The importance of goal setting, and how to achieve it.

Setting specified goal spells clarity, and sticking to your goals as well as working on it diligently will help you achieve it.

All of us have a dream, a passion, and a desire that drives us to take up a profession. In today’s burgeoning opportunities for a career change, it leaves a lot of professionals - both young and seasoned - with choices that has become a little complicated, given the competitive scenario that is truly global.

How can then one benefit from the choices and not get bogged down or feel the pressure of change and competence? In my opinion, this is a dilemma many go through. Fortunately, this can be mitigated by a simple process of setting goals and some self-discipline.

Goal setting - the primary need

Goals provide a dimension. It sets the ball rolling towards a particular need. At times, it provides a sense of purpose to achieve. But all this can happen only if you intend to achieve what you have set out for.

One of the most important factors in goal setting is clarity. For example, if you are looking at weight loss, just saying I need to lose weight is not going to solve the problem. But when you put it specifically in writing, it does help. Say one weighs 85 kgs today, and decides on a goal of 75 kgs, putting a time frame, say five months, will help it even better to achieve the goal. This means, two kgs a month, which looks very achievable.

Setting such specified goals on any issue spells clarity and helps one draw a plan aligning with the goal.

Pitfalls to avoid while setting a goal

The primary nature of humans is to follow the norm of the professional and societal diktat. While there is nothing right or wrong, it will give the right impetus towards one’s self worth and growth if one chooses a goal that is important to oneself. Not because it worked or became a success story to another person. No harm in trying, but would do a lot of good if one sets out to achieve a goal that one is passionate about.

A goal without clarity is as good as a destination without address.

Working on your goals

Setting goals depends on what stage of your life you are in as well. But whatever the age is, sticking to it makes all the difference. Having decided on what you want to set out to achieve, it’s time to work on your goals diligently.

1.   Keep a diary of your everyday activity towards the goal.

2.   Take one step at a time. One day at a time. If you have a goal to improve your writing, learn one new word every day. Read anything of interest and write a brief on what you have understood. Make this an everyday activity. But tell yourself I am setting out to achieve my goal today.

3.   If you are stuck, get help. Read about the subject often. There are various YouTube series, experts’ series, blogs, and many other such tools. Use them.

4.   Not the reading type? Get a mentor.

5.   Do a periodic review of your goals

  • Is it working as per your schedule
  • Is it draining your energy and making you sweat
  • Is it too easy or too difficult that you have thoughts about the goal? Then set a pace that will help you give a sense of achievement.

6.   If there is a noticeable difference, such as weight loss or an improvement in the way you speak or write, or understand a subject better, and people around you recognise it, then celebrate, but do not stop. As humans, we tend to get an air of accomplishment that is short term, and in the process, we lose sight of the long run.

Be aware and beware falling into this pitfall. Remember, Rome was not built in a day nor was any success story.

7.   Advice is free and you may get a plenty from various quarters. Follow those that make sense. Analyse and think, “Will this make a difference?” Once done, take an informed decision and move on.

8.   Celebrate small wins, but never swerve from your goal.

9.   After having reached your goal, set yourself the next set and raise the bar.

Success is not just about achieving your goals. It is also about the means that you have adopted to reach that goal. Sometimes, decisions are tough. But you need to take them in order to achieve what you have set out for. The mistakes that you make today, helps you to be a stronger person tomorrow. Don’t let short set-backs ruin your goal. Every success story and achievement has had its share of pitfalls. It’s only the sheer passion and grit that has made those achievers to stick to their goals. Their picture was for the long term, and they ensured that there were short term goals to achieve that bigger picture.

Remember, what you do today is your memory tomorrow. Let it be a happy one, a motivating one, and a transformational one. Best of luck in your quest!

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)