Smart Goal Setting
Effective goal setting requires a clarity of purpose, proper structuring of your goals, and, a way to measure your success. If you’re able to do all of these, and you have the proper level of self-discipline, on-going success becomes a habit.
It is very important for us to have goals for every stage in our lives. A life without a goal is an aimless journey, in which we have no clue about our progress, where we want to go, how to get there and what happens after we achieve our goals.
More often than not, we don’t set goals because we don’t know how to set them.
In this article, we discuss the main types of goals we need to have in our lives and the correct ways in which we need to look at them and our goal setting plan.
Types of Goal Setting and how to set them
There Are Many types of goals
Goals can be broadly classified into two types – result-oriented (or outcome) goals and performance (or execution) goals. There may be many more types that you would have heard of, but all of them fall into either of these two broad categories.
As the name indicates, outcome goals are those that focus on the result whereas performance goals are those that give importance to the process/execution or implementation of actions that help you achieve a particular result.
Common Goal Classifications
Goals can be long-term goals or short-term. Usually, goals that are set for a time of around 5 years are considered as short-term, whereas goals set for a time longer than 5 years are considered as long-term. Planning to save enough to take your family on an international holiday is a short-term goal.
Planning your finances well so that you can enjoy your retired life peacefully is a long-term goal.
Long-term goals – These are further classified into lifetime goals and capstone goals. Lifetime goals are the ultimate goals that you plan to obtain at a certain stage in your life. Capstone goals are periodic or interim goals that help you achieve the long-term goal. In the above example, having a peaceful and financially secure retired life is your lifetime goal.
Small goals that help you in this objective (such as putting aside monthly savings regularly, choosing your investments carefully, planning for contingencies, etc.) are capstone goals.
Short-Term Goals – These are further classified into foundational and provisional goals. Foundational goals are very short-term goals that you plan to achieve within one year. Provisional goals are those that you can set yourself on a daily basis so that it helps you to prioritize your work.
How to set your goals
Irrespective of whether you are setting goals for your personal or professional lives, you should always remember to set SMART goals. No, we don’t mean that your goals should be intelligent. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
Be Specific – Be very specific about what you want to achieve and by when, as it will give you a clear idea to plan your goals accordingly.
Are Your Goals Measurable – You should be able to measure the success of your goals at different stages so that you can be sure of travelling on the right path.
Are They Attainable – You need to be reasonable while setting goals; don’t be too hard on yourself and set impractical goals that you have no clue of.
How Relevant Are They– Set goals that are related to your overall personality development. There is no need to travel the road less explored or thinking out of the box if you can do without innovation in your life.
Time-Bound Target – All your goals (short-term and long-term) should have a completion target. Having a set deadline will motivate you to work hard to achieve your goals.
5 Tips for Better Goal Setting – The Golden Rules
We all have certain goals that we would like to achieve at different stages in our lives. However, not all of us are able to meet them. Though we know what our goals are, we can’t bring ourselves to achieve them most of the times, because there is many a slip between the cup and the lip.
More often than not, the reason for not meeting our goals is not setting a pre-defined path for the same. Here are five tips that we can all follow to set ourselves better goals and work towards achieving them within the specified time-frame.
Personal Smart Goals Examples
- Choose goals that are important to you
Never set a goal because your friend or parent asked you to do so. You should always set goals that help you improve personally and professionally. Will I become a better human being when I achieve this goal? How will it improve my overall personality development? Will this goal help me in finding my core competency?
These are some of the questions that you should think about when setting a goal, to be assured of 100% success while achieving them. When you set goals that add value to your lives and motivate you, you are more likely to work towards achieving them.
- Use the S.M.A.R.T. method
Mostly, there is ambiguity in your minds while setting goals and achieving them, because you didn’t care enough for the small details. This is why following the SMART system is very important while setting goals. Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals need to be set, irrespective of whether they are meant for personal or professional development.
By following this technique, you are giving a defined structure to your goals and making them accurate, so that it becomes easy to achieve them.
- Take One step at a time
While it is important to focus on the big picture when setting goals, it is equally important to travel this path one step at a time. When you have a huge goal staring at you with a specified time-frame hanging over it, it may look all too daunting and intimidating for you.
So, all you need to do is to break down the big goal into several smaller goals, so that it helps you concentrate more and pursue each goal with ease and confidence.
- Write down your goals
It may seem to be a simple tip, but it helps! Write down all your goals with their time-frame on a chart paper and pin it in your room, so that you are constantly reminded of your goals, your progress and your path that is yet to be traveled.
Writing down your priorities on a daily basis will also help you in managing your time effectively as you can only focus on those tasks that are important.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself
Setting goals and achieving them with 100% success rate is no mean task! You may not achieve 100% success in your first goal; however, you should never give up. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself a back-pat and carry on with your next attempt with renewed focus and lots of takeaways from your first attempt.
After all, life is a journey that deserves to be enjoyed, isn’t it? And Smart goal setting will allow you the benefits of having a better life for you and your loved ones