One of the most powerful tools in life is goal setting. Goal setting gives you direction and purpose. Without goals, it is very likely your daily activities will have no relation to what you desire and possibly achieve in life. By challenging yourself with a goal, you can take little steps daily to get you closer to that goal. Goal setting is one of the key tools towards achieving success in life.
This new year, as with every new year, brings about the urge from everyone to resolve to do something. This year, why not set one to three goals you can realistically complete before the end of the year. Remember, when you set a goal, you need to keep these things in mind:
- I your goal realistic?
- Can your progress towards your goal be measured?
- Does your goal contribute to your or others’ betterment?
Is Your Goal Realistic?
The very first thing you need to look at is how realistic is your goal. Is whatever you are aspiring to do even physically or temporally possible?
For example, let’s say you are a runner and wish to improve your time for running a 10Km race. You set a goal to be able to run a 10K in 10 minutes. Of course this is pretty absurd. The fastest runner on record to do a 10K is Leonard Patrick Komon of Kenya. He did it in 26 minutes and 44 seconds (26:44). Here’s another example of an unrealistic goal for 2015. Supposing that you are only a 7th grader struggling with your class in introduction to Algebra. You set your goal to get a degree in Math so you can teach Math in school by the end of 2015. Again, this is another example of an absurd goal which isn’t possible considering your age and that it takes about 4 years to complete a degree in college.
Here’s an example of a realistic goal. Say you can run the 10Km (6.2 miles) race in 1 hour. This year you want to set a goal to run a half marathon (13.1 miles). This is definitely feasible. If you are able to sustain the same speed as your 10Km run, you may even complete a half marathon in about 2 hours and 7 minutes. And with consistent training, you can easily improve your chances of beating expectations.
Another example of a realistic goal is to read 12 books by the end of 2015. This is definitely possible especially if you pick books that interests you greatly. Some people are known to complete a book reading of a typical paper back book in one day! So yes, reading 12 books in a year is extremely possible.
Can You Measure Your Goal Progress?
You can’t really tell if you’ve achieved a goal if there is no way to measure your progress towards it. Here’s an example of a measurable goal.
You are a freshman in high school, and you set your eyes on getting straight As (or 4s) for all you classes for both the school year ending in June and the first semester ending in December 2015. During the semester, you get feedback from the teacher regarding how you are progressing through your scores on pop quizzes, homework, mid term testing, and final testing.
This is definitely feasible if you study daily to ensure you understand the class topics, and ask for help on subject matter you don’t understand. It may not be easy, but it is doable. As you take your tests during the semester, the scores you get is measurement of your progress. If you aren’t getting the scores you need to achieve the desired goal, you need to make adjustments to how you study or ask for help; perhaps you need to join a study group to help you understand the subject matter better. Regardless of what you do, the point is that you can adjust your actions as a result of the means to measure your progress towards your goal.
Does Your Goal Benefit You and/or Others?
It doesn’t make any sense to set goals that do not help you or others in a positive way. For example, setting a goal to reach 1 million points in a video game is most likely not a worthwhile goal for you or anyone.
On the other hand, setting a goal to run a half marathon can be beneficial to your health. It may also help benefit others who you inspire to exercise, aside from helping fund the charity the event organizer is supporting.
Set one to three goals for the year 2015. Remember to keep these in mind when setting goals:
- Is the goal realistic?
- Can you measure your progress towards the goal?
- Does the end-result of the goal benefit your or others in a positive way?
If you’ve already set a goal this year, why not share it by posting a comment below.