How To Set The Right Goals and Crush Them
Professionals and organizations worldwide invest a lot of time and resources to help them achieve their goals. They try learning new productivity techniques and invest in project and task management tools to help them hit the metrics and achieve what they want in their lives and careers.
These tools allow users to align their everyday activities with their long-term plans. They help users ensure that what they do daily adds up to get them what they want.
But many users fail to set proper goals even as they invest energy to achieve them. This blog post explores what reasonable goals are and how you can get them.
As you can imagine, the 'right goal' will vary a lot between individuals, and it should. No two people are alike; neither are their ambitions, what they want to achieve, or where they want to be.
But often, people have very vague statements about their goals. For some, it could be to create a better life for their family, it would be making a lot of money, and for some, it may be getting a better car. But the problem with these goals is that they're more or less like dreams. And dreams aren't actionable and rarely work out in real life.
Right goals, however, are actionable; it's not a wish but something you're working towards. For your goals to be right, they must matter to you and showcase your priorities. And they should be SMART.
There are many things you can achieve and attain in this world. You can adopt ten cats, get a promotion, and win an Olympic medal. But your goals must be what matters to you and what you care about. Because while you can achieve anything in this world, you can't have everything.
The right goals should consider your energy, your time, and the fact that you're just one person. And it should prioritize what matters to you and focus on it. Without prioritizing, you won't be able to concentrate well when other things come up. You may find yourself being dragged in different directions.
While having multiple goals is essential, prioritizing them is also vital.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. These elements are the difference between a goal and a wish. They make your goal actionable and well-defined.
Let's have a look at what these terms mean in this context.
Specific: One of the biggest mistakes when people set goals is that they're often very vague. For instance, goals like "I want to be rich" or "I want to have a better lifestyle" are open to interpretation. They don't keep you accountable either; you could be making ten dollars more a year in twenty years, and you can say that you have become more affluent. The right goals are highly specific.
For instance, 'I want to be rich is vague, but 'I want to increase my net worth by two million dollars' is specific. Instead of saying you want a better lifestyle, set your goals to buy a particular car or stick to a healthier diet.
Measurable: You should be able to tell when you have achieved your goals. For instance, if you set buying a better home as your goal, you may not always know if you have reached it. You have to define a better home, which won't be the same for everyone.
Achievable: When you set unattainable goals, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. And the line between impossible goals and daydreaming is pretty thin. Understand your limitations, the resources you have, and your priorities, and set goals you can achieve.
Relevant: Your goals must be relevant to you. These goals should bring you happiness and should be connected with your life.
Time-bound: Without a strict schedule, your goals aren't much different from your wishes. You can't hold yourself accountable without a time-bound goal. Your goal should not be to gain 20kgs at some point in your life, but rather in the next ten months or a year.
Here are seven reasons why you should set the right goals.
With a well-defined set of goals, you can quickly figure out what you need to do daily. When we have too many things to do, deciding what to focus on is challenging. The same is true when we have a lot of unclear or vague goals.
But by setting clear goals, you can figure out what to dedicate your energy to and plan your days easily.
A ship without a destination will be adrift in the vast ocean. When we don't know where we want to be and what we want to achieve, all our efforts will be spread without direction. It will also be challenging to keep pushing every day when we don't know what we are working for.
You can point your boat in that direction by defining your goals well. And when you think about your goals, it will give you the energy you need to get out of bed every morning.
When you set your goals and define them, you must consider all the different aspects of your life and decide what matters more. We're essentially planning what we want in the next few years of our life. This makes us reevaluate our life, the way we do things at the moment, and if it's working for us. It makes us define our priorities and determine what we need to focus our energy on.
When you don't know what or where you want to be or what you want to achieve, it's easy to get distracted. We'd invest our limited energy stores and resources into tasks that may get us nowhere. Having reasonable goals, and knowing what you want to do, makes us more disciplined. Even when we come across other opportunities that may give us short-term happiness, or even when it appears that we're not making much progress, clear goals help us stay focused.
The focus and energy from having clear goals will make you more productive. You won't have time to figure out what to do next or which task to tackle. Knowing what you want can help you drive away distractions and take the next step.
When too many ideas or dreams are running in your head, or when you're worried about too many things, it's bound to build up your stress. You'll find it difficult to calm down when too many things are striving for your attention. It could be the loans you need to pay off, stress about your kids' education, pressure from work, or even your physical health.
But when you have a well-defined set of goals and work towards them, you'll have much less to worry about. It will give you more peace.
Are you struggling to set goals or achieve them? Here's a step-by-step guide.
The first step to setting the right goals is to write down all the different areas in your life and determine your priorities. This includes both your personal and professional life. Write down everything that matters to you and everything you need to work on.
This could be your career, a business you want to start, your health, and it could be your family. If you want to focus on your hobbies (maybe you have a stamp collection, perhaps you are into origami), or if you want to learn a new skill, write those down.
It would be best if you also wrote down aspects of your lifestyle you want to work on; it could be owning a new car or quitting any addictions.
Once you've written down what matters to you most, decide where you want to be in this area in a decade. And break these goals into smaller segments.
For instance, if buying a house is an area of life you want to focus on, write down where you want to be in ten years. You may want to own it in ten years, or you want at least 50% of the down payment in your account. Then you write down how much savings you want to be at in five, three, two, and one years.
Similarly, do this for other aspects of your life as well.
Consider buying a house; you may have around 10% of the downpayment you need as savings. And you may have a job that gives you enough to build up your savings to 60% of what you need in the time frame you've set yourself.
In this case, what you don't have would be 90% of the down payment and a source of income that helps grow your savings quicker.
To achieve your goals, you must figure out how to bridge the gap between what you already have and what you don't. And for this, you need a step-by-step plan. To create this, write down what you'll do about your goals in the next year.
If you need a promotion, you'll have to learn new skills. If you want to make an alternate revenue stream, you'll have to figure that part out. You'll also have to do the same for the rest of your goals.
5. Break down these steps into twelve months and set what you need to achieve at the end of every month
If you have to learn a new skill by the end of the year, write down where you would be at the end of every month. If you want to build a business by the end of the year, write down what you'll have to complete by the end of every month.
Based on this, set the goals for your next month and every week of the month. Once you have your weekly goals, you should be able to figure out what you need to do daily.
Planning an entire month or week may not be the best idea; life happens, and you'll need more flexibility. But planning the goals for every week should give you enough flexibility and still reach your goals.
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