Goals and Techniques for Goal-Setting

Before setting goals, you need to understand what goal is. Your proper understanding of what goal is and what is not will guide you in setting your goals properly and how to achieve them.

A goal is something you want to achieve. It is the desired result that you, or a group of people, plan and commit to achieving. Simply put, a goal is a dream with a deadline.

For better understanding, we shall briefly look at some of the characteristics of what goals are and what they are not.

A goal is:
Your Vision for the Future
Goal should be the result of careful consideration of a personal vision statement and the things you want to achieve.

Time- Sensitive
The most effective goals are time bound. Goals generally have a longer time frame. They can be broken down into smaller, short term objectives.

Large in Nature
Don’t be afraid to set a big goal that seems like a reach. Feel free to think outside the box and dream big. You can set smaller, short-term goals to help you get there.

A goal is not:

An Objective
While goals describe what you want to achieve, objectives are the steps taken to reach the goal. e.g. “I want to become a good writer” is a goal. “I will work with a coach to practice my writing skills for a month” is the objective.

A Resolution
Resolutions are often temporary, giving short-term gratification. While a resolution is a decision to do or not do something, a goal is what you want to achieve.

A Mission
Mission statements create a clear and focused direction to follow. It is the statement of purpose from which a company, business, or individual operates. On the other hand, a goal is a specific aim you or your team work toward.

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Having looked at what goals are and are not, we shall also look at seven (7) common types of goals that people can set for themselves. They are:

1. Long-term Goals:
These are goals that require a long period to accomplish or achieve usually spanning several months or years.

2. Short-term Goals:
These are goals that can be achieved relatively quickly, typically within a few days, weeks or months. They can be broken down further from yearly goals, into monthly goals, weekly goals and daily goals.

3. Personal Goals:
These are goals that relate to an individual’s personal life, such as health, relationships and hobbies.

4. Professional Goals:
These are goals that have to do with an individual’s career, such as job performance, promotions and skill development.

5. Financial Goals:
These are goals related to an individual’s finances, such as saving for a down payment for a house or investing for retirement.

6. Academic Goals:
These are goals related to an individual’s education, such as obtaining a degree, improving grades or learning a new skill.

7. Social Goals:
These are goals that relates to an individual’s social life, such as making new friends, improving communication skills or attending social events.

Goal setting is one of the most constructive, practical ways to prioritize the success of your business, company or organization.

Effective goals show you the way to success. Goals should focus on your overall purpose vision and actionable steps.

Goal-setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality.

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The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. When you know what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts.

What then is goal setting?
Goal-setting is the process of identifying something you want to accomplish and establishing measurable and specific objectives to achieve it.

Goals are your desired results that you or your team are committed to achieving within a specific time frame.

It involves setting long-term and short-term objectives that help you stay focused on your goals, track your progress and attain the desired result.

Importance of Goal-setting
1. Sense of Direction:
Goal-setting is important because it provides direction and purpose in life. When you set goals, you identify what you want to achieve and what you need to do to achieve it. It motivates you to take action.

For example, you could create a five year plan based on what you want your life to look like in five years.

Having this long-term plan can help you move from just dreaming to doing it. In the work place, setting goals helps to set a clear path to where you want your team to go, it also helps to set expectations for different team members.

2. It Provides Motivation:
Setting goals gives you something to aspire to have a specific goal will motivate you to put your best foot forward.

As a team member, having a clear vision of what your team is aiming to achieve provides inspiration and motivation.

3. It gives you greater control of your future:
Setting goals puts you in the driver’s seat of your life. By writing down your goals, you are actively acknowledging what you want out of life. It is the first set toward taking control of your future.

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4. It helps to see the bigger picture:
Setting goals helps us take a step back and get some perspective on what is really important. It is the first step toward creating a life full of meaning.

At work, setting goals as a team helps everyone get the whole picture knowing the long-term goal and what a company is striving toward, can help each team member perform better in their role.

Therefore, setting specific, challenging goals leads to increased performance, persistence and motivation.

Setting goals gives individuals a clear understanding of what is expected of them and helps them to focus on the most important tasks.

Individuals who set specific and challenging goals are more likely to achieve better results than those who set vague or easy goals.

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