Psychological reason behind future goals

setting goals

The Goal not only means the goal you score while playing football but it also refers to setting specific targets that can be achieved in a given period. It helps to stay focused and motivated to work towards the desired outcome. Goals could be as simple as making up your bed after waking up in the morning or becoming a doctor, teacher, or artist. You can visualize goals, like all those small red and green flags placed at small distances on the sides of the running track, which provides a sight to all the runners for how far they have come and how much they are yet to run to win the race. Future goals are like the tiny milestones set on the way that are to be achieved one by one until we reach the finishing line (of our life).

Future goals are the source of daily motivation and provide some diversity in daily routine. Setting goals for the future gives you a sense of purpose to live, to wake up every day feeling hopeful and determined to be able to strive for what you want and take up responsibilities in your life. Having goals sorted in your mind gives you a sense of satisfaction and control over life. Life would be so boring and easy without any goal or purpose to achieve, just eat, sleep, and repeat the cycle, which leads you nowhere.

Also Read: 4 tips to Set High-Achieving Goals

Future goals give a sense of direction and help save energy

Future goals provide a concrete pathway or a mind map for you to follow throughout the journey of life. It’s of no use to just go on and on with no specific goal or desire in mind to achieve. Every day feels like same with no definite goal to achieve. Having a future goal envisioned within helps minimize energy and time loss as now you know what exactly you want for yourself and how you going to achieve it. In other words, you’ll be able to wander less and work more once you set a goal for yourself. It’s been said that: If you know what you want to do, you are already halfway there.

Future goals set you apart from the crowd and help you build connections

Some people are just blindly following the path that everyone is leading in the hope of attaining something fruitful and that’s not how it works. Everyone has their own future goals to accomplish, and that’s what sets them apart from all other people. Future goals help you find your group of like-minded people to discuss plans and actions with. You become more empathetic toward other people who share the same life goals as you because now you might have gained an idea of all the hardships and backgrounds of their lives.

Future goals bring discipline to our lives

We set goals and accordingly mold our lives to get what we want. We add more positive things to do in our routine and focus on upgrading skills that could level up our performance.

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Setting up future goals makes your life meaningful

Imagine waking up every day with no definitive purpose or nothing to accomplish just wandering aimlessly here and there with no specific goal in mind. How would you feel? Perplexed, demotivated, careless, lazy, tardy Right? Hence, the importance of future goals, and providing meaning to your lives comes here. Setting up future goals teaches us to prioritize our actions and make choices that align with our long-term aspirations. The

Power of Purpose: How Setting Future Goals Can provide even a little bit of hope in Adverse Conditions

In the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl, the psychological reasons behind setting future goals are very well explained through his own experiences in a Nazi concentration camp. When everyone was counting their days left in the camp, Frankl was the one to survive and maintain his mental well-being by having a strong sense of purpose and future goals which led his will to ‘live’ stronger with each passing day despite of all the adversity.

Frankl found solace and motivation by visualising a future where he could reunite with his loved ones, continue his work as a psychiatrist, and share his experiences through his manuscript which he prepared in the camp itself. This sense of purpose and future-oriented mindset gave him the strength to endure the hardships of the camp and maintain hope for a better and ‘free of slavery’ future. Future goals provide us with a reason to keep going, even in the most challenging circumstances.

Set your goals the right way

Most of the time we set goals out of high motivation and clear mind and we forget it after some time or leave halfway as it seems unapproachable now. For example, every year on New Year’s Eve we set some New Year resolutions for the upcoming year, but seem to forget them while coming to the end of the year. It’s like a vicious circle and it’s because we don’t follow a specific order or the process of goal setting.

Step1-Write down your goals as you are not a robot to remember it all

Writing your goals on paper may seem an unnecessary step, but it’s a valuable step as it helps you distinguish between what is important and which one to prioritize first.

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Pro tip: write your goals, be they small or large, short term or long term, on a sheet of paper and put it where you can watch it every day from the moment you wake up so you can memorize it by heart and don’t forget to work upon it.

Step2-Be smart by Applying SMART

Make sure your goal is, Specific: the goal should be clear and well-defined with respect to the time framework, role, field, etc. It should not be vague or confusing. You must conquer your goals, so set them according to your capability and skills.

For example: I want to be a Doctor so I will study hand to score 650+ on my entrance test.

Measurable: measurable goals help you track your progress and stay motivated. Add measurable elements to your goal like dates, amounts, percentages, etc. to make it feel complete and unavoidable.

Attainable: The goal you set should be achievable and within your reach. Avoid setting unrealistic goals as they only lead to self-doubt or low confidence.

Relevant: Make sure the goal you are working on aligns with your actions or the field of work. Ask yourself: is it what I want? Will it help me achieve something? Is it useful for me to put all my energy to accomplish this particular goal? If yes, then go on, it is yours to accomplish.

Time-specific: Establish a timeline to your goal so that you will remain in control and do not procrastinate or take forever to accomplish. When you do not set a time limit for the target yet to be achieved, you may miss the deadline or the valuable opportunities and as it has been said: There is no use of crying over spilt milk.

Step3- identify your obstacles:

Identifying obstacles in goal setting is an important part of the process. It helps anticipate potential challenges and develop new strategies to overcome helps us identify where we’re lagging behind or what skill we are devoid of. Remember, obstacles are just opportunities for growth and learning and solving them shows your capabilities and attitude for problem solving.

Step 4-create an action plan:

It’s time to bring the mind map you’ve created for yourself into action. If the goal is more challenging, break it down into smaller steps and set milestones to make it more manageable. You can also reward yourself after each step to stay motivated and on track.

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Step 5-moniter your progress:

During that step of the process, you stay put and assess how far you have reached and how much is yet to be accomplished. If you are falling behind, make sure to revise your action plan and add the necessary steps when needed to catch up on your designated plan.

So, let us keep dreaming, setting goals, and working towards creating a future that brings us joy and meaning and not uncertainty or doubt.

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