Goal setting. It’s one of those age-old catch phrases that dominate work place reviews and self-improvement plans. Much of the time the focus is on making goals SMART but failing to correctly identify what you really want and why will likely cause a lack of interest and motivation resulting in a failed attempt. So let’s start at the beginning with goal identification.
Know what you want….
Be honest with yourself about what you really want. Whether this is career, life, or family related, there’s nothing more soul sapping than pursuing a goal that you’re only partially invested in. If you are struggling to identify a goal try asking yourself these two key questions:
- What is my biggest dissatisfaction right now?
- What is the difference between what is happening and what I would like to happen?
These questions will give you the bare bones of a goal in which you are strongly invested and will have a greater impact on your life as a result.
….And why you want it
Regardless of the plans we have in place, putting in the hard work and maintaining momentum will be difficult if you aren’t clear on why you want to attain that particular goal. Consider what the impact will be if you succeed and the consequences if you do not.
Focusing on the end game will help to make even the bleakest moments tolerable as you have an understanding that it will be worth it in the long run.
Be aware of your obstacles….
It’s easy to set off on a journey buoyed up by dreams of what life will be like once you’ve reached your goal but it’s even easier for the wheels to come off your wagon load of hope when faced with unexpected hurdles. Take a moment to consider the different obstacles you may run into along the way. These can be internal (personal traits such as procrastination) or external (circumstances, reactions or responses that are out of your control) and creating an action plan ahead of time will help you stay on track if and when they arise.
….And Identify your resources
Resources come in many different forms and understanding those unique to you will make starting your journey a lot less intimidating. Think through your professional and social contacts, local and online groups, written and verbal knowledge sources. Connectivity, technology and information sharing is the fastest it’s ever been so do your research and get those resources lined up before you begin.
Utilising these key aspects will give you the framework to identify goals that are meaningful and truly life-changing for you, rather than rolling along with the masses feeling unfulfilled or frustrated. Once you know the direction you want to move in you can create your personal plan to get there.