Learning how to set goals in life is an essential skill for everyone. Without it, you don’t know where your life is headed or what you want to achieve. However, if you set proper goals, you can establish a long-term vision and know what you must do in the short term to achieve them.
Why Is Goal Setting Important?
The most successful and fulfilled among us have long-term goals they’ve set for themselves, whether it’s a thriving businessman, artist, or athlete. They never arrive where they are by accident. Rather, most of them have set a goal for themselves at the start of their journey.
From that perspective, it’s clear why goal setting is so important. The benefits of goal setting include having a short- and long-term vision for yourself. With that vision, you’re more motivated to take steps to slowly achieve your dreams.
These goals also help you define what concrete steps you need to take to achieve your objective. This can be acquiring knowledge, organizing time, gathering resources, or practicing a habit. With clearly defined goals, you waste no time or energy doing things that don’t benefit you. It’s also a great way to take control of your future instead of letting life simply happen.
How to Set Goals in Life
While it’s easy to say that goal setting is important, setting a goal can be difficult. Most people don’t know the first thing about how to set goals in life. Moreover, you might not even know how to figure out your goals in the first place.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t worry. We’re here to guide and help you learn how to create goals for yourself. Not only that, we can even help you find out how to set goals and achieve them as well. What are the 7 steps of goal setting? Here’s what you can do.
1. Think of Your Passions
How do I choose my goal? That’s the first question you must ask when learning how to set goals in life. The best way to choose a goal is to consider your passion. What values do you hold dear? Which activities, hobbies, or advocacies are meaningful to you?
Ideally, your goals should be interesting to you and make you feel excited. You don’t want to be trapped with a goal that you don’t really like. Don’t do something just for the sake of doing it (or for the sake of someone else, for that matter).
If you’re having trouble figuring something out, you can start small. Sometimes, it’s easier to set small goals and achieve them. Doing so can help you figure out the direction you might want to take. For example, let’s say you’re somewhat interested in art but aren’t sure you want to pursue it. Why not strive to create a small art piece or project to start? A small project gives you a concrete objective without forcing you to commit long-term. By the end of it, you might feel more inclined to pursue art or find another goal!
2. Set Your Goal in Writing
The best way to ensure you stick to your goals is by writing them down. This helps you get the idea out there and commit to your objective. Write them down in a journal, planner, or someplace accessible. Apart from this, write down markers of success so you know when you’ve reached your goals. It’s also wise to add a timeline — when do you want to achieve these goals?
Moreover, make them specific. Instead of writing, “I want to learn how to draw,” write something like, “I want to draw a self-portrait in pencil by the end of April.” It’s also a good idea to write down goals based on what you want instead of what you don’t want. For instance, it’s better to write, “I want to be able to draw realistic portraits” than “I don’t want to just draw stick figures.”
3. Tell Others About It
Apart from writing it down, telling someone else about your goals is often helpful. This can increase the likelihood that you’ll follow through with your objectives. Once you tell others, they can follow up on what you’ve shared and ask about your progress. This can keep the motivation going.
4. Break It Down
Now that we know how to have a goal in life, it’s time to learn how to achieve my goals. The best way to do this is to break the goal down into smaller goals. Big goals can be vague and hard to visualize. However, once they’re broken down into smaller objectives, you can be more specific about your goals.
For example, if your overall goal is to be fit, one small goal can be running daily for 15 minutes. You can also set goals incrementally with increasing difficulty. If your first goal is to run daily for 15 minutes, your next one could be 25 minutes. Keep this going until you’re able to run a marathon.
5. Plan the First Step
There’s no point in learning how to create goals in life if you don’t begin. How do you do that? By planning the first step. Think about what you must do to achieve your first small objective. For example, your first goal is to clean your living room. The first step might be learning how to clean wood furniture or how often to vacuum the floors.
Once the research phase ends, you can plan what you need to do to take the next steps. What kind of tools do you need? Should you hire a cleaner? Is the furniture salvageable, or do they need replacing? Think of your next steps and then act on them.
6. Stay Consistent
It’s important to stay consistent and keep working towards your goals. Take the next step, then the next, and so on. Don’t give up. Sometimes, it can be frustratingly difficult that you want to stop. When that happens, you can rethink your strategy if something isn’t working.
You can also just take a break if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes, you can ask other people for help or adjust your goals. However, don’t ever come to a full stop. Keep at it, and you’ll slowly find yourself inching closer and closer to your objectives.
7. Celebrate Wins
Once you reach a goal, take your time to celebrate and enjoy the success. Thank those who’ve contributed to the achievement, and reflect on what you’ve learned so far. Once you’ve done that, you can continue until you’ve achieved your final goal.
Types of Goal Setting
There are different types of goal-setting techniques you can utilize when setting goals. Each technique gives you a concrete framework to help you establish more specific objectives. They can help you on your journey so you’re always on the right track.
- SMART Goals. This stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. SMART goals help you define your goals and make them clearer.
- WOOP Goals. This stands for wish, outcome, obstacle, and plan. What wish is exciting to you? Moreover, what kind of outcome do you want, and how would you feel about it? Which obstacles will get in the way? Lastly, what solutions can solve those problems?
- OKR Goals. Objectives and key results — that’s what this method is about. Choose a goal with key results you desire. Afterward, identify the steps you can take to achieve it.
- Backward Setting. This technique forces you to think backward. Start from your end goal and then work your way backward. If you want a promotion, think about what the promotion involves. It may require a specific skill or degree. You can then set these as smaller goals you can take along the way.
Now that you know how to set life goals, starting today is important. Don’t waste time, and start your journey immediately. Moreover, remember that you can set small goals to begin with. This keeps things more manageable as you get into the habit of goal-setting.
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