The role of goal setting in the attainment of success cannot be overstated. Setting goals provides focus and direction to your work. It also provides a basis upon which you can track your own progress. The challenge most people have with goal setting is how to go about the process and come up with effective goals. The starting point of an effective goal setting strategy is a personal evaluation and identifying what you want to achieve. There is enough hard work at each stage. Here are the five principles that govern effective goal setting:
- Set Goals That Motivate You
If you are going to work hard for the attainment of your goals, they need to inspire you. This means setting goals that are important to you and in which you will find value in achieving. Your goals should reflect your high priorities in life. They should also be prioritized to have a better focus instead of too many goals which are hard to plan for their attainment. Get goals that have a sense of urgency, for you to build the necessary commitment. For every goal you set ask yourself why it is valuable and how it adds up to your present and long term fulfilment as well as relate to other goals you have set.
- Set SMART Goals
This is such a repeated principle – it almost sounds like cliché. However, not many people apply it when setting goals. For your goals to be powerful and effective they have to meet all the evaluation standards of SMART goal. These are:
- Specific- Your goals should be well defined in a concise manner. Vague goals lack clarity of direction and will not help you focus.
- Measurable- Your goals should have ways you can evaluate them to know how far you are in achieving them and when you have achieved them. Get the precise amounts, dates and any other data to help you measure the goals.
- Attainable- Set goals that you can achieve. If you have no hope of achieving a set goal you will only be demoralized. This does not mean setting easy goals that you can attain without breaking a sweat as it can be an anti-climax.
- Relevant- Goals have to be relevant with the career you want to take, your personal development and well-being. Even when the goals cover different facets of your life ensure they are related to one another to avoid setting widely scattered and inconsistent goals.
- Time bound- Your goals should have a deadline to create a sense of urgency.
- Set the Goals in Writing
When you write down your goal it becomes tangible and takes on a real form. Write them in powerful statements and frame them positively. Have the goals at visible places where you can see them daily.
- Make an Action Plan
This is what provides the outline for how the goals will be achieved. Set out the process in clear and concise steps. You can cancel each concluded step to help you map out your progress.
- Stick With Your Plan and Goals
Setting goals and achieving them is a continuous process building from one success to another. Keep yourself on track and persist regardless of any setbacks until you achieve what you set out for.
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