Goal setting in simple terms means the process of taking steps to achieve your desired outcome. It is the act of setting the things you want to achieve.
According to Mindmesh, Goal setting is the process of identifying something that you want to achieve and then creating a plan to make it happen. It helps you stay focused and motivated and gives you a clear direction to follow. Have you ever wondered why we set goals? Or even more, thought about effective ways to achieve the goals we set? If you have, then you are in the right place. In this article, we cover the importance of goal setting and effective ways to smash the goals you set. Keep reading!
Importance of Goal Setting
1. Setting goals gives us a sense of direction
This means you have an idea of what you want to achieve. You have a clear plan on when and how to achieve your goals. You have something to work towards and you know the required steps to take to achieve your goals. Setting goals makes you focused, and organized and keeps you motivated.
Goal setting also helps determine how far we have gone. It acts as a guideline to track our accomplishments. Setting goals and penning those goals down acts as a reminder; that is why it is advisable to write New Year’s resolutions( goals). However, most of us abandon those goals at the beginning of the year. I’ll explain why we never achieve the goals we set. This happens because most of the time, we set goals that are unrealistic or goals that we can not achieve within a reasonable time frame.
2. Goal setting gives a person a sense of accomplishment
The greatest feeling you can ever get as a student, person, or human being is a sense of accomplishment. That feeling that you get when you get All A’s, pass a test, pass a promotional exam, or get a promotion is euphoric and setting goals helps you get that feeling. The main reason people set goals is to accomplish a task; setting goals enables you to accomplish that fast.
3. It helps us to prioritize our time and energy
Setting goals helps us prioritize our time and energy. When we set goals we know what matters the most, where our focus lies, and what we should prioritize. This will help us avoid wasting time on irrelevant and unimportant activities. For example, if you want to get all A’s in your courses, your time and attention will be on those courses, hence you will have to spend more time studying.
4. It gives Us a clear idea of what we want to achieve
It helps you know where your focus lies. When you set goals it helps define what you want and makes you set a deadline for when you want to achieve it. It forms a mental picture which makes you driven and focused.
5. It helps us actualise our goals and ambitions
Penning your goals down makes them easier to achieve. It reduces procrastination and makes you very focused. It also helps to track your progress and results.
Now that we have discussed the importance of setting goals, we now have reasons to set goals. However, most people do not achieve their goals just by writing them down and staying motivated. This is why most people’s New Year’s resolutions never work. This is so because they do not know how to effectively set goals. How then can we set achievable goals? Let’s take a look!
4 Ways to achieve your goals
1. set realistic goals
The goals we set have to be very realistic and attainable. This doesn’t mean we can’t achieve what we want to have, or be ambitious or that we should limit ourselves. When I say realistic, I mean goals that can be achieved within a reasonable period depending on your current habits. For example, if you want to increase your study time and you currently study for only an hour, it will be unreasonable to set a goal to study for 10 hours. Why don’t you begin with an extra hour and gradually increase it from there? That will definitely be more realistic.
2. Avoid procrastination
Procrastination is the biggest killer of time. We all agree that we could have achieved so much if not for our habit of procrastinating.
I will do it later…
I will soon do it…
I will do it tomorrow.
This is what we often say, only to find out that we never did it, or hurriedly did it and did a terrible job. I’m sure most people can testify to this when it comes to doing assignments and studying.
Everyone suffers from procrastination or has suffered from procrastination at some point in their lives, including me. However, I have a little trick that helps me avoid procrastination – delayed gratification.
This simply means work now/ suffer now and enjoy later. I have this mentality that you should labour now, so you would enjoy the benefits of your labour.
If I have an assignment I prefer to do it on time, and then see a movie after to reward myself. If this mentality doesn’t work for you, you need to find a mechanism to overcome procrastination.
Procrastination is bad and prevents us from achieving our goals. You need determination, and a strong will to overcome it.
3. Do not limit yourself when setting goals.
I am the problem…
I am not good enough…
Nothing ever works out for me…
I can’t do it…
Stan Toler explains the power of positive and negative words. Negative words have a way of destroying your self-esteem and reducing your morale. You can do EVERY SINGLE THING you put your mind to.
You can get All A’s, you can get promoted, and you are capable of all things only if you believe. You can use affirmations to help you achieve success in your exams.
With this in mind, always set long-term and important goals. However, not limiting yourself doesn’t mean you should set unrealistic goals. For example, if you want to buy a house worth 50 million naira and you have about 1 million naira saved up and your salary in a month is only 200,000( two hundred thousand naira), it would be unrealistic to say you want to buy that house in 6 months. Instead of setting a goal to buy a house within 6 months, you could set a goal to save at least a certain amount monthly until you reach your target; that would be more realistic.
Another example is Hilda Baci, her goal was to be a Guinness world record holder, cooking for 100 hours. That goal seemed unattainable, but she did not limit herself.
4. Differentiate your goals.
There are two types of goals, long-term goals and short-term goals. It is important to differentiate your goals to avoid beating yourself up.
What do I mean?
If you set a goal that will be unreasonable, unobtainable and unachievable within a short period, it will lead to you being disappointed and discouraged.
However, if you give the goal a reasonable period, the goal becomes achievable.
Short-term goals are goals that you can quickly work on and would not take time to achieve. These goals can include academic goals, towards a test or examination. Long-term goals include activities like graduating from school with an excellent CGPA, starting a business, or writing a novel. These are activities that might take a long period of time to achieve.
With all these tips put in place, it will be very easy to achieve your goals. Now, we need to realize that goals take time, dedication and self-will to achieve. It takes effort to achieve goals. If you do not get the exact result you want, do not be disappointed. Instead, be encouraged and proud of your consistency and dedication.