Setting goals

Deciding on a goal is sometimes the easiest step in setting goals. I have set many goals for myself, some easy, some hard. Unfortunately, as things sometimes go, there are a quite a few of those I haven’t achieved. I think it comes down to why I am trying to achieve this goal. It needs to be worthwhile.

Here’s a more indepth look at how to set goals.

Think About Why You Want to Achieve the Goal and How to Go About It

What are the advantages or disadvantages? What amount of time will you need to spend on this goal? What work will you need to put in to achieve this goal? Are you willing to spend the time, effort and possibly money on this goal?

Set A Time Limit

It’s often also recommended that you put a time limit on your goal so that it’s not left hanging open-ended (else why not work half-heartedly if you have all the time in the world to get it done), which should enable you to plan accordingly.

If you set a time limit, make sure that is reasonable. If your time limits are not reasonable, you will quickly become demotivated when you don’t achieve it in the time you set yourself to achieve it.

When setting a time limit, decide what type of goal (time-wise) it should be, see the following examples, which are of course only examples, everyone is different and may not take the same amount of time to do things.

Examples of Short, Medium and Long-Term Goals

Short term goals (0-3 months)

  • Drink more water everyday (6-8 glasses per day)
  • Eat healthier (more veggies, fewer packets of crisps)
  • Complete that 3-month short course
  • Clean the house every week
  • Read a book

Mid-term goals (6-9 months)

  • Lose 4-8kg
  • Complete a 6-9 month short course
  • Learn a new language to the point of being semi-conversational (can order food, negotiate prices, greetings, etc)

Long-term goals (1-5 years)

  • Get a degree
  • Pay off the car
  • Lose 20 kg

Once you have a goal in mind and the motivation to go through with it and achieve that goal, you need to start working on achieving that goal. I always find the going easier when I can see where I’m going. Usually, this takes place in my mind, because you won’t see the full effect of what you have done until you arrive at your destination.

Although there are often results and milestones that we reach along the way, often enough you can’t see these things. Your “why” is so important. The reason why you want to reach your goal helps to keep you going when you’d rather give up. That and how much you want it!

So whether your goal is to get fit, start a new career or climb higher up that existing ladder in your chosen field, to eat healthier, etc, you not only need to have the motivation to achieve these things, but the drive and action to get things done.

Don’t always be so focused on the results. This may sound counter-productive. But not getting it right or achieving your goal as quickly as you thought you would is a recipe for demotivation.

It’s better to achieve a goal even if you have to go slower than it is to stop trying at all!

If you are afraid, know that there can be no courage without fear. On the other hand, if you are the kind of person that likes rushing straight in, perhaps stop and take a second to think what it all may mean and what it will impact.

When there is a stumbling block, if this goal is something you feel strongly enough about, you will find a way around or through it. This is a part of life, there will always be things vying for our time and attention, but we will never grow if we stay stagnant.

Believe in yourself! As you get to know yourself, your limits, strengths and weaknesses, you will learn how to overcome obstacles in your way. You are so much stronger than you know. Good luck and have fun along the way 🙂

Featured image by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

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