A new year means brand new goals to attempt. Most the time half those goals fail or partially fail but why do they turn out like that in the first place. Lack of motivation, unrealistic goals, lack of prior planning, and excuses are some of these contributing factors in goal failure. Having goals succeed requires some steps in setting them.
A Goal Is?
First, what is a goal? A goal is an object of a person’s ambition or effort for the desired result. The key word here is the result this means that there must be an end to it to be an outcome. Don’t get mixed up with what lifestyle changes are and what goals are. People think for instance not drinking soda or being a vegetarian are goals but these are changes in their lifestyle and last for the entirety of their life. Now becoming a vegetarian or quitting soda would be considered a goal because once obtained they become a change in their lifestyle but not a goal anymore.
Steps for Goal Setting (It is best to write it all out)
- Knowing what you really want and why you want it
- Decide if it is long-term or short-term
- Collect Data to measure
- Due dates
- Predict and vision
Knowing what you really want and why you want it
As mentioned before many goals fail because of the lack of motivation for them. This generally happens because people set goals knowing what it is but not really what they want and why they want it. “I want to be promoted at work” Why do you want that promotion and what benefits will come from that promotion? There is more motivation that can come from knowing what you really desire. To add on to that, how important is it to you? The greater the importance the greater the chance of success. Double check how much the goal is desired.
Decide if it is long-term or short-term
The easiest step of them all is the term length but still, five more steps to go (Is it worth it to keep reading? Motivation says “keep going”). A short-term goal would be one ranging from a few weeks to even something in a single day. A long-term goal is one that can span from one month to even years. The trick with long-term is setting multiple short-term goals within it. Dividing them into sections makes it easier to push through. Smaller goals in length give gratification that drives a person to move on with it.
Making the goal specific and detailed helps prevent excuses because naturally, people will make small reasons for why they frayed from the goal. “I want to stop eating so much”. That is a goal but there is nothing that quantifies how much “eating so much” is. For all we know the person could be eating three pies a night but only removing the whipped cream. Make the goal detailed and specific. Write down if applicable how much, when, how often, for how long, and leave no room for rule bending.
Collect Data to measure
Back to motivation because it is obviously one of the most important things. A way to help motivate yourself is to see how far you have gone and how much has been accomplished. This is achieved by writing down dates such as when the goal was started along with numbers if possible to quantify (If you want to get crazy, make a graph). It is always nice in the end to look back on how much was accomplished in the goal.
Is it even possible or reasonable? Saying you want to make a million dollars in the year from restaurant tips isn’t very attainable. Evaluate what is possible and set your goals where they can be reached this means not making them too hard either. If you start a goal that is not reachable then you are guaranteed to fail and you waste your time, best to keep the goals possible.
Self-explanatory as it is, set a due date. This creates a time limit for when it must be accomplished and with a due date creates a pressure to get it done. This helps with preventing procrastination which everyone does in some way or another.
Predict and Vision
The issue with goals is it lacks instant gratification that most people in modern times are used to. The great success mainly comes from the short-term steps and once the goal ends. This makes it hard to stay motivated for something that doesn’t make you feel good right away. That is why you predict and vision how great it will be to reach that goal. Use your imagination to get yourself excited to keep on going.
Now Set Some Goals
After learning some more about goal setting now it is time to actually go out and apply it to your life. Remeber the steps though knowing, long or short, detailed, data, attainable, due dates, and vision. Get to it and become better.