There is no defined method for setting and achieving your goal. But if you read related literature and ask around for advice, the answers may be summed up into one thing: Know exactly what you want.
When setting and working towards achieving your goal, you have to be specific. General statements like “I want to own a car” are not as clear-cut and effective as “I want to own a Ford Lynx within two years.” Realizing this difference will help you be able to map out your life strategy more efficiently.
Paul Meyer, the author of “Attitude is Everything”, suggests an S-M-A-R-T way to setting and achieving your goals. SMART means:
S- Specific (Again, know what you want)
M- Measurable (How much do you want?)
A- Action-oriented (Something you can achieve by working for it)
R- Realistic (within your resources and means)
T- Tangible (something that you can appreciate and remind yourself of your hard work)
It would be good to set goals that challenge you. Otherwise, there really wouldn’t be any point and fun to the process. When setting and seeking to achieve your goal, choose something that would not only benefit you in the end but also offer a lot of lessons while you’re at it. In this way, if you, unfortunately, do not get to reach your goal, you will still be thankful that you learned a lot of new things along the way.
To more easily set and achieve goals, take a little time identifying first what these are, so they won’t contradict each other and leave you frustrated. The six areas you can set your goals against may involve family and home, spiritual and moral, finances and career, social, physical, and mental. Identify goals in each of these areas to work out a clearer life plan. You will be thankful for the absence of mind clutter after.
Setting and achieving goals requires more than simply recognizing and identifying what they are. You have to realize the difference between a goal and a dream. A dream is something you just aspire for, whereas a goal is something that involves work and some form of sacrifice.
Setting goals is easy. It’s the achieving part that poses the challenge. That’s why you have to stay SMART at all times. Self-discipline is key. You need to be passionate enough to reach your goal, otherwise, what you’ve done is just writing random things down and wasting precious time and paper. And that is not smart.
An example is cheating on the goals you have set. You can’t say you want to lose four pounds every month and then irresponsibly lose just one pound by not sticking to your diet plan and exercise plan. More importantly, you cannot make up for your blunder by saying “Hey, I’ll just lose seven pounds next month.” Not only will you be fooling yourself, you might even subject yourself to possible health risks!
As mentioned earlier, there is no fun to a goal that does not involve a challenge. It is boring and will more likely cause you to stray and break what you have set. If you think you don’t have the willpower to achieve them, get a goal setting buddy. This way, you will be monitoring each other’s progress.
Sacrifice and discipline are needed to setting and achieving effective goals. Sure, they can be quite difficult, but nothing definitely beats the satisfaction you get when you finally start enjoying the fruits of your labor. Now get smart and start moving.