How to set goals properly? What to do in order to achieve a desired goal? Well, first of all, if the path to the goal cannot be measured, then it cannot be determined at what stage of its achievement you are right now. In turn, if the goal itself is not formulated, then it’s impossible to determine the path to achieving it. Our task today is to figure out how to set goals and how to achieve them in order to ultimately get what you need.
Human life is somewhat reminiscent of a telescope. In attempts to see their dream or goal through it, many simply look out of focus. For such a person, everything that happens is a continuous blurry spot, into which all the details of the visible part of the spectrum merge. Dumping everything in one pile, he begins to rush from one target to another, drops each on a halfway and moving on to the next one. Just like a blind man who fumbles with his hand on a pile of puzzles in an attempt to find the right piece and insert it into the proper place. Such actions take years for someone, and for someone all his life, so it often happens that a person who has made many attempts in different areas doesn’t achieve anything until the old age.
Obstacles on the way to the goal
In modern psychological practice, the following experiment is known. The doctor-psychologist, working individually with each of his new patients, asked the same question – “What is the purpose of your life?” During the experiment, more than 1000 people were interviewed. The results showed that about 90% of respondents couldn’t give a clear answer to this question. In other words, 900 out of 1,000 people, or, to scale this figure out, 9 out of 10 people simply lead an aimless existence.
In the course of communication with each of the clients, the following tendency was noted: each of them took a wait-and-see attitude, that is, expected something to happen by itself. That the children will grow up and will move out by themselves, that the boss will give a promotion, that vacation tickets will become cheaper or anything like that. Most of them just live today, because yesterday has already passed, and tomorrow hasn’t yet come, and in general it’s not known whether it will come at all.
Of course, such a passive life position makes it possible to predict the further development of human destiny. Is it worth saying that the one who leads an aimless existence will never achieve anything in life? I think everything is quite obvious here. According to Newton’s first law, any body tends to a state of rest. This “body” can only be brought out of a state of rest by a certain motivating force or motivating factor. It’s likely that a person who sits and waits for this motivating factor to burst into his life will have to wait a little less than his entire life.
How do people usually set their goals
All people are completely different. All of them are born in different countries, on different continents, in different conditions of affluence and environment, but with a high degree of probability it can be said that universal values, aspirations and goals are practically the same for all. To one degree or another, most people seek to improve their financial situation. No matter how good or bad it is at the moment, one always wants it to be better.
Without a doubt, you strive to spend more time with those who are pleasant to you, such as family, friends, soul mate, and possibly with colleagues. Most definitely, most of us want to understand ourselves, to understand what the purpose of his life is, what he wants to get from life, what he’s ready to give to the society in which he lives and how to balance all areas of his life for the fast implementation of his plans.
Thus, we can approximate outline the range of interests as follows. You want to earn more, while having enough time for leisure and to understand what your purpose in life is. Well, all these desires are quite logical and deserve to strive to achieve them. However, it’s obvious that it’s impossible to concentrate on all these desires at once. This is exactly the cornerstone that people often stumble upon. Attempts to seize on everything at once usually lead to the fact that in the end there’s nothing remains in hands.
How to set goals properly
The secret recipe is this: you must learn to focus on one specific goal. If there are several goals, then you have to make a choice in favor of one or another option. In order to understand how to do this, I recommend you to read my previous article, “How to make right decisions”.
If you have one goal, everything is extremely simple. You concentrate on it and methodically begin your path to achieving it (how exactly, I will tell you a little bit later). But what if there are several goals? Again, we remain calm and turn to the article on how to make the right decisions, only this time, you need to choose goals in order of priority – one main (long-term) and two or three intermediate (medium or short-term). Thus, the process of achieving the goal will be significantly accelerated and due to the implementation of short-term or secondary tasks, you can track at what stage you are at the moment.
How to formulate your goal
So, we have come to the most interesting place – a step-by-step guide on the formation of our goals. The method shown below is extremely simple and absolutely logical, so that it can be used by a person of literally any age and level of education, from a schoolboy to an old man, and this doesn’t depend on the desired goals. The method is called “SMA”. This is an abbreviation, and now we will analyze what it means.
- “S” is specific. It’s pointless to set goals like “I want to earn a lot of money” or “I want to visit many countries” or “I want to become more well-read”. Your goal should be formulated clearly and specifically enough. The more detailed you can describe it, the higher will be your enthusiasm, which will move you towards its achievement. Want to make a lot of money – how much? Write down the number. Do you want to visit many countries – which ones specifically? Write down the names. Want to become more well-read – what books do you need to read for this? Write down the authors.
- “M” is measurable. In fact, not every goal can be measured. For example, if you would like to increase your self-esteem, how would you measure it and with what margin of error on the exact result? At the same time, if your goal is quite measurable, it greatly facilitates the process of achieving it, since you can track at what stage of the implementation of the plan you are currently at. Any goal must be divided into intermediate stages, and this must be done both for long-term and short-term goals.
- “A” is achievable. Often people set themselves truly unattainable and too complex goals. Others, on the contrary, go down to such trifles that could be done in a day, but they stretch them for weeks and months. Others even set unrealistic goals in order to then justify themselves to others. It’s easy to guess that all these approaches are completely unproductive and do not bring any satisfaction. If you want the goal to have a lasting motivational effect on you, you should have a real chance to achieve it, with appropriate persistence, perseverance and faith in your own strength.
Achievement of the goal
At the moment when your goal will be achieved, try to reward yourself for it. It can be anything from new clothes or a phone to a trip to the islands or a parachute jump. If your financial situation doesn’t allow you to make such wide gestures, just go with your friends, colleagues or family to an entertainment center, water park or restaurant. This will serve as a long-awaited relaxation and a well-deserved reward for the work that is already done. In extreme cases, you can just buy yourself something sweet or go out into the countryside. You can relax without even leaving your home. Take a bath, read a good book that you previously put off, play in your favorite video game or just listen to some good relaxing music.
It’s important to realize that achieving a goal should always bring some kind of benefit. In addition to the fact of achieving the goal, reward is also important. It must give you a pleasure. Regardless of your financial situation, you can always find a way to thank yourself. You have done a great job. Feel free to treat yourself. You deserve it.
From everything that was said above, we can conclude that setting the goal, its formation and achievement will require considerable expenditure of energy, time and money. However, if you can still organize yourself on this difficult path and ultimately achieve your goal, you will be rewarded. Remember that any work must always be paid. If you have worked hard, then you deserve a good rest. But rest always needs to be earned. Undeserved or too frequent rest liberates and contributes to the fact that a person begins to be lazy and eventually switches to a passive lifestyle. And this, as we know, is the road to nowhere.
Therefore – be active, accept the goal setting method as an integral part of your life and you will be surprised how well it works and how you lived without it before. Let your goals always be specific, measurable and achievable, so that you always clearly understand what you want to achieve, why, and most importantly how.
Author – Felix Palmer