“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” -Seneca
Ask a child "What do you want to become in future?" and out would pop a prompt reply to the question. Though the reply, most of the times, is funny, nevertheless the question is never left unanswered. What you need to understand from the answer of the child is that there is always a plan, though the ultimate destination keeps on changing from time to time. Talking about the present scenario, there is a sea of hardworking people out there but there are only a fistful of people who really consider themselves successful as most of the hardworking people haven't really pondered upon the important question "What do I want from life?" Setting a goal for oneself always helps, because if a goal is set then the work done towards that goal becomes measurable and hence, a track can be kept of the endeavors made towards that goal. Goal setting is a continuous cycle of setting small goals, working towards them, continuously motivating oneself in the process and then rewarding oneself on the achievement of the goal. Setting a goal helps one to get ready with a plan along with a backup plan for future. It gives the person a long term vision. If life is a journey, then goals can be defined as milestones and at times, even destinations. If the milestone/ destination is not set, one is likely to get lost on the way towards the destination or might reach a destination which one never thought of traveling to at the first place. Goals need not necessarily be career-oriented. One can set up goals for one's personal life as well.
Personal Goal Setting
It's All In The Attitude
When Maya Angelou said, "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude", she wasn't bluffing. Before planning and setting up goals, it is your basic attitude that you need to examine, for most of the times, it is our outlook that causes a lot of hindrances towards achievement of the goal. A well-balanced attitude can take you to greater heights both in terms of professional and personal life. Similarly, a wrong attitude is all you need to go down the drain. Assess yourself and take a note of all the negative attributes of your personality. Check and change them before it gets too late.
On Road To Education
Another area where you can set goals is education. Bagging a minimum level of qualification for the sake of earning a decent income is an erroneous approach. There should in fact be no reason for accumulating knowledge. Many people study or take up an extra course in particular as an additional degree is likely to enhance their chances of getting a promotion. However, this approach is absolutely wrong. Learning is but a gradual and continuous process and doesn't end with a degree. You should never stop learning because only this ensures proper growth and stability in life.
The Game of Money
People say that money isn't everything. Point noted, but in words of T. Harv Eker, "Money is a lubricant that lets you 'slide' through life instead of having to 'scrape' by". Consider your recourses and ask yourself how much money you need to live the kind of life you find suitable for yourself. How much do you need to save for an easy and occasional spurting? What are the substantial things which you wish to buy? It may be a house or a car. Once you have determined that, next step is to set a goal for your career and budgets accordingly. Though you may argue that by this, you would get more materialistic; understand that not every time you can suffice your needs with a philosophical bent of mind.
Beauty to teens is career to adults. Just as looking attractive and compelling is the foremost concern of teenagers, similarly, having a stable career is the primary concern of adults. You should be crystal clear about your career objective in life before treading on the career path as career is mostly the factor which determines the major decisions of your life. You should be clear about your interest and skills and abilities and choose a vocation that you know would help fulfill your ambitions and objectives of life.
Health is Wealth
If you are not healthy, then you will obviously face difficulties in achieving the objectives you have set for yourself and won't even be able to enjoy the success of your labor and hard work. So, it is very crucial to have a healthy body, not just physically but also mentally. For maintaining or achieving physical and mental fitness, you must set training goals for yourself. For example, set up a fitness regimen for yourself, which should include physical as well as mental exercises; and then stick to it.
Tips To Set Effective Goals
Before setting up a goal for yourself, indulge in a SWOT analysis. SWOT is a mnemonic for Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats, thus SWOT. Keeping in mind the SWOT analysis, you can set achievable short term and long term goals for yourself. This will enable you to follow the path towards your goals. Also, as and when you achieve your short term goals, confidence would build and you would be able the long-term objectives as well.
Another important mnemonic to remember before setting up personal goals is S.M.A.R.T. Mnemonic for the same stand as Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. Setting personal goals keeping in mind this mnemonic are achievable and realistic in comparison to vague goals set without keeping in mind these points.
Goal setting is a powerful tool which helps a person to decipher the future in some way, motivate himself towards the betterment of it and finally convert it into reality. The continuous process of creating new goals and achieving those will help reaching the destination of life faster than it will without setting goals!