The easiest and most effective way to work towards and achieve certain things in your life is by goal-setting. However, 80% of people don’t set goals or don’t stick to them long enough to make a difference.
Many people initially set goals but they don’t set them in a way that will ensure their success in the long-term. Because they don’t understand how to set achievable goals, it results in constant deviation from their original objectives. They hope that the changes they make are more in accordance with their circumstances and appear to give a greater chance of reaching their goal. This haphazard approach of not knowing how to set proper goals in the first place and constant deviation from original intentions leads to general frustration and lack of success.
In order to change this and improve our goal-setting, we need to do it in a certain way and in a particular order. Goals are a representation of what we want to achieve and if you follow these points you will find them to be very effective:
Work out and understand your ultimate goal.
You need to figure out what it is that you want to achieve from your job or your relationship or yourself etc. It’s very important that you are realistic in this area of goal-setting as this will determine your motivation, whether or not it is attainable. The only person who can decide if a goal is achievable by you is yourself as you know your strengths, weaknesses and abilities in general. You need to take those into account when determining a long-term goal.
Estimate how long it will take for you to achieve this goal
Again, an important aspect in this part is realism as you need to give yourself enough time to comfortably achieve your goals while still pushing yourself to the best of your ability. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to achieve a certain goal in an unrealistic period of time as that can lead to de-motivation and could result in you changing your goal or giving up all together. The amount of time needed to achieve your goals can be determined by knowing your own abilities and by doing some additional research.
Understand the concept of short-term goals and set them
The most effective way to achieve your long-term, ultimate goal is to set yourself smaller, short-term goals. It’s essentially breaking up your ultimate goal into smaller parts that can be achieved faster and easier. This can only be done after you’ve fully understood how to achieve your ultimate goal. The purpose of these short-term goals is to keep you motivated and to make achieving the ultimate goal easier as you will know exactly what you are doing and you will be seeing results. This will make it highly unlikely for you to give up or deviate from your original goals. To set these goals you need to break down your journey to the long-term goal into short steps. Then, write down those steps as short-term goals. There is no limit as to how many short-term goals you should set, as they can be broken down into yearly, monthly, weekly or even daily goals, the more the merrier. You also need to set time periods for each goal keeping things both realistic and achievable. Then you simply follow and achieve your short-term goals, one by one leading up to your ultimate goal.
Keep yourself motivated
Perhaps the most important part of goal-setting and achieving is to keep yourself motivated. This will not only improve your mindset and general attitude towards your ultimate goal, it will also ensure that you do not change your goals or give up on them. Motivation can be achieved in many ways. For example, rewarding yourself every weekend for achieving your weekly goal, by eating out. The rewards should increase as do your goals. For example, achieving your monthly rewards could be by buying yourself a new, desired clothing item and the reward for achieving your yearly goal should be even larger, for example, spoiling yourself possibly by buying designer items or purchasing concert tickets. Motivation can also be simply seeing results as you complete each short-term goal. If, however, you don’t feel motivated to continue with your goals then you should consider adding rewards and treats every now and then to ensure you stay on track.
Consistency and discipline
Learning to be disciplined and consistent is vitally important as it is the only way to be continuously motivated and willing to carry out your tasks in order to achieve your goal. You are the only one who can do this as you are the one with the desire to achieve the ultimate goal. Complete your short-term goals one by one as you know that they are attainable and perfectly reasonable in the given time period, as you set them yourself based on your strengths and weaknesses. The only thing standing in your way is you. Every time you feel like quitting, remember why you started.