The Golden Recipe for Goal-Setting
“A goal without a plan is just a wish” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Goal-setting is a practice as old as time, we all do it in our own ways. Some do it knowing they won’t lift a finger to accomplish the established goals. Others take it to a whole new level, meticulously listing and tracking their actions so that they reach the peak of the mountain.
Regardless of where you fit in this spectrum, you may have looked for methods that can actually help you attain your objectives. The SMART recipe seems to be the best to date:
You may have been told off by your English teacher once or twice, saying your research question was “too broad”. The same applies to objectives, you want to steer clear from generalised ones, as they only serve to gather up dust.
Well-defined, specific goals make it much easier to identify in great detail what steps need to be taken - and how often -, to get to your chosen destination.
Being able to track your goals, means you regularly get to see where your effort goes and more importantly whether it’s bringing concrete, positive results. This way, you won’t have to panic if something goes wrong, as you’re constantly learning from your mistakes and adjusting your approach accordingly.
None of us can wake up tomorrow and be Elvis Presley, so being realistic about our goals is helpful. Take into account your own circumstances, strengths and weaknesses. If your goal has an unrealistic foundation, in regards to time-frame or resources, you will quickly become unmotivated.
However, the saying, “Feet on the Ground, Head in the Clouds” rings very true. You should still dream big, as a healthy ambition is geared towards not only what is attainable, but also greatness.
We all want to have it all, but relevancy is key to keep your eyes on what truly matters.
To achieve great things, smaller goals have to be sacrificed at times. You want to narrow down your focus, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by having too much on your plate. One question that helps put it all in perspective, is the famous “where would you like to be in five years time?” or for short-term goals, in one, two years time? Find your priorities and don’t let anything distract you from them.
Deadlines are ingrained in this world of ours for a reason, people work harder - and procrastinate less - when there’s a sense of urgency involved.
Time is truly precious, when you achieve something great in a reasonable space of time, your accomplishment will be all the more valuable. Look for the best ways to manage your time and apply self-discipline; the results will come much quicker that way, and you’ll be grateful to yourself.