The Importance of Goal Setting

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A strong self-concept depends both upon what you do, and your idea of yourself. Goal setting is the process that allows you to analyze and determine what you do. Goal setting helps you feel strong and in control. Goal setting drives us and gives us a measure for our successes. Setting goals provides an incentive and helps to push us into completing the goals we set.

Why Goal Setting is Important

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The process of setting goals helps to provide a clear picture of your wants and needs so you can chart your own life destiny. To get a clear picture of your wants and needs, consider eight types of goals.

To begin building and qualifying your list of goals, answer four key questions that serve as triggers.

QuestionExamplePotential Goal
What hurts, or feels bad?The long commute to workExplore a telecommuting option
What are you hungry for?More time in the outdoorsPlan a national park vacation
What are your dreams?Enhance the yardBuild a rock garden
What are the little comforts?A  new kittenAdopt or buy a pet

Now classify the goals according to potential timing: long-range, medium-range, and immediate. 

Long-Range Goals

  1. Explore a telecommuting option

Medium-Range Goals

  1. Plan a national park vacation

Immediate

  1. Get a kitten

Setting SMART Goals

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The SMART method is a straightforward way to qualify and quantify each goal. 

Handout Four: Smart Goal Setting describes the SMART criteria and provides examples of how they are used to establish and qualify goals. 

SMART is a convenient acronym for the set of criteria that a goal must have in order for it to be realized by the goal achiever.

  • Specific: Success coach Jack Canfield states in his book The Success Principles that, “Vague goals produce vague results.” In order for you to achieve a goal, you must be very clear about what exactly you want. Often creating a list of benefits that the accomplishment of your goal will bring to your life, will you give your mind a compelling reason to pursue that goal.
  • Measurable: It’s crucial for goal achievement that you are able to track your progress towards your goal. That’s why all goals need some form of objective measuring system so that you can stay on track and become motivated when you enjoy the sweet taste of quantifiable progress. 
  • Achievable: Setting big goals is great, but setting unrealistic goals will just de-motivate you. A good goal is one that challenges, but is not so unrealistic that you have virtually no chance of accomplishing it.
  • Relevant: Before you even set goals, it’s a good idea to sit down and define your core values and your life purpose because it’s these tools which ultimately decide how and what goals you choose for your life. Goals, in and of themselves, do not provide any happiness. Goals that are in harmony with our life purpose do have the power to make us happy. 
  • Timed: Without setting deadlines for your goals, you have no real compelling reason or motivation to start working on them. By setting a deadline, your subconscious mind begins to work on that goal, night and day, to bring you closer to achievement.

Our Challenge to You

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Use the SMART goal-setting method to set up an out of class personal goal. 

  • Specific: Be clear on what the goal will be.
  • Measurable: Make it so you can track your progress.
  • Achievable: Set a reasonable and achievable goal.
  • Relevant:  Make it relevant to your life at that moment. 
  • Timed: Set a deadline.

Case Study

Drew was a great influence and inspiration to a lot of his co-workers. He had a successful career thanks to his goal setting techniques. Since he was young Drew knew what he wanted to achieve, and by setting realistic and achievable goals he had positive results most of the time. This way, he learned that goal setting was an important aspect of everyday life which many people failed to apply. 

With age, he still wrote them down on paper. He then reviewed his smart goals in his mind which allowed him to make all the necessary decisions to make sure that his goals were fulfilled. His manager recognized these skills and asked Drew if he would create a set of “Drew’s Rules” to help other people in developing better goal setting skills.