Setting Achievable Goals for Your Life
enerally speaking, you should achieve your goals, and many people forget to break down their goals into manageable chunks. Breaking goals down allows you to work on one piece at a time and a smart goal strategy is very important.
Introducing SMART Goals and the Structure You’ll Need
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “SMART” used in this context is an acronym, with a focus on creating specific (and realistic) targets to hit. To that end, every SMART goal consists of five elements:
- Specific. The goal should have a clear, highly-specific endpoint. If your goal is too vague, it won’t be SMART.
- Measurable. You need to be able to accurately track your progress, so you can judge when a goal will be met.
- Attainable. Of course, setting a goal that’s too ambitious will see you struggle to achieve it. This will zap at your motivation, both now and in the future.
- Relevant. The goal you pick should be pertinent to your chosen field or should benefit you directly.
- Time-Bound. Finally, setting a timeframe for your goal helps quantify it further, and helps keep your focus on track.
The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.– Bill Copeland
One of the key principles to setting smart goals is writing them down and asking people close to you to review them. I encourage you to speak with a therapist, close family, friends or loved ones to help you work through your achievable goals. Remember, these goals can be very different for people with disability and there are no right answers and something as simple pouring a glass of milk can be relative to many. I remember going through rehab and my goal was to open a can of drink and consume it without assistance. I have set realistic goals for myself over the years and have found that reaching them can offer great motivation towards creating further goals. I continue to monitor my goals on a weekly basis, review where I am at and update once achieved.
I am very deliberate about my goal setting. Generally, I have very different goals for my work and personal life. I try to be conservative with my goals in my work life, breaking them into bite-sized pieces and regularly reviewing them. I can be a little more adventurous with my personal goals and love the concept of a BHAG goal. I think everyone should have a BHAG and I will keep my BHAG private for now but look forward to sharing in the future once I’ve achieved it!
A BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is a clear and compelling target for an organization to strive for. The term was initially coined in the book "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies" by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. BHAGs are meant to excite and energise people in an authentic way.
It is healthy to set step-by-step goals. I encourage you to have a BHAG but do not lose perspective on how important it is to set achievable small goals. Tick them off, write them down, track them and once you achieve them celebrate like it is the best day of your life. We need to remember to enjoy our moments of victory, however small they are, as this is the catalyst that keeps us moving towards our dreams.
Once you have achieved your goal, you must celebrate! Whether your goal is renovating a house, an overseas trip or getting back to driving, you should celebrate. The beautiful thing about goal setting is that we continue to develop. It is essential to review your goals continually and reset them when necessary. If you need to pull back your expectation or push out a timeframe, go ahead. It is much better to be flexible with your goals rather than not setting goals in the first place. Go get goal setting!
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