The task of setting and maintaining goals doesn’t come easily to a lot of people. While the idea of goal setting seems easy to grasp it is not easy to implement. In this article, we will go over some of the main concepts around goals, goal setting, and the various additional points which must be considered before goals can become a reality.
A goal is simply something we currently do not possess or have not mastered that we wish to possess or master. When we consider a goal they always begin with a specific area of their life for which we wish to do some additional work. The objective is that the work will benefit our lives in some way.
Consider the area of health as an example. A person who is overweight might want to lower their weight to improve the quality of their life. The excess weight might be causing some health or self-esteem issues.
Another example could be in the area of family relationships. The goal might be to improve communication with a family member. By improving communication, the quality of the relationship would improve. This, in turn, could result in a more harmonious living environment with that individual.
Typical areas of life for which we might set goals are:
- Health and Fitness
- Personal Improvement
- Skill Development
- Family Relationships
- Significant other
- Social Life
- Mental Health
- Emotional Health
- Life Purpose
- Rest and Relaxation
- Fun, Hobbies
- Other : __________________________
We create goals to accomplish things and improve some areas of our lives. Goals are supposed to be worthwhile endeavors.
The act of setting a goal is actually a decision that we make that the desired action will be undertaken to completion.
Get more sleep
Drink more water
Get more exercise
|Education||Complete a degree|
Read more each day
Learn something new
Pick up a new skill
|Career||Get a promotion|
Be more assertive
Be more conscientious
|Spirituality||Find meaning in my life|
Spend time exploring spirituality
Delve into more meaningful content
|Creativity||Explore my creative side|
Write something every day
Create some type of artwork or craft regularly
SMART Goals is an acronym that stands for the following criteria:
A : Attainable
The goal, to “get more sleep”, is vague. When we make a vague goal it is unlikely that the goal will take root and manifest. If a goal is to get more sleep then its SMART version can be detailed as: I will make it a point to get to bed by 10 PM every night and wake up by 5:30 AM.
This goal is :
Specific: more sleep
Measurable: 10 PM to 5:30 AM (7.5 hours)
Attainable: The goal is not unrealistic and attainable
Relevant: A goal to sleep 7.5 hours is relevant to the overall health of the individual
Time-bound: There is a clear beginning and end
What happens to goals
When we make goals, we put additional demands on ourselves. The goal might require and demand that we put in additional effort, time, and resources. This is when goals become challenging.
A large majority of goals do not reach fruition because the additional demands are not met. We might realize we don’t have the time or resources or cannot put in the effort that is needed.
In addition to the above, goals might also demand intangible personal qualities such as willpower, discipline, commitment, and perseverance. If we do not think through what the goal demands, then the likelihood of it being accomplished is low.
As mentioned above, there is more to goal setting then just creating it. It must be followed by concrete action steps. The more detailed the action steps are, the greater the likelihood of accomplishment.
When we are making a goal we should also think about any possible obstacles, setbacks and undesirable habits that could interrupt the natural flow of happenings and in turn stall the smooth progression of the goal.
In the example of getting more sleep on time, if the individual performs mentally stimulating activities just before going to bed such as watching violent TV shows or playing video games, then it might be difficult to fall asleep quickly.
A goal that is set properly should be SMART and well thought through in terms of expectations, obstacles, and setbacks.
If a goal has been attempted before and resulted in failure, then it would be prudent to review the causes and reasons for earlier failure. Consider what the game plan will be this time to tackle a similar obstacle or setback.
This article identifies some important aspects of setting and maintaining goals. When we understand the value of goals and the process of proper goal setting it builds a productive mindset.
It is a worthwhile endeavor to take the time to understand and appreciate the value of developing a mindset that is goal and results-oriented.