3 Things to Check Before Pursuing Any Goal
Setting goals may be easy but there are three important things to check before you start working. What are they?
Goal - What Is It?
You might probably think about football at first. However, I mean a more figurative definition here. According to Wikipedia, "A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, plan and commit to achieving. People endeavour to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines."
We can have goals in each area of life plus one, overarching goal, being our destiny. So what do you need to do before setting any goal?
1. Find Your Life Goals
It is a simple task to find your goals, easier than determining your beliefs. Important: Do it in writing, having a special diary for this purpose Just answer the questions below.:
- What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?
- What would you like to change in your life right now? In your body? Mind? Spiritual life? Work?
- What would you do now if you had only nine months of life to live?
- What do you most enjoy doing? What gives you the greatest feeling of personal satisfaction?
Having the answers to the questions above, you can check if these goals are properly set. If you could find more than one goal, pick up one now. You need to check another thing:
- Is it really YOUR goal?
- Is this goal SMATR?
2. Is It Your Goal?
Have you ever wondered why some goals do not bring you pleasure and satisfaction? The answer is accurate; you are working on somebody else's agenda. They are using you to achieve their goals.
Who can it be? In most cases, there are your parents, boss or your spouse. The first ones may have a plan for your life. For example, they may want the same career path for you as they have – just because they have not achieved their goals and hope that you will.
Your parents may plan your future regarding an ideal relationship, according to them. Let's say that your parents are very wealthy and expect someone will take care of the business when they become old and die. And if also you are a woman, they expect you to provide a suitable spouse for the job.
Your goal may not be yours because of the rat race. You buy a better house, a car, clothes – just to keep up with the Joneses. But are you truly happy doing that? Your goals may also be imposed by the community, e.g. the religious one.
And of course, at work, you do not have full control over the company's policy, not all your creative ideas are taken into account. Of course, working in a given company also gives you some other benefits (e.g. money, doing what you enjoy doing) so that you do your job.
So how can you distinguish your goal from the ones imposed by other people? If you are not sure, write down why you want to achieve this goal. Then check if the answers are truly yours or other people want it (e.g I make 20% more money because I have to buy a new car... because I have to show my mother how good I am.). If this is the case, eliminate the goal as you are working on other people's scenario at the cost of yours.
Read more about creating fruitful relationships - the article continues below:
3. Is Your Goal SMART
You could probably have heard about this method. I enclose it in my post as it is indispensable to define a goal properly. Use the six criteria which I will present below. A goal must be:
Now let's learn what it means from a holistic point of view.
Your goal must be defined precisely. By doing so, you have a much greater chance of accomplishment than pursuing a general goal. To set a specific goal, answer the five ‘Wh’ questions.
- Who is involved?
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Where will you achieve your goal?
- When will you pursue the goal?
In some cases, you do not need to include all the answers. Let's see it in an example. Suppose that you are living in a toxic relationship. A goal, which is not specific, would be, “I leave my toxic partner.” But a specific goal would say, “I prepare emotionally, mentally and financially for leaving my partner within two months.” These are three goals. So you need to analyse each of them separately. Moreover, you could be even more specific: “I save up 200EUR and meet the counsellor four times to gain assertiveness and self-confidence within the next two months.” "I am worry-free 99% of the time while staying at home."
Establish fixed criteria for measuring progress towards the attainment of each goal you set, for example when you reach your target dates. How to determine if your goal is measurable? Ask questions and give answers to them:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will I know when my goal is achieved?
It is difficult to define the measures for mental and emotional goals. How can you measure assertiveness, for example? You can say: “I will be assertive every second conflict and then stand up for myself confidently regardless of my partner's reaction within the next two months before leaving him for good.” You can even specify what assertiveness means. Is it staying firm about your boundaries by speaking a certain way or is it ignoring your partner's nasty name-calling, showing him that his abuse does not work anymore?
Goals that may have seemed out of reach eventually become achievable, because you grow and expand to match them, not because your goals shrink.
However, they cannot be too big. Brian Tracy suggests that your goals should not be larger than 10-30% of your current achievement. So, do not expect that you will learn assertiveness and become an expert in it within a week. Assume that you will be able to stand up for yourself in some cases, gradually increasing the frequency of them.
A goal must have an objective towards which, you are both willing and able to work. In some cases, the goal can be both high and realistic. But you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. Be sure that every goal represents significant progress, without overwhelming you.
Your goals must have a deadline. With no time frame tied to them, there is no sense of urgency. If you want to leave your abusive partner, by when do you want to do it? ‘Someday’ will not work. Anchoring it within a time frame, ‘by the end of October 2021,’ you have set your unconscious mind into motion to be working on the goal. You will read more about setting deadlines in the next part of this sub-chapter.
By "T" I also mean "Tangible.". Goals are tangible when you can experience them with one of the senses, that is, taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing. You have a better chance of making your goal specific and measurable and thus attainable when it is tangible.
Let's take a goal “I am happy from tomorrow.” It is not the goal properly set. You do not know what does it mean to be happy. Even if you answer “I am in a happy relationship” - what does it mean? No arguments? Better sex? More quality time? Each of these questions marks a separate goal.
To set the deadline, just add some measures. For example: “I will stop using ‘I have to’ and replace it with ‘I will’ at least once per day, and I will practice this skill for 30 days.” After a month, you evaluate your progress.
These are not all the criteria your goal has to meet to be achievable. More, less-known ones will be discussed in my next article. Before you read it review your goals for the next year.
Discover Your Goals By Meditation
Meditation will give you access to some resources which are not found on an everyday life basis. You do not only discover your life path but also your soul plan and it is easier to adopt your goals to it.
In A Nutshell
Today you have learnt about the criteria necessary for setting an achievable goal. In the shortest, you need to find your goals, set their difficulty and check if they are yours. Having done these steps, check if your goals are SMART. Good luck with the right preparation for the forthcoming year.