VOS: Goal Setting 101: A Practical Guide to Setting and Achieving Your Goals

Goal Setting 101: A Practical Guide to Setting and Achieving Your Goals

Productivity & Growth

March 2023

Goal Setting 101: A Practical Guide to Setting and Achieving Your Goals

We need to know exactly where we want to go so that we can decide which route and what form of transport to take. Similarly, if we want to achieve something, the first step should be to determine exactly what our goal is. If we do not do this, then the steps we take may not be going where we want to go at all. It is possible that we will take an unnecessarily long or difficult path.

In this article, we will introduce you to a simple tool to help you set your goals. It will be useful whether you want to work or your career, learn a new skill or improve an area in your personal life.

The SMART rule

A well-set goal is half the battle. A goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These characteristics make an acronym SMART which makes it easier to remember this rule. Let's describe each of these points:

  • SPECIFIC: Your goal should be well-defined and specific. Take the effort to specify exactly what you want to achieve.
  • MEASURABLE: The next thing you want to know about your goal is how you will measure it. You should be able to track your progress and, more importantly, know when you have achieved the goal. This characteristic will also help you break down a large goal into smaller subgoals.
  • ACHIEVABLE: This may seem obvious, but many times people set goals that are impossible to achieve. Think about your options. If you get further or reach the goal sooner, you can only be satisfied. But if the goal is not at all realistic, you will quickly lose motivation.
  • RELEVANT: Look for goals that are in line with your values and attitudes and generally where you are going in life.
  • TIME-BOUND: We work better when we have deadlines. If you don't put your goal into a time frame, you will tend to postpone the necessary steps. Establish when exactly you want to reach the goal and when you will take each step.

Breaking big goals

If you've found your goal, all you have to do is persevere. But what to do next to work with your goal to keep you motivated and disciplined? What might help you further is to break the big goal into small parts. Find the individual stages that you will gradually achieve on the way to your big goal. You'll see results more quickly and enjoy success more often. Finally, remember to reward yourself for each small success and don't get discouraged when you slip somewhere on the road. It's important to maintain flexibility and accept even the breaks or steps back as a necessary part of the process. It is during these moments that you draw strength to keep going!

So what will be your first step?

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