We generally set goals that are set too far in the future, for instance, each year we make a New Year Resolution, we give our self a year to achieve it and we try to stay firm, but if we just look back at last year’s resolution, we don’t even remember when the resolution stopped mattering to us.
The whole exercise seems like we are treading water instead of actually moving forward.
No matter how hard we try, the commitment to stay firm to the promise, being self-motivated and driven all the time is hard and soon we conveniently forget about the resolution. But this failure does not stop us from making another resolution next year and so on..unfortunately the vicious cycle continues without any positive outcome.
We fail to realize that Goal setting is a powerful way of attaining our ideal future and motivating oneself to turn that vision into reality.
So, let’s try a different approach to Goal Setting with our Quarterly Goal Plan at Promact.
How to set a GOAL?
Consider what you want to achieve and then commit to it. A simple key to do this is to set Goals that motivate you.
The first step should be to document the Goal, this will make the Goal more concrete and you are less likely to forget about it.
The second thing to do is to plan the steps that will help you achieve the goal and cross off the steps as you finish them.
Personal Goal Setting
Set Goals that enhance your skills and add value, a goal should motivate you and give you a long-term vision. Set a Goal that enhances your skills either professionally or has a value addition on a personal front.
A goal that enhances your skills in a certain way will also give you a perspective that will shape other aspects of your life, both professionally and personally. For example,
Career: A career goal should answer the question, what do I want to achieve in my career?
Financial: Link your financial goal with your career goal, this will help you plan both your finances as well as your career.
Education: Are there any skills that you wish to learn and how learning this skill will help me in my career?
Family: Am I able to maintain a healthy work-life balance?
Voluntary Work: Do you feel strongly about any social cause and how can you contribute towards it?
Set small GOALS
You may be driven to accomplish bigger Goals like buying a sports bike or planning a trip abroad this year, however, the idea is to plan and achieve few smaller Goals that will help you achieve your bigger Goal.
A small goal could be to save money each month by cutting down unnecessary expenses like binge online shopping, eating out every now and then, etc.
Create a to-do-list
Stay on Track with SMART Goals
Stay on track by reviewing and updating the Goals on a daily basis and if that is not possible, at least do a weekly self-review.
(Set a goal that is specific such as: ‘I want to lose 7 kgs in 3 months’ or ‘I want to keep my blood sugar in check without medicines’)
M- Measurable or Meaningful
(The goal should be measurable such as, if you want to lose weight then specify the kilograms you wish to lose)
A- Attainable or Action-oriented
(Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Similarly, the idea is to set a Goal that is attainable through a series of small steps, for example if weight loss is your Goal then break down the goal on a monthly basis and keep a weekly check on it. This will give you the exact status of your weight loss journey
(The Goal should be realistic, if the foreign trip that you have planned is expensive then it is impossible for you to plan everything in the last week. An ideal approach will be to set apart a fixed sum of money each month to tackle all the expenses including last-minute surprises)
(A goal which is not time-bound and trackable is most likely to be forgotten. Keep a regular check on your progress to have enough planning and execution time)
Few Guidelines for Goal Setting:
- Stay on course with an assessment checklist, it is important to review your Goal periodically, this will not only help you stay on course but also help you reflect on changing experience and priorities.
- Start small, start with Goals related to health, fitness, a habit that you want to change or quit, a hobby that you want to start (guitar, reading, swimming, etc)
- Do not set Goals that are not measurable. Remember if you are not able to measure the Goal, there is no way of knowing whether you have actually attained it or not.
- Set Goals that are self-driven and do not need an external reviewer, the idea is to be your own critic as well as an appraiser. Also, personal Goals should not need external validation from a friend, colleague or superior. Be your own judge!
- Be lenient on yourself. Always remember Goals are meant to motivate you and not lower your morale. In case you are unable to achieve the Goal or have partly achieved it, make a mental checklist to observe what went wrong.
- Goals related to learning new technology are harder to access as the level of your expertise is debatable. So do not include this Goal in the quarterly goals.
Lastly before summing up, do not forget to reward yourself when you achieve your Goal. And also remember that as long as you learn from the experience, failure in the achievement of your Goals does not really matter.