Quick Guide to Goal Setting That Works
Since we were kids, we always had an aspiration or goal of some sort. Some of us wanted to become doctors, lawyers, or astronauts. Others were more specific, wanting to own the complete collection of The Simpsons by 20, owning a two-bedroom house by 25 or a having a $5000 a month job by 30. Goal setting has been with us since forever. But, really, is thinking up and dreaming about the goals we have set all there is to it? Of course, not.
Goal setting is not simply about expressing what we want out of life, but also having the drive, the perseverance and the action to reach them and make them happen.
There are several methods to effective goal setting. Here are five of the most basic:
1. Write down the goals you have set.
While our brains have the capacity to save information and remember what they absorb, our goals could get lost and forgotten somewhere between our favorite soap opera and the bills we have to pay. Goal setting works best if we write down the things and events we want to happen, so that we can frequently keep track and check if we are still on the right path. Get creative with your goal setting list. Place them were you see them often so you’ll never forget.
2. Set a goal that satisfies what you truly want; not just something that would impress others.
Be true to yourself. Goal setting does not work if what you’re aspiring for is for the pleasure and awe of others. Your goal should be something that would make you happy and benefit YOU. After all, you’re the one who is going to be working for it.
3. Avoid setting contradicting goals. Be realistic.
For a simpler example, you cannot write down "set aside $500 from salary this month" if you’re earning only $800 a month and have a $250 rent. How would you survive on a $50 monthly?
While saving $500 seems like a very good idea and could lead to a fat savings account in no time, it is not realistic. Set your goals based on what you can truly work with.
4. Try to be more detailed when goal setting.
This will help you identify your next move more easily. For instance, "buy a $99 iPod shuffle in one month" is easier to work for than simply setting "buy an iPod". Not only will the more specific goal be easier to achieve, it will also be more satisfying becuase there would be no confusion or what-ifs along the way.
5. Stick to your goals. Avoid straying.
If you’ve written down, "save $5 from daily expense allocation" then do so diligently. Don’t set aside $2 today and just keep a mental note to keep $8 the next day. Be consistent. Cheating on your goal setting list is like cheating on yourself. This is more effective for short-term goals, of course. If you had originally written "own a Honda Scooter by 30" yesterday, surely you can change that and aim higher for a Honda Civic if you find yourself earnings $8000 a month at 25.
The keys to effective goal setting are consistency and discipline. In short, know exactly what you want, to be able get exactly what you want and more. Keep these goal setting tips in mind always and, who knows, your dreams could become reality in no time!
Why Goal Setting Is Extremely Important To You. 11 Compelling Reasons
Do you want to be happy and successful in the future? Then set goals. People live successful, happy and living meaningful lives because they have taken the time to set goals. Below are 11 compelling reasons why goal setting is extremely important to you.
Goal setting helps us realize what we really want to accomplish in life.
Goal setting helps us to commit and take the necessary steps to make our desires a reality.
Goals setting give us direction and purpose.
Goal setting reduces the clutter in our mind and makes it clearer as to where we are heading.
Once we commit goals to paper or a computer, it makes them more tangible, specific and concrete.
Goals that are written down can be easily reflected on, changed, admired and analysed.
As you change you can change your written goals.
Once goals are written down they can be broken into manageable parts.
Goal setting allows us to look at our present, past or future and learn from mistakes.
Goal setting helps us get over the fear of change.
Goals can help boost your confidence as you reach them.
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Goal Setting Worksheet: Organizing Your Future
Goal setting worksheets will help you not just to list down all your goals in a more organize way, but arrange them visually for easier reference. People, for most of the time, are in need of something to arrange their frames of mind.
A goal setting worksheet is exactly created for this particular and immediate need. Moreover, in this time where there are lots of stimuli or disturbances in people’s concentrations, it is very easy to get lost even in the jungle of their own thoughts — even during their planning exercises. And this doesn’t include the familiar adage of "making your goal planning more effective".
It is very common to read from many sources that in order to be effective, a person’s goal planning should be listed down. Be it a personal goal, career or professional goal, and even business planning, bringing this down into a paper will the practitioner to see the planned goal factually.
But some important aspect of this "writing" process is omitted. In writing, just like in thinking, there are many steps. And if it is the first step of thinking, usually the "warm-up" period that is committed into writing, then the problem is in the making.
This is so because goals can be easily lost in myriad of letters in written form. There are even instances that if someone is tired, simply looking at several pages of paper can be a stressful exercise. How much more if this involves the effort of "deciphering" a product of an earlier mixed-up thought now more muddled in a piece of paper?
This is where a goal setting worksheet can be proven useful. The planning, even at the earliest stage, can be properly arranged, so as to determine the general objectives from specific ones.
The general objectives can be broken down into medium-term plans, while the more specific objectives can be arranged in a descending order, starting from the most important to the least.
In a goal setting worksheet, the long-term and short-term aspect of the goal is easily recognized. From this, necessary changes are easily committed to. Even minute detail aspect of the goal planning is easily seen, giving the user an almost undivided concentration as the target information is spotted with a small amount of effort.
The worksheet can also be proved useful as a "scratch" paper. Of course it is but natural to commit some error in an earlier goal planning session. The benefit of putting down the thinking product is the easiness that it can be corrected, paraphrase, or even revised it on the spot.
This "revision" process is also very important. As people go on with their everyday chores and concerns, important things that are evolving in the process are recorded in goal setting worksheets for future review. And since goal setting worksheet is more organized, it retains this "orderliness" even when used as a scratch paper.
How wonderful that even from its infancy, the process of goal planning is already organized and arranged according to the attendees’ frame of reference!
So, for the next important goal setting session, it is advisable not to settle for an ordinary paper. A professional or career goal setting process should be written on an ordinary piece of paper. And even if the goal setting process is a very personal one, a goal setting worksheet can work its wonder even in the privacy of a home.
Setting And Achieving Goals: Two Part Process
Setting and achieving goals are two sides of the spectrum; yet they are both needed if your life is to have a purpose and meaning.
The first step
Setting your goal will be the first step. It is when you clarify, list down, and construct the step-by-step process on how to achieve your dreams. This also the time that you will need to reflect, not only about your past achievements or frustrations but also about your future worries and angsts.
To prevent yourself from being overwhelmed with plans, however, goals have to be simplified and broked down into much smaller units. In this way, you will easily access every angle of your goal, whenever there is a need to review any of its components.
Since the very purpose of goal setting is to be achievable, your goals should be challenging enough to stimulate you but realistic enough so as not to discourage you in the end.
For instance, you want to set a goal for your personal growth, as a person and as a professional. These two can be easily confused into one thing but they are different. Do not make the mistake of planning to improve your personal over-all goals in order to "carry over" your professional goal. Attack the two concerns separately.
Of course it is only natural that some aspect of your professional goals are preset in your personal goal setting and vice versa. This is only natural.
But it should be clear that from this two types of goal setting, you should a priority; don’t swallow too much even if it’s a good thing. It is also important to come up with a list of specific goals in aid for the major goal, in descending order, that is, the most important part being in the top of the list.
The second step of goal setting
Setting your goal is very important. Just don’t forget that creating and even planning ways to achieve it is equally important. You should also have a method of checking your progress.
Say, for example, you have decided to prioritize your personal growth and you have set a goal for this. What you will need is a procedure in which you can monitor each step of the goal so as to make the necessary revisions.
And since goal setting is never done to isolate yourself from the rest, make it a habit to surround yourself with people that share your vision. This will help you in motivating more of yourself into achieving what you have decreed for your self earlier.
Achieving your goals
Setting up goals will never mean an iota if there is no effort on your part to achieve it. It’s not there to be put on display or to remind yourself that once upon a time, you were sensible enough to create a goal for yourself. And don’t try to convince yourself that there are goals that are really meant to be written and nothing more; there is no such thing.
Goals are meant to be achieved. This "achieving part" completes the goal setting process. What makes achieving goals twice as difficult compared with the goal setting part is that people tend to separate the two. Don’t do this. The setting and achieving is intertwined, in fact, two parts of a whole process.
Goal Setting An Activity of Great Importance
Learning to set goals as early as possible is more efficient than wandering aimless around – your life without direction. A goal setting activity given by a teacher or coach will ask you to begin with a goal you want to achieve.
You will find out why some people almost always succeed by actually doing it yourself. Have dreams and aspirations to succeed and allow yourself to make it big. Then begin involving yourself in goal setting activities.
In any goal setting activity, you must be able to visualize end results. During a moment of silence and solitude, imagine yourself living the end result of each goal. Concentrate on what you are doing at present that helps you visualize your goals as achievable. Take note of negative thoughts and feelings as well while you are doing your goal setting activity – like obstacles to achieving your plans.
Countercheck the source of each goal. You must be able to know if you are sure about this goal. It is very important that you decide clearly on this. If you are trying to achieve a goal just because someone else thinks that you should, you must think twice. You can never give full level of commitment, passion and motivation if this is the case. The goals should come from deep inside your feelings and emotions and not from someone else’s. The achievement of other people’s goals will not make you happy. Goals are different from one person to another just as they are different beings from one another. So analyze each goal with clear thoughts. The goals you set should be exactly what you want to be, achieve and have in the future.
To check if you are doing alright in your goal setting activity, pass the emotional test. If you have difficulty in ranking a goal according to priority, try to give time and answer this problem. Ask yourself if you feel energized and excited if you think about a particular choice. Know if you have a feel a drop of excitement when you think of it. And ask yourself, which option brings a special feeling to you when you picture it. Always bear in mind that goals that fire you up are important so that these positive emotions will inspire you to make these goals real.
In a goal setting activity, positive feelings like freedom, excitement, well-being, growth and development or enthusiasm are good signs.
Goal setting activities are practiced by teachers to make their students understand more on how they can prepare themselves for the future.
Steps in completing a goal setting activity are:
– ask the students to define a goal as something one intends to do, have or achieve
– explain that people have different ways of giving priority and managing time
– introduce a variety of goal statements that are specific, measurable, and realistic.
In goal setting activity, teachers usually present a lecture on life patterns and the choice that people make to reach their plans in life. They give encouragement to the participants to seriously think about the decisions they will make that will alter their lives significantly.
In goal setting activity, people understand to choose to lead productive and successful lives. This activity will help people to see that they can exercise control over their futures by making good and wise decisions at present. They will eventually choose a productive life that is healthy, purposeful and positive.
Goal setting activity is important beyond compare.
Beginning your goal setting activity is like giving your ship a compass to reach the port of your own choosing.
Goal Setting Theory: What Does It Mean To An Ordinary Person
In the 1950’s, the study of goal setting theory was not a highly regarded pursuit. In fact, the whole array of motivation theory, the forerunner of goal setting theory, is not accepted as a legitimate field of study or discipline.
But today, goal setting theory is not only an accepted science, but also a persistent reality of American everyday life. Whether we like it or not, we are bound one way or the other, with the overwhelming presence of goal setting theory and some of its derivatives.
Suddenly at loss what to do with your life, you often ask how to put some direction to it. Or perhaps, all of sudden, you’re questioning the very purpose of your life. When this happens, it might be because you failed to set a personal goal for your general guidance.
Without a clear-cut personal goal, you will feel adrift in an endless sea, undecided on what to do with your talents and other gifts. Personal goal is one discipline of study under the goal setting theory.
Or perhaps the problem is outside the personal milieu. Maybe you’re having trouble in assessing the growth of your company. Or even worse, you don’t where is the company heeding. If this is happening to you, the only reason for this is that you haven’t come up with a business goal setting program.
Maybe you’re a top executive for a big company and you’re having trouble projecting yourself with others, and not in good terms with your colleagues. Or maybe you’re into belief that nothing is happening with professionally; you’re stuck with a profession that is really at variance with what you want. If this is so, then you may have missed the process of professional goal setting. You need to undergo with one now.
There is also a possibility that you’re having a hard time assessing whether the company you’re working with, or even your personal career, is not working as it should be. Because of this, even though you are pretty sure that there is a problem, you can’t decide where to attack it. If this is the case, you have a deficiency in setting performance goals.
From the above, it is now very obvious that goal setting is a very important process you need to consider before embarking in whatever endeavor. According to a study conducted in the 1970s, conscious goal setting or planning affects action. From this; a goal is defined as an object of an action.
For instance, you have to attain a specific standard of expertise with your chosen field of profession, then you’ll need to undergo extensive training to develop the part of your academic field that is wanting.
Extensive because, usually, goal setting during this period, is really an effort to race against time; to compensate for the lost opportunities earlier and to set a professional goal.
Goal setting, therefore, is a set of skills that can be learned or acquired, which is important for achieving different types of effects necessary for specific desires.
Ultimately, however, the most important factor in goal setting is your gut feel. Even without the benefit of any scientific theory regarding the benefit of goal setting, deep within, you know that somehow, you need to come up with a clear goal to succeed in life.
Understanding Goal Setting Theory
Perhaps the most popular proponents of the goal setting theory are philosophers E.A. Locke and G. Latham. Their theory suggests that goal setting is innate among human beings and that identifying and mapping out methods to reach them are some of the most natural factors of human behavior.
Related literature would tell you that goal setting theory is rooted on these four basic ideas:
1. People rationally set task-related goals.
2. People are the ones that determine how much time and effort are afforded into reaching these goals.
3. Goals, to be effective, must be specific, accepted and attainable.
4. It is important to be list feedback on performance.
The goal setting theory assumes all of the above four and makes the following general claims:
1. Goal setting affects behavior.
2. Difficult goals result in higher performance levels.
3. Motivation comes from lessons from a previous goal.
4. Goal clarity affects performance.
5. Goal difficulty is directly proportional to satisfaction.
Goal setting and behavior
Goal setting theory states that identifying goals allows people to make calculated decisions. Once these are realized, they naturally direct and provide motivations so that these goals are reached. It also helps people commite to something and arrange their activities so as not to deter them from the intended achievement.
Performance is correlated to difficulty
The more challenging and difficult it is to reach a goal, the higher the resulting performance level. Of course, if a task is a little daunting, the more effort a person will likely give to accomplish it. According to the goal setting theory, performance is influenced by four key factors.
First, goal setting centers on a person’s attention to actions that would lead to a goal, thereby reducing the time and energy given to things unrelated. Second, as mentioned earlier, the higher the goal, the more effort is required. Third, when a person knows he has control over the time and effort to be set aside, the more persistent he becomes. And fourth, there are lessons to be learned.
Motivation is driven by past actions
People get motivated to work toward a goal if they had been exposed to or familiar with a similar situation that saw failure in the past. Goal setting theory notes that errors and dissatisfactions push people to do better the next time.
The clearer the goal, the better the performance
This needs no further explanation. If a person knows exactly what he wants to attain, it will be a lot easier to identify proceeding actions and faster to reach the goal. Performance works at its full potential this way.
Goal difficulty affects satisfaction
In relation to factor number two, people tend to derive a greater worth when they complete difficult tasks. According to Locke and Latham’s goal setting theory, satisfaction levels are driven by the amount of effort and sacrifice put into a certain goal. Challenging goals give a stronger sense of achievement.
The Benefits of Institution-initiated Professional Goal Setting
Professional goal setting is a commitment of an individual to his profession, or a commitment of an institution to its staff. This is also a pledge of the institution to its target beneficiary, by giving itsthe best service, through comprehensive training of its manpower.
Having said this, professional goal setting, in its very nature, is giving emphasis on enhancing the future performance level of the individual or group. Of course, it is presumed that the group or the individual had prior experience on the process of goal setting of this nature. If there is no familiarity with the process, the goal setting exercise is even more important.
But what does professional goal setting provide for an individual or group? Perhaps the individual, alone or as a part of a group, has a prior immersion with personal or career planning. Why add another goal setting process to an already informed person or group?
The principle behind professional goal setting
The good thing about this form of goal setting when conducted by an institution or a group is that, it focuses not only for the common good of the group but also for the individual members. When facilitated by a competent moderator, the process can be an invigorating experience for each of the member, and to the group as a whole.
It is also common for institute-initiated professional goal setting to include the identification of area that needs development. This area is then put into focus, and relates it to the individual concerned, without losing sight on the constantly evolving needs for individual career planning. The impact of this group planning to an individual is just astounding.
Professional goal setting when done in a group can also offer several schemes to secure resources, which are usually unthinkable for an individual professional.
The institution can also help in sourcing out finances needed by the group or individuals, for their goal planning. Also, the identification of possible obstacles in achieving goals can be extended into details, which is otherwise difficult to achieve when setting up a goal alone. The collective experience of the institution regarding this process can be a rich source of inspiration and intuition.
The benefits of institution-initiated professional goal setting are so immense that joining some of these exercises is never a waste of time.
In fact, this type of goal setting is not only limited to private institutions that are more inclined to do this stuff such as educational and religious institutions, but other as well.
Corporations, huge and small, are now racing against time to incorporate into their calendar of activities, schedules of goal setting for their executives and other staffs.
Harmonizing the company’s goal with the career and professional goals of the company employees can be immensely beneficial. This will allow people to be more open, conscientious, thus developing the environment into a more conducive place for professional growth.
This last point is very important because it drives the point against those that advocate individualistic professional goal setting. Of course, setting personal goal is the basis for every collective goal setting but too much concentration on this part will lead into ambitions verging into selfishness.
Admittedly, there are many people who would only want to benefit from the others but not return the favor even in other forms. But even from this, a sensitive person can still benefit-that of learning what not to do.
Goal Setting Basics
Goal setting is the base of every successful planning and execution, during the last years Goal setting theories and techniques has evolved significantly, mainly because of the internet businesses that changed the traditional concepts of work.
The basics of goal setting should be practiced and maintained to ensure a successful completion of these goals, a person needs to adopt a particular technique for his or her own goal setting. Its very important that the goal setting is “clean” and personal, a person wishing to stop smoking because his wife has forced him to promise that will probably not achieve his goals. Anyone setting goals and targets should make sure that these are worth while targets and goals and that this project is going to require a lot of energy and commitment.
The process of setting goals is not complicated, but setting goals has to be done in a certain way for it to be most effective. After making sure that you want to achieve this goal and the it is in fact a part of your goal setting (and not anyone else’s), you will need to write your goal setting reasons. Why are you setting this goals? What will you get from accomplishing these goals?.
Understanding the rewards of achieving a goal is very important since it makes your goal very clear, and the price you will pay to achieve it also. While writing your goals you should start thinking of how you will achieve your goals, you will need to make a detailed plan of reaching your desired goal. The “paper” plan is also very important because it should provide you with some logical resistance, you will need to find ways to reach your goals and time them, you will need to weight the plus and minuses of your plan and you the goal as you do that. The paper plan should, when finished, produce a clear, realistic and logical goal setting plan.
Make sure that your goal setting plan has a careful estimation of problems that you may encounter in the future, delays to the timeline you planned, particular challenges, a realistic plan should always set the target a little later than sooner, because life has a way of interrupting plans.
Try and create some state of mind for your goal setting. While it is always good to start working on changes in your life in a positive thinking mood, there are other mental directions you can use to help you on your way. Some people find that a challenge is what drives them most and they should set their goal setting on short distance targets, very focused on reaching every target as soon as possible, and keep the eyes on the prize at all time. If your target it too big or too complicated for this kind of technique, you can always break a bigger target into smaller ones, spacing the targets apart.
Time is critical in goal setting, you need to set yourself a time frame in which you expect to reach your goal. If you identify the obstacles on your way correctly you will have more time to recover from time loss, if you will be optimistic while setting the time frame (or non realistic) you will find yourself short of time, and of breath, as you struggle to get to the target on the set – unrealistic – time.
While working on a goal it is always good to keep that goal in mind. Goal setting is not just about writing something down and forgetting about it, you will be surprised to see how much of a difference notes and daily reminders of the goal will motivate you. Some people keep a written journal of their activities and goal setting performance so they can track their advance towards the target.
The Kaizen of Goal Setting
There is an old way of goal setting and a new way of goal setting!
The old way of goal-setting involved setting yor goals, preparing a list of sub-goals, and then carefully checking them off one after another (as and when they were being accomplished). Am I trying o pour cold water on the goal setting method many of us grw up on?
While I am not saying the step-by-step approach does not work, I am advocating a flexible-goal setting approach.
The flexible goal-setting approach acknowledges the presence of chaos and unpredictability of our modern times, where change is rapid and conditions shift in an instant.
What’s more, a tiny weeny change nowadays has the potential to create major upsets and instability.
Enter the flexible goal-setting system. And, this is how it operates.
Set big-picture, life-enhancing goals with flexible sub-goals that you can adjust to fit in with shifting conditions. The simplest way of putting this into practice is to build into your goal-setting, daily incremental steps that aggregate into your vision. Add to this sub-goal A, sub-goal B, sub-goal C, maybe sub-goal D.
Remember, each sub-goal must be flexible enough to respond adequately to the requirements of the shifting conidtions.
You don’t want to throw your hands in the air in desperation because your plans and goals have been derailed, do you?
Well, the ‘Kaizen of Goal Setting’ is about knowing the difference between the old and the new, and applying it to your goal setting.