We’re sure you’ve heard it before, but the importance of setting and working towards goals cannot be overstated. When looking for jobs, deciding future education plans or making life choices, it’s vital that you know what you want to achieve.
Without goals we can’t move forward nor can we develop our skills. We lack motivation and suffer from stress and angst when we lack direction.
However, when we set goals and define our pathways to success, we’re motivated and able to move forwards.
Here is our Work Ready formula for setting and achieving your goals.
Firstly, you need to determine what type of goal you wish to set yourself. Do you want to set a long-term goal or do you want to set yourself a shorter term goal? A long term goal could be called a ‘life goal’. It’s something that doesn’t necessarily have a deadline and requires a lot of effort and focus. It could be something you’re working towards throughout your life such as finding love, building a career in a particular field and earning a high-figure salary.
On the other hand a shorter term goal is something which you can visualize achieving in the not-so-distant future. This could be finding a new job, moving to a new city or learning to drive.
Once you know which type of goal you wish to set, you’ll be able to determine the length of time and amount of effort it will take to achieve your desired result.
Secondly, you need to make sure you’re in the right frame of mind to set your goals. Remove yourself from stressful and distracting environments and take yourself somewhere calm, where you can hear yourself think. Allow yourself time to relax and de-stress before setting your goals. You need time to focus and clear your thoughts, instead of making rash, impulsive decisions.
Thirdly, brainstorm your goals. Write lists of things you want to achieve, whether it be learning a new language, hobby or developing your career. Write these goals down and then create spider diagrams detailing the steps you’ll need to take to reach them, the changes you’ll need to make, what it would feel like to achieve them and how important they are to you. Once you’ve done that select the goals you feel are most important or desirable. You can then narrow down your decision- making and focus your energy on your chosen targets.
The fourth stage requires you to set deadlines. Without deadlines your goals are no more than mere dreams or imaginative ramblings. You need to have an idea of the time it will take to achieve your goals so you know how much time and effort the process will take. It will also provide you with the pressure to achieve them. In this situation a little pressure will have a positive, motivating impact upon your success.
The fifth stage involves you creating an action plan. This is a detailed plan outlining the steps and actions you will take in order to achieve your goals. You will need to create a plan with a proposed start and end date which acts as a guide to reaching your targets. Think about the obstacles you will need to overcome and the ways in which you will monitor your progress. Break down your goal into logical, simple steps. For example, if you want to learn to drive, you’ll need to start from scratch without rushing and will need to set aside enough time to practice what you’ve learnt. Don’t expect to be giving Lewis Hamilton a run for his money by your third lesson. Your goals can be ambitious but you need to be realistic in your approach. Set aside enough time and create enough steps to reach your goal.
Finally, stage six sees you begin to work towards achieving your goal. With an action plan in place, a great way to motivate yourself to work towards your goals is to visualize them. The technique of visualization, which we explore in great detail within our resilience micro-learning course, is widely used by prominent sports figures and business leaders in order to motivate them to reach their targets.
Follow this process and we’re sure you’ll reap the rewards!
Written by: Henry Aspinall
Image source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140727202656-258664-setting-public-goals-why-it-is-important; http://agencerinaldi.com/fr/faut-il-inclure-le-client-dans-le-brainstorm/; https://www.lifecoachofraleigh.com/individuals; http://schools-training.com/articles/defining-career-goals-mba-program.html