We are at the end of another year as well as the beginning of a new year. It is a time when many people set goals – once known as “New Year’s Resolutions.” In search for information on goal setting, I came across this site that encourages its readers to set “achievable goals” or goals that are smart. To make a smart goal:
1. Be Specific: Making goals specific means you need to give values to the X of the equation. Make the goals clear, easy to understand. In addition, include all the elements of a proper definition. Focus on everything that defines the goal, and nothing extra. Merely state what is necessary and sufficient to precisely describe the goal… use the 5 magic W’s:
§ WHO [will be] involved?
§ What [will be] the end result. What should be achieved?
§ Why [is the goal] a focus point? Why [is it] a goal in the first place?
§ Which resources are necessary?
§ Where is it? What is the location of the goal?
2. Measure your goals: A journey of one thousand steps starts with the first step….
Achievable goals are measurable, precisely because humans separate work in chunks…. Being able to measure goals means you know what you need, and how and when to deliver it. How many weeks until completion?
To determine measurability, consider quantifiers….
3. Make your goals attainable: Make your goals attainable. It should be possible to reach that goal. And you should set goals so that it is realistic to reach them….
To make goals attainable, you need to be aware of your limitations. And of how you can stretch past those limitations and beyond. Making goals attainable encourages resilience.
4. Make them relevant: Goals matter. There is no point to setting goals that do not matter. Yet, making goals relevant is a different challenge….
Relevant goals are easier to control. Why? Because all through reaching set goals, you can maintain that relevant goals are worthwhile. That they fit well with the schedule….
To make goals relevant, ask yourself what is most appropriate. Firstly, consider internal and external elements. Secondly, weigh potential outcomes and consider where you stand. Setting relevant goals is, above all, strategic thinking….
Lastly, you should also consider aligning goals to other objectives. Or to broader objectives in larger-scale projects. After all, everything should fit just right.
5. Set a time-frame: Goals are a lot like deadlines in this respect. Deadlines are set times at which projects must be finalized. Achievable goals have target dates….
Another site discussed the importance of goal setting – “a process that identifies a goal you want to accomplish in the future and establishes measurable objectives and criteria for achieving your goals.” Setting goals is a process that connects “a long-term vision” with “short-term direction and motivation” to act. It is a process of developing an action plan.
This site listed most of the steps listed above, but it included the importance of writing down the goal. “Describing your goals in written form gives you a greater chance of achieving your goal. Writing down your goals is a crucial first step in choosing your goals.” Another suggestion from the site is to break down the goals “into actionable steps.”
Before breaking your goals down into actionable steps, you need to choose the right goals and measurable objectives. Defining your goals, and putting measurements and deadlines in place makes it easier to break your goals down.
Breaking down your goals into short-term, measurable tasks and objectives helps you manage your time better, be more productive, and plan your day effectively.
Making progress on your goals builds confidence and motivation. When you break bigger goals down into smaller goals, your goals feel more manageable and achievable.
Setting a big goal can feel overwhelming and cause procrastination. Having smaller goals to work towards enables you to plan out your day more effectively and stay focused.
Breaking your goal down also helps you identify the obstacles that stop you from reaching your goals. Overcoming obstacles can accelerate your path to goal achievement.
A third suggestion from this site is to set goals for all areas of your life. “Life goals give your life purpose and meaning and define who you want to be in the future. Goals help align your focus and promote self-improvement and personal growth.” We should consider setting “big life goals, health goals, financial goals, and fitness goals [as well as] relationship goals, personal growth goals, and business goals.”
My last semester included a class where the semester project was setting a series of goals, writing steps to achieve those goals, and measuring success in meeting the goals. We were required to set specific goals in spirituality, in physical health, and in a relationship, list the steps we would take to meet those goals, and make weekly progress reports. An important part of goal setting is holding oneself accountable.
I am a firm believer in the importance of setting goals. About ten to fifteen years ago, I struggled with flossing my teeth every night, so I set a goal to make flossing a part of my life. The thing that kept me flossing nightly in the beginning was the fact that I had set a goal to do it. After a few weeks, it became a habit. I have not missed flossing since I made it a goal. Now I need to make some specific, measurable, attainable, and relevant goals to work towards in 2022!