What Should You Keep In Mind Before Setting Goals?
The one thing that all human beings have in common is that they are an innately goal- oriented species. From the time we are born, we are nurtured into the mindset of doing better and being better, whether in our academic, social or personal lives and are even rewarded for doing so accordingly. This drive has the power of making the impossible possible in some circumstances, by causing tremendous growth through change in our lives.
While a lot of research has been undertaken to understand the mechanism of goal- setting, many pivotal findings have been uncovered to show that goal- setting can actually have numerous benefits. One such advantage of goal- setting is that it actually leads to a shift in our identity and who we believe we are. By setting an image of our future self, our brain automatically assumes us to be that person and adapts our self- image accordingly. Thus, it can be a very powerful technique if used correctly and rationally. In addition to this, setting a goal can actually make you responsible for your own life. Many times, we have the tendency to sit back and “go with the flow”, often displacing the power we hold over our life to external circumstances. Setting goals essentially means taking charge of your reality, strengths and weaknesses included, and making the most of your present with them. Once you feel responsible for the success or failure of your life, you take more effort to ensure that you gain the outcomes you desire. Goal- setting is also necessary to move out of your comfort zone and aids personal growth. Most people advance when they are forced to level up in order to succeed and setting goals sets the seal on that, by pushing you down roads you may not have travelled before. Apart from this, setting goals is a significant way to understand your priorities, allocate your time fruitfully and get closer to your mission and purpose in life.
Needless to say, setting goals is an essential part of the human experience. However, it can often be counter- productive and lead to lower productivity and motivation if it is not done correctly. Here are some things to keep in mind while you are setting goals of any kind to ensure that you accomplish them, while growing in the process:
Connect your goals to a larger vision
While accomplishing short term goals is motivating and necessary, it is crucial to connect them to a larger vision that you hold for yourself and your future. Once you are confident about your mission and what you want to do in the next few months or preferably years, aligning all your activities to that will not only help you take steps closer to a better version of yourself, but also keep you on track every time you falter. Keeping a greater purpose in mind can be an extremely motivating factor to keep going, especially on days you feel like giving up.
It is fundamental to remember that while your goals need to be challenging, they should not scare you to a point that you think you will never be able to achieve them. If this happens, you will naturally tend to lose the drive to work towards such goals as you will believe that they are impossible to achieve. While it is imperative to push yourself, it is also equally important to take into account the fact that you are human and you can only do so much, while considering future events that could lead you to go off track. A pivotal thing to ask yourself while thinking of setting realistic goals is whether you have the time and resources available to make it happen, because while goal setting is required, it is often done with the sole purpose of actually accomplishing them, and if you are unable to do that then it will defeat the primary motive.
After setting goals, it is necessary to do self check-in’s to evaluate where you stand and how much progress you have made in reaching your target. Only making a determination is never enough; being successful requires consistent effort, even if only for a few minutes daily. Reviewing improvement can serve as a great reminder of how close you are to your goal and if you need to change or adapt any strategies that may be stagnating your growth for you to reach there. No time spent learning is ever wasted and staying regular is key to make steady attempts to make good on your promises to yourself.
Give yourself room to make mistakes
While it is important to have a mindset that is hardwired to achieve the most that you can, it is even more essential to remember that you are still human at the end of the day. One thing that you should not miss during this journey is to remember to be kind and compassionate to yourself even after you slack or go off- track for a while. Give yourself room to make mistakes and pick up where you leave off without directing any blame or criticism towards yourself. A defining aspect of successful goal- setting is to be able to bring yourself back no matter how far off you steer from your path and still advance with the same vigour as before.
In conclusion, consider what you want to accomplish, keep these foundational tips in mind and give your all to achieve it. Before you know it, you will be looking back at your journey, stunned with how far you would have come and equally thrilled with the idea of how much further you will have to go.