As the New Year rolls around, for most people, it’s resolution time! Right? But why wait till January when we could do it right now? Setting goals doesn't come with a particular occasional timing, nor dependent on it…. Goals are what keep us moving forward in life; so the minute you plan something, regardless of what it is, is a goal. So the next time you are planning on doing the weekly chores or decide on watching that really cool action movie after work, always keep in mind that these small tasks account as goals, and while seemingly insignificant, you are goal setting.
So this blog post is not about telling you to list down what kinds of goals setting to do or when you should be planning your goals, it’s for you to realise the significance and importance of goal-setting and why you should apply this knowledge to your life. Let’s dig in, shall we?
The process of setting goals helps guides your focus and helps you sustain that momentum in life. By knowing precisely what you want to do with your life, you can directly align your focus towards achieving them, and thus goal-setting promotes a sense of strong self-mastery.
When you set a goal, you naturally direct your attention toward a next step and, as a result, lead yourself in the right direction, which forces your actions—your behaviours—to follow and reach that target. Imagine having to cut onions (using a knife) without paying attention while watching your favourite TV series. Where would you aim? The onions or your fingers? And say you did aim at your fingers (out of lack of concentration). Why would you aim there? And what would the purpose be? Don’t tell me the purpose is to hurt yourself! This is a literal example of what life is like without a goal or focus in mind because if you don’t know what you are doing, it can lead to outcomes that can potentially turn against you. This reminds me of a cheesy saying: whatever the mind believes (focus), the body achieves (objective). The body follows the mind. Therefore, having goals makes your actions count!
“I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.” — Venus Williams.
What’s the purpose of setting goals if you do not know how to determine whether you are going to be successful at achieving them? That is why, to determine the level of success that you want to achieve, you must be able to measure the progress due to the following reasons:
Also, remember that when you are setting a goal, you must select a goal that can be measured. Follow the S.M.A.R.T (more about SMART objectives will be discussed in the upcoming blog). For example, rather than saying you want to lose weight, try thinking in more measurable ways, such as how much weight you want to lose and when. In this way, you can easily measure your progress and stay on track to achieve your goals.
“There is no one right way to measure your progress. Any way you decide to do it will work. The important point is that you do some type of measurement.” –Jerry Bruckner.
Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. What were your goals when you started? What have you achieved so far? Who would you be letting down if you gave up?
All the above questions are the key motivating factors to remind yourself daily what you’re working towards and help set goals that are meaningful, doable, and attainable. This way, you’ll be able to get through small tasks by focusing on how they help advance your overall mission.
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford.
When you set a goal for yourself, you make yourself accountable to finish the task. So, identify when you're most productive, and do the tasks that you find most challenging at these times. Because the more difficult the task is, the more you feel motivated to achieve it. For that, set yourself time-bound goals (again, utilise S.M.A.R.T technique here). Setting yourself specific deadlines to complete tasks will keep you on track to achieve your goals, and as a result, you will have no time for procrastination!
“You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential.” —Steve Garvey.
Seeing progress is addicting. No, seriously, it literally will make you want more and more because of the dopamine released in your brain after attaining a reward. Just as a snowball grows in size as it’s rolled down a hill, momentum works the same way. Just think of the last time you were really “in the groove” where you said to yourself, “I’m on a roll!” That’s momentum. Whatever you were doing, you probably didn’t want to stop because you were in the optimal state of mental performance. This also means no matter what the situation is, once you get to taste of progress, you eventually want to stay locked in. After all, no one wants to be the loser! That is why, when you see yourself progressing, it lets you subconsciously keep away from distractions, and therefore your focus remains only on the goal.
Follow this: set a SMART goal, improve, lock it in, and then give it your 100%. Keep your focus on what you can do and what is possible!
“One half of knowing what you want, is knowing what you must give up before you get it.” – Sidney Howard.
When you’re trying to make a lifestyle change for weight loss or overall health, it isn’t easy to keep going even when you have a powerful reason. But, on a day to day basis when you’re in the thick of it all, rewarding yourself in simple ways for small accomplishments can go a long way. It can make you stay put to plan new goals ahead - set, achieve, & repeat!
Here are some examples of small rewards:
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”— Henry David Thoreau.
Thanks for reading this blog and if you find it insightful please share with your loved ones ~Cheers!
Disclaimer: The author is not a financial advisor and the information provided is general in nature and was prepared for information purposes only. This article should not be considered to constitute financial advice. Accordingly, reliance should not be placed on this article as the basis for making an investment, financial or other decision. This information does not take into account your investment objectives, particular needs or financial situation.