed because they are all written down. As these goals are accomplished and then visually represented by the marks on your calendar or the weight you’ve lost or the degree you’ve earned, your confidence will rise as well.

2. Why Some People Achieve Goals, and Some Don’t

The practice of setting life goals has a process that is important to follow, which includes goal setting, action scheduling, and implementing. Of course, there is also testing and tracking periodically to ensure your ideas are working, but in general, goal setting includes more than just writing down some dreams.

Writing down a goal does not mean you will accomplish it. It only means that it is what you want out of life. But to achieve the goal, you must do the work required to achieve it.

For example, if you wrote down a goal to write a 100K-word novel within the next year, you’ll have to realistically plot how much time you need to accomplish your goal in the time you have set – ending up with a daily task list that will ensure the job gets done if you do the tasks.

There are plenty of reasons why some people achieve goals and some don’t.  Understanding these reasons is essential so that you can be sure to be one of the people who do achieve theirs through SMART goal setting (more on SMART later). 

Fear of Failure and Rejection

For most people, the fear of failure and rejection alone will prevent them from trying. Don’t let this happen to you. Research shows that failure and rejection is the best way to learn something new. As Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. Robert F. Kennedy

Not Knowledgeable about How to Set and Achieve Goals

This is probably the second most common reason why people fail to achieve their goals. They don’t know how to set them up correctly in the first place. Goals need to be clear and as specific as possible to work. Most experts suggest that you use a SMART goal setting to help yourself succeed. This means a goal needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely or time-bound. Basically, that just means that you need to know precisely what you want to accomplish, how you’re going to get there, how you’ll know you’ve gotten there, and that it’s possible to do it.

For example, a goal that is as vague as, “Make $10,000 a month” doesn’t tell you anything, nor does it provide a sense of direction.

How do you want to make $10,000 a month?

You may want to make $10K a month, but can you really do that in your current career path or educational path?

When you set out goals, make them very clear and visualize yourself completing them as you go along. If something along the way doesn’t feel right or you feel lost, you need to keep redefining these goals to make them even more clear. You should be able to look at your calendar today and see what you’ve scheduled to do. This will help you know which goal you’re advancing towards if you achieve those small tasks that have been set.

Sense of Unimportance

The difference between someone completing a goal and not achieving a goal is often not what you know, but the confidence you have in your ability to achieve your goal. The person who completed the goal knew he/she had a part to get it done, and because of that, the person did the work to ensure success.

Don’t let doubt and a sense of unimportance prevent you from accomplishing a goal. It only leads to lack of confidence and self-sabotage that you don’t need to feel.

Too Much Too fast

Often, people avoid goals altogether because they become overwhelmed. Sometimes succeeding is scary. Alternatively, you may have bitten off more than you can chew, and due to that, you didn’t set your schedule realistically.

Slow down and realize time is on your side. One of the reasons that we set goals in the first place is to break down a seemingly impossible task into small chunks or steps. By doing this, you can take each day until you finally reach your main goal.

Just because something is hard doesn’t mean you can’t do it either. The harder it is, the better it will feel in the end when it is over. As you accomplish each goal, you will gain new skills and knowledge making it easier to accomplish your next goal.

3. How to Create Empowering Goals

Setting goals is not as easy as thinking of a couple of goals and just moving on. To fully accomplish these goals and truly get the value from them, you need to change your ways and practice it daily. This is not something you should forget about. It needs to be well thought out and planned.

Search within Yourself

Set goals that are right for you and what you truly want out of life. If you are setting goals that are against your values and who you are as a person, you are unlikely to finish them or feel happy while doing it.

Believe it or not, it is easy to get into other people’s goals and think it’s what you want yourself to make them happy. If you find yourself struggling to accomplish something, take a step back to see if it’s genuinely what you want out of life before moving forward.

Write Them Down

This might sound a bit obvious and silly, but when you write something down, you are telling yourself that it is vital to you. Writing it down creates a visualization of the goal in your mind. Once you visualize something, your brain sees it as more attractive. This therefore creates the desire to get it done, especially when the steps have been written down clearly.

Set Daily Goals

Practice daily goal setting by waking up each morning and setting five to ten small goals each day based on your bigger goals. For example, if losing 30 pounds is a goal for you, set actions within the goal, like eating a salad before each meal, so you get full from nutrient-rich food and eat fewer calories.

The goals can change as your life goes on, which is essential. This practice alone will exercise your brain into knowing what you want. As these goals truly change to your interests, they will become more empowering and achievable to you.

Create A Vision Board

A vision board is a collection of pictures, words, and/or stories that help you visualize what you want out of your life. Creating a vision board puts your goals into your imagination in a realistic way that you can truly see happening.

The vision board creates a visible image in your mind that makes you desire that goal more. This vision board prevents you from forgetting about the goal. This is because you will be forced to see it every day when you look at your calendar. Not only that, but you will also have the memory of putting it together. Taking time out of your day to create something puts yet another layer of desire, giving you more motivation.

Believe It Can Happen

If you ask any professional athlete or successful person, the number one advice they’d likely give is to visualize your success. In other words, “fake it until you make it.” This is because the feeling of already achieving what you want out of life gives you the confidence and determination to keep going and therefore accomplish the goal. The more you want something and believe it can happen, the harder you’ll work at achieving it. 

Focus On Your Progress

Create a system that allows you to track your progress. Again, this is another tool to enable you to visualize your goals more. The more you can imagine your future and the success you are working toward now, the more you will want to continue.

4. Be SMART

No discussion about goal setting can leave out the example of George T. Doran, a consultant and former director of corporate planning for the Washington Water Power Company, who published a paper on the idea surrounding the acronym SMART for goal setting.

Creating SMART goals ensures that any one you set has a higher chance of being seen to fruition. Let’s go over quickly what the acronym means. Use this every time you set a goal to ensure that there is a path to success created for you from the process.

Specific

Goals need to be specific

Who, what, when, where, and why do you want to accomplish this goal? The more transparent the intention, the more apparent the plan to achieving the goal. Instead of saying, “I want to start a YouTube channel”, get more specific about what the channel is about and when you want to start publishing.

Measurable

They need a way to be measured

What will you use to determine that this goal has been accomplished to make it more tangible and measure progress?  This might be as simple as yes or no, or a number. For example, if you want to lose weight, you know the number you want to lose. Instead of saying, “I want to lose ten pounds,” you might say, “I want to lose ten pounds in five weeks starting on November 1st. I’ll lose weight by walking 30 minutes a day at the park and eating nutrient-dense food with at least 1500 calories per day.

The idea is to make sure that whatever you are using to measure it will accurately reflect success to provide motivation. From the earlier example, if you only lost five pounds out of the ten, you have now estimated how far you have come along and can see how much longer you must go. 

Achievable/ Attainable and Actionable

It needs to include how and be attainable

What do you need to do to able to do the goal? Do you need to acquire more skills or more time for it to be achievable? Maybe one of your goals is to receive a promotion at work in two years. To accomplish this goal you’ll need to acquire a certificate or skill. In other words, obtain more skills first to be prosperous. Just add that step to your goal to make it happen.

Relevant and Realistic

Your goal can’t be pie in the sky or have nothing to do with your life

Is the goal relevant to what you need right now? If you’re a 42-year-old with severe arthritis, it’s not realistic to say you’re going to climb Mount Everest, but you may be able to do something else smaller. Is the effort worth the value you will receive in the end? To know if you are truly working on the most relevant goals, order them from the most valuable reward to the least. Then you can see which ones you should work towards the most.

Timely and Timebound

Is your goal time-bound?

It must be time-bound because if there is no set time or date of completion, chances are you won’t get it done. Setting a time and date provides an incentive to keep going and provides a way to measure.

The time factor also helps with planning. From the weight-loss example earlier, if you know you want to lose ten pounds in ten weeks, then you can break that down into a more natural, more attainable goal of one pound a week. That alone will make it seem more manageable. Also, it will provide you with more willpower to get it done since the changes in your life will be relatively small. SMART goals are beneficial for most people, no matter if they’re goal setting for life or business. Goal setting that is done this way will produce much better results for you throughout your entire life.

5. Strategic Planning and Prioritizing

Setting goals requires strategic planning and prioritizing. If you just write down a bunch of goals without any real thought or plan of action, it may take a while to accomplish them, or unfortunately, you may not accomplish them at all. It is easy to forget without an actual plan, but a real system is essential to your success. 

Set a Personal Goal

What do you want, and why do you want it? Take time to visualize why you want to accomplish this goal. Is there a real meaning behind it? Is the meaning behind it truly worth your time and energy? Is the why about you or someone else?

To prioritize your time and plan to achieve your goals, you must be honest with yourself. Figure out the why to these goals as well. This is how you will know the next steps for every goal that you set.

Break It Down

Determine the steps necessary to make it happen. Break down this big goal into baby steps or small daily tasks that will ultimately allow you to achieve the big, hairy goal.

For example, if you want to complete a triathlon in a couple of months, what would you need to do? How would you break down your daily schedule to ensure you have the training and skills to succeed at completing the triathlon?

Most likely, you will schedule in good sleep and eating habits, while also creating daily tasks that will increase your swimming, running, and biking times slowly but surely during the training period.

Set Habits

Determine the necessary habits to achieve your goal. Setting habits will make achieving your ultimate goals easier. What can you do every day so that one day you will do it without thinking? That’s the power of habits. Just like you can have a bad habit, you can also create good habits.

Maybe your goal requires you to get in eight hours of sleep each night, or you want to meditate each night before bed. Whatever it may be, there are little things you can set to make it easier. You just need to be a bit creative and be willing to turn everything you want to do into a habit.

Map Out the Process

Be specific in how you will take each step and create each new habit. Determine what obstacles might get in your way and figure out the solutions to these obstacles. Identify which steps are a priority and which are secondary. Document steps, deadlines, and the success of each as you go along.

Create Your Daily Plan

Set out the specific actions you need to take every day to reach your goals. Each day before you start your day, create a daily plan of action.  Remember, even very small daily tasks can make a huge difference. Want to get more steps in every day? Set the intention and put it in your schedule.

This way, you have a visualized plan of action and know what you need to do each day before it even starts. There may be some roadblocks along the way, but at least you have a roadmap to guide yourself back to the right path if needed.

Only you hold the key to unlocking your full potential, setting proper goals can help get you there. While this may seem overwhelming and easier said than done, it is as easy as plotting your realistic course and following it. Eventually, achieving your goals will seem second nature to you.

To read more on this, click Go Beyond Goals- Do Empowering Goals – Part 2

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