06 Feb Achieve an Amazing Life by Leveraging the Power of Goal-Setting
Most people dream of having happy and successful lives but they don’t actually end up with these results.
Happiness, success, joy, wealth etc. all of these are ideas we are attracted to. For them to manifest in our lives, thinking about being happy or being rich is not enough. These abstract concepts come as a result of a well-planned life. The only way to achieve our dreams is by setting and achieving clear cut goals.
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Importance of goal setting
Goal setting is essential for a successful life. By writing down the vision you have of your ideal life and setting out an action plan to achieve it you will become unstoppable.
Our dreams are what gives us a purpose in life but it takes action for them to come true. This is where knowing how to set effective goals comes in.
Goals are what set the direction that our lives take. The better you become at identifying the right goals and setting the right plan of action to achieve them, the more successful your life will be.
Psychology experts assert that by writing down your goals you are 42% more likely to achieve them. Amazing right? Needless to say that the most successful people in life have mastered this skill.
Goal setting equally provides you a means to measure your success. It is not only about writing them down, goal setting entails creating specific objectives you want to achieve within a time frame. By doing this you are able to track your evolution and see if you are indeed successful.
Setting goals that will change your life
Vision vs Resolution vs Goal
It is important to know the difference between a vision, a resolution, and a goal. These three notions are sometimes mixed up when in fact they are not the same.
A vision is a visual representation of how you want a domain or your whole life to be in the future. A vision is always vague for example we often dream of ideal cars, homes, what the ideal family or job is. All these are things we want with no indication on how we will get them.
A resolution is a statement of intention. Resolutions are mostly vague, and target extreme change. Resolutions express a wish to carry out a radical change from a usual habit e.g. ‘I want to stop smoking’. This creates a wide gap between the current reality of things and the desired outcome with once again no plan on how to get from point A which is being a smoker to point B being a non-smoker.
A goal is a statement of commitment to a specific objective aimed at fulfilling a higher purpose, dream or vision. Goals are specific, measurable, time bound and clear. They are often the breakdown of our dreams. In other words goals are the different steps we must take to accomplish our dreams.
In summary the vision of your ideal life is the dream, your resolutions are intentions, and your goals are your commitment to achieving the first two.
Now that you know this it’s time to get to work!
How to set the right goals to achieve your dreams
While many people know about the importance of setting goals, the problem lies in how to set effective goals.
To achieve your goals the first step is to learn how to set the right goals. Goal setting is a process that begins when you are able to figure out what you want and identify all the steps necessary to get it.
It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and self-determination to achieve your dreams. I am here to provide a useful guide on how to get started.
1) Pick goals that matter
Goals that matter are the ones that take you a step closer to your dream life. To be successful you will need to right down the most important things clearly.
A good place to start is by asking yourself one simple question ‘What do I want?’
Write down everything that comes to your mind no matter what that may be. Forget about your fear and doubts and don’t let the ambition of the ideas that will come up scare you. Let yourself dream big.
Now take a few minutes and go through your list. The next thing you need to ask yourself is ‘Why do I want this?’
Do this for each goal you have written down and if you can’t find an answer or doubt cross it off your list. Remember we are aiming for things that will take us closer to our dream. This helps you eliminate distractions. You need to be sure of what you want and why you want it .
With the goals left on the list ask yourself ‘Will this make me a better person/happier…etc’ Use adjectives that correspond to the feelings yet get when you think about your ideal life.
If the answer is not a straight yes then ditch it. Identify your values, your strong and weak points, your inspirations, and your pain points. This will help you narrow down what you need to improve in your life.
2) Set SMART goals
SMART goal-setting is a rule that will enable you to design powerful goals. SMART stands for:
- Time Bound.
Your goals need to be clear and well defined. Vague goals will only make you confused. The point here is to state exactly what you want.
Vague goal: I want to be rich
Specific Goal: I want to earn $100000 monthly
Without a means to measure your success you will not be able to know if you are making progress. Designing measurable goals is an effective way of keeping you motivated. Include percentages, amounts, or any other measure to track your evolution
Vague goal: I need to reduce my expenses
Measurable goal: I need to cut down my monthly expenses by 10%
The objective is to get you motivated to work hard therefore you need to list goals that you have the capacity to attain. If your goal is to become a life coach for example ask yourself ‘how will I accomplish this?’ Do you need training? If yes to have the time to do so, or can you afford the training?
Your goals have to be relevant to the direction you want your life to take. So your numerous goals need to converge to the same point. Scattered goals will divert and waste you energy
Time bound goals
A goal should have a deadline. This allows you to have enough pressure to stay motivated, track your performance and celebrate your success once an objective is attained. That’s how you know if your goal works or not.
3) Dream big but start small
Trying to tackle your dreams all at once can seem daunting. If you try to accomplish everything at once it builds up a lot of pressure and what from the start was a good goal could turn into a source of stress. Take a deep breath, relax and break down your goals to the smallest task.
Break down your specific goal into sub goals, and then into single tasks. Set a time frame for each goal, sub goal and task then start working your way from single tasks up. It makes the process easier.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~Lao-Tzu
For example, your goal is to buy a house in 3 years and your planned budget if $100000 you can set a monthly saving goal of $2500. This can be further broken down to a weekly/daily saving goal.
4) Write down your goals
The act of writing your goals makes them more palpable. It helps you always keep track of them as all your need is to read though your planner.
When writing down your goals make sure to use positive words that will keep you excited and motivated.
Keeping a journal of your goal journey can help you reconnect with you values and gain insight on yourself and what you want.
5) Don’t be too hard on yourself
Goal setting allows you to take control of your life by deciding what you want and how to get it but keep in mind that life will always get in the way.
Do not be discouraged if something doesn’t work according to plan. Be ready to strategize and re-orientate your goals when necessary.
Do not hesitate to reward yourself for every step you complete. You deserve it and self-rewards are a great way of keeping yourself motivated.
Working to achieve your goals will lead to the adoption of new and healthier habits (if you are doing it right) so welcome the change.
Learn how to create new habits: The Power Of Habit
Goal setting is an ongoing process and not a onetime thing therefore it requires a lot of commitment and consistency. The bigger your dreams are, the more you will need to dedicate yourself to work towards achieving your goals. Therefore using the right tools to keep you on track is essential.
Discover my favourite Goal Setting Tool
If you are starting out your goal setting journey you will need a tool to help you track our evolution. After lots of research I found one I absolutely love: GoalsOnTrack.
GoalsOnTrack is a web-based and digital app that allows you to create goals, prioritize and keep track of your progress with ease. The great thing about this app is that it is designed to push you set out and work on your goals.
Why do I love GoalsOnTrack so much?
This app is a combination of most of the goal-setting and self-care tools I love using. This includes a journal, a planner, a vision board, a calendar, a habit tracker and a timer.
This makes keeping track of my progress so much easier. Though sometimes I love writing down my thoughts on paper, this tool is more practical to carry around especially when I’m on the go.