Advertising

Last Updated on December 4, 2020

How To Set Goals Effectively And Grow Continuously

Advertising
How To Set Goals Effectively And Grow Continuously

One of the most vital productivity tools at your disposal is being able to set goals. Without goals, it’s difficult for you to be going in any direction. Not to mention, a lack of goals doesn’t put you in control of your life.

You may already know all of that, however, what you may not know is that not all goals are created equal. Setting goals is incredibly easy, but many people still struggle with setting goals effectively.

People are quick to think big, create vision boards, or use other goal-setting methods. However, a few weeks or months later, those people are not even close to their goals; some may have even given up.

I don’t want you to fall into that pitfall now or ever again. So, to help with that, I want to share with you some simple steps on how to set goals effectively and achieve them.

Why Do People Struggle With Goals?

To understand why I’m giving you these methods, you need to understand why you are stuck with goals in the first place. The list of why people struggle with goals is extensive.

In most situations, why people struggle with goals is to do with a lot of what’s going on inside you.[1]

Some specific examples are:

  • You harbor doubt in the goal or your abilities that the goal demands from you.
  • Your goals are too impotent – as in they’re not important enough.
  • There’s little risk of major setbacks if you give up or stop.
  • Maybe you view your goals as a final result rather than the start of something new. You’re not enjoying the process and lose motivation after some time.

The thing is that these issues can be remedied if you know how to set goals effectively.

How Do I Set Goals Effectively?

If you’re tired of setting goals and never achieving them or losing momentum, here are some steps on how to set goals effectively, make them realistic, and achieve them.

Advertising

Step 1 – Develop and Write Down Your Core Values

Also known as personal values, understanding what you value is important to goal setting. What you value the most is what structures your habits, processes, and the goals that you set.

When you’re not aligned with your core values, chances are you’re not motivated to achieve them at any capacity, even if those goals are inherently good for you like losing weight or being a better partner. If you don’t have core values in those areas, then chances are your willingness to improve isn’t going to be much.

And that’s okay. Because that often means you are more focused on other things that are more important to you. You won’t know what that is until you put together your core values.

There are many examples of core values. Some of these are:[2]

  • Authority
  • Competency
  • Determination
  • Leadership
  • Love
  • And many more

You can do this in two ways: either write your goals and find core values after or find core values you associate with and set goals around those.

Step 2 – Remove Weak Goals That Are ‘Good Enough’

What this refers to are the goals that make you feel good but aren’t driving you to pursue them.

One example is how most people use vision boards. People are quick to putting together a large vision board and filling it with all kinds of goals. While there is a feel-good feeling, a lot of it is filler and things that would be nice to have but aren’t actual needs. I’m referring to the massive houses and the “expensive cars”-type of goals.

These are good goals to have as it suggests making more money and working hard and smart financially. That said, they’re big distractions from the goals that play a bigger role in your life. Maybe you’re having relationship issues and one of your core values is to fix it and make amends however you can.

The more goals you have means the more opportunities there are for distractions. As much as goals are important, it’s key that you have a narrow focus on the goals that you set and a narrower one on goals that you are working on.

Advertising

One way to help you focus on goals is after you’ve written down your list, create another list. One list ought to have the five most important goals for you at this moment. The second list has any other goals that you may have or come to mind.

The list of five or fewer goals is your “must-do” list, while the other is the “avoid all of them” list. Instill in your mind to only focus on the most important goals.

Step 3 – Enjoy the Process

I mentioned earlier that goals aren’t the end, they are the beginning and it’s true. This particular step is crucial to completing goals as it provides the motivation you need to push forward.

When you are focused on the joy of the process, you also begin to believe more in yourself and your abilities. In a sense, your goals become fun which comes with various perks.[3]

While there are other big motivators to completing goals, the goal should be fun and something that you want to achieve. If it’s fun, you’ll find it easier to tackle problems.

For example, say you’ve experienced a setback and lost some of your momentum. Many people usually become fearful and worried. They begin to lose belief in their abilities.

All that changes when you are enjoying yourself. You see this as a new opportunity to look at something you enjoy from a different perspective.

In the end, a setback can introduce a new perspective to something you love doing. It creates a new appreciation for your goal and the habits you are building.

Step 4 – Have an Action Plan

Preparing yourself to enjoy the process is good. However, it pays to have more direction than simply writing down a goal. Writing down goals works wonders, but mapping out your goals is important too.

Advertising

The biggest thing is that an action plan allows you to break down your goals into smaller pieces. Often, people feel overwhelmed when looking at a big goal. Furthermore, people are more motivated if it’s a smaller task.

For example, what sounds easier to do: losing 25 pounds in three months or working out at the gym for three hours per week?

Most would go for the second option as it builds up habits. Best of all, you can put it into your action plan and schedule it into your routine.

In the end, an action plan can be made however you like, but it has to outline actions you can do every day. If you put down daily actions, it puts into perspective that goals are habits you work on regularly.

Step 5 – Have an Environment to Make Working Easier

Once you have everything in place, the next thing is to ensure that you have an environment that is conducive to you working on your goals. In some cases, you may need some productivity or organizational tools in your office, or maybe you need to find another location that works better for you.

Determine what needs to be done and take steps towards making it happen. Your environment needs to be geared towards the work that you want to be doing. This means having the proper tools there, posting positive reminders, and mitigating distractions as much as possible.

Step 6 – If You’re Stuck, Ask for Help

You are reading this article because you’re struggling with goals in some way and need help. And that’s okay. When you are stuck or you feel uncertain about something, it creates doubt and chips away at you.

Instead of caving in, you should make an effort to look for help. Refuse to give up and instead, turn to articles like this and others. Reach out to people and ask questions or guidance.

Many people refuse to do something like this as it could be a point of pride for them. That said, every person that has achieved something has been able to do so thanks in part to someone else in their life.

Advertising

If you want to achieve something, make a note that if you’re stuck, ask for help. Knowing how to set goals effectively also means knowing when to ask others for help.

Step 7 – Assess Progress Often

An action plan and your goals work only as effectively the more you check on yourself. If you’re not looking at your progress, it can feel like a long time before you obtain your goal.

Motivation and inspiration drive us to accomplish goals and by looking at your progress, you can see how far you’ve come. Furthermore, if progress isn’t to your liking, you can change up your action plan.

You can say that goals are one massive experiment on yourself. Don’t be afraid to make tweaks and see if any changes have been made.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to set goals effectively boils down to striking a balance between great goals and having the motivation to complete those goals. As such, you want to remove distractions both around you and your goal setting system.

A lot of people struggle with their goals, but this strategy of managing internal motivators and influencing your world around you will allow you to set and achieve better goals.

More Goals Setting Tips

Featured photo credit: Tim Graf via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide) Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life The Careful Art of Delegation: How to Delegate Effectively How the Flow State Helps You Stay Productive and Concentrate

Trending in Goal Getting

1 8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life 2 What Are Process Goals? (With Examples) 3 8 Simple and Effective Ways to Start Reaching Goals Today 4 How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals 5 20 Excuses Most People Make That Stop Them From Reaching Their Dreams

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 27, 2021

8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

Advertising
8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

Thus, this article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question — why is goal setting important?

1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

“Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

Advertising

So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

Advertising

So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

Advertising

Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

7. Goals Make You Feel Good

Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

Advertising

If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

Advertising

Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

More Tips About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Read Next