Have you sometime thought about where would you be in three or five years’ time? Putting the same question differently, do you know what you want to achieve in the next three to five years? By now you must have guessed that we are trying to arrive at the importance of goal setting in life. In this article we share with you 5 golden tips for successful goal setting and goal reviews.
If you want to be successful in any aspect of life, you will need to set goals or shall we say smart targets. Without specific goals the person lacks focus and direction.
So you need to be clear about what your main objective in life to achieve goals. Goals may relate to profession, money, finance and personal life.
Towards the end of this article there is also a video on the same subject which you may like to watch too.
Tips For Successful Goal Setting
1. Set Goals That Excite You
When you set any goal for yourself, it is important to ensure that it motivates you. This means making sure that achieving that goal is important to you, and that there is need or excitement or both in achieving them.
If you have little or no interest in the outcome, the achievement of that goal may become irrelevant to you.
Naturally, the chances of you putting in the necessary work to achieve your target are slim.
Hence motivation and persistence are the keys to achieving goals.
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2. Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive.
Let us try to understand these terms:
Specific Goals are just the opposite of vague or ambiguous goals. Because without specific goals you will produce ambiguous results. For example, a goal which says “I will have large income” is a vague goal. Instead you should say “I will have an income of 50,000 dollars per annum”
It is always recommended to set goals that are measurable. If you combine the previous point, I would say “specifically measurable goals”.
Continuing the previous example, an income of “50,000 dollars per annum” is a measurable goal.
One of the key qualities goals should have is that they should be attainable. Otherwise, there is no point in having those goals.
So if someone is presently earning only 20 to 30,000 dollars per annum, a goal of reaching an income level of 50,000 dollars per annum should be quite possible.
Whereas, reaching an income of 10 million dollars in the first year of start may be quite difficult for an average person.
It is another variation of the previous point. For a 70 year old man, a goal of winning a gold medal in 100 meters race in Olympics is not a physically realistic goal. It would rather be de-motivating.
The root of the word realistic is “real.” A goal has to be reasonably “real” or a “reality” in our physical or mental capabilities.
Every goal should have a time line attached to it. This means that the goal must be started and achieved within a certain time frame.
A goal cannot consist of an activity which goes on indefinitely. The quality of a good goal is that it has to end in certain time – a time limit within which you should accomplish it.
Taking our previous example of increasing an income, the person may set a goal, “ I will reach an annual income of 50,000 dollars within next 3 months or by the end of June this year if you are currently in the month of March. This can also be called setting smart target for achie.
3. Start from top to bottom
When setting a goal, start from the top to bottom and not the other way around. Remember to have a foresight, to know what you really want in life.
Start from there, and then work your way down. Start from the most important aspect to the least important aspect of your life.
4. Define Areas of Division
To avoid getting too overwhelmed with the goals that you have set, learn to divide the areas of interest.
From there, identify and set important goals. Again, implement this rule of thumb, “set from top to bottom.”
In other words, it is OK to break down a big goal into different parts or sub goals which are measurable and have their own time limits.
5. Evaluate and Reflect
The only way you can reasonably decide that you are on the right direction and you’ll get there is to know where you are right now.
So take some time to think through and evaluate your current situation, goals and action plan. Keep asking this question on each key point: Is that OK?
The purpose of evaluation is multi-fold. First, it gives you an objective way to look at your goals and your pursuit of the vision you have.
Secondly, it shows you where you are so you can determine where and how you need to go there.
Thirdly, if you are falling short of the resources, go get them. Alternatively revise your time line or goals accordingly to match the resources you can gather to the best of your efforts and ability.
Evaluation gives you a baseline to work from.
Bonus Tip: Set Benchmarks
Along with your SMART goals, you have to also set reasonable benchmarks.
These benchmarks could be used to measure your progress towards achieving your goals. It would be give you definite feedback from time to time whether you are on the right path to achieve your goals within the set time frame or not.
These benchmarks are usually expressed in quantitative terms.
In case, you are not making the right feedback it would be sign to stop, check the reasons for not achieving the right amount of progress so that you can take corrective action well in time.
Video: Tips For Successful Goal Setting
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About the Author
Sundeep Kataria is the CEO of ACS Consultants – a Management Consulting Firm. He holds multiple qualifications: MBA, PGDIT (IIFT), MS in Counselling & Psychotherapy and Diploma in Company Law. He has also formally learnt Digital Marketing and Website Making.
In 1995 he pioneered the concept of professional Career Counselling, Executive Coaching and Mentoring. Over the years he has mentored many professionals, like CAs, Engineers, Sales & Marketing Professionals, IT Experts etc.
The unique style of Sundeep Kataria is that he connects with each and every individual personally, holds in depth discussion before undertaking the assignment.