How to Set Achievable Goals

Today, we will look at How to Set Achievable Goals. Setting achievable goals makes it much easier for you to achieve success.

In my last post, I wrote about the need to set goals in order to focus your energies and enable you achieve success. I also mentioned the need to understand the part played by your mind – and that if you think you can, you definitely will. Whereas, if you think you can’t, then you are not likely to get even started! That would be a self-limiting belief that you must always guard against. It is negative and very depressive.
Energize your mind with positive “CAN DO!” thoughts and, as I said before, the Universe will come to your aid and help you achieve your goals. It is what is called: “The Law of Attraction”. Positive thoughts attract positive results, while negative thoughts always attract negative results. If your aim is to live your life to the full and have a really happy life, then you must purge your mind of negative thoughts and fill it with positive ones.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SET GOALS?
There are many reasons why it is important to set goals in one’s life. I will just mention a few here. You can find more within yourself.

1. Life focus: When you set a goal, you will do your best to focus all your mind and activities towards achieving that goal. Say, you decided that you would want to become a footballer. The next thing your mind would be talking to you about is: “Where I can find a football coach? Where can I learn how to play? What resources do I need to become a good footballer and a really good one? Do I have a Model Footballer that I can emulate? Do I have the money to pay for the training/coaching? Is there a place where I can get the training free of charge? etc.

So, your mind gets you active and you begin to find answers to all those questions. You become very active, highly motivated and willing and ready to take all the necessary actions that will lead you to success!! Hurray, you are now, truly alive and willing to overcome whatever obstacles that may get in your way — why? Because you have a GOAL!!

2. Self-Confidence.
Once you have chosen what you want to do and are happy with your choice, you soon develop a lot of self-confidence. You would now feel highly motivated to work towards achieving the goal you have set yourself, and every morning, you spring out of bed full of life because your mind, now your greatest friend, has many positive steps lined up for you to take towards achieving your goal.. You have a goal, you have a purpose, you have life and you are very happy to keep going! Setting a goal fires-up your self-confidence and highly motivates you into doing the best you can – to achieve your highest potential – a very sure step towards your Self-Actualization. Life becomes exciting and no longer dull and boring.
But if you have no life goals, you remain dull, unmotivated, very bored with life and perhaps, even self-effacing- as if you really don’t want to even live!

3. Success.
Achieving your goals on a regular basis gives you success and that great feeling of self-worth. Once you can achieve your first goal, your energy and self-confidence double… you then want to achieve more and enjoy the sweet effect of having achieved whatever it was that you desperately wanted to achieve. Having success in your life in small doses, each time you achieve each goal, gives you a good reason to keep going, a reason to be alive, to be seen and to be reckoned with. You dispel that negative feeling of worthlessness and embrace the sweet feeling of “I AM, and I CAN!” Life becomes worth living!

S. M. A. R. T
SMART represents the following: SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, REALISTIC, TIMESCALE.
S = Set very SPECIFIC goals.
Set a goal that is clearly worked out in your mind, that is small and easy to understand, and is possible to achieve within a set period of time.

M = Set MEASURABLE goals.
Set a goal that will enable you to measure or track your progress, so you can see what you have achieved within, say, an hour, four hours, or a day, etc. If there is no way of measuring your progress, then that is not a well-thought-out gaol. Re-think it, redesign it and make it “measurable”.

A = Set ACHIEVABLE goals.
Set a challenging goal that you are realistically able to achieve. If you are like me who is not at all good in the Sciences, then it would be foolish to set yourself the goal to become a Medical Doctor!. Yes, I know you can go back to school and take another shot at studying Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology etc. But how long have you got? And what is the point putting yourself through that torment, if you really have no ability or interest in it? So, to save yourself time and wear and tear, set a goal that you know you can actually achieve within a given time period. Why? So that you can enjoy the feeling of success quite quickly! “Success breeds more success and self-confidence happily comes with it!”. When you are more confident in yourself, life becomes easier, more enjoyable and you will be so much happier to be YOU!

R = Set REALISTIC goals.
I already mentioned the need to be realistic above. Being realistic means checking out your own likes and dislikes, those things that give you a sense of joy just by imagining yourself doing them, etc. You also need to check out your own natural strengths and abilities. Harness your strengths and abilities in a positive way, use them to propel yourself into becoming the person you really want to be. You should also check out the resources that are available to you – finance, training, time, support, mentor/coach, etc. Be realistic. Do not seek to follow others just to conform, always seek to follow your heart. That is the only way to fulfil your true life’s goals.

T = Set a TIMESCALE within which to achieve your goals.
Set a goal that you can fully achieve within a certain period of time. Don’t be vague about when you are likely to achieve this. Imagine what it would be like if you arrived at your school one day and the teachers just said to you – “Hello Students, today or sometime in the future, you will learn how to covert a present tense into a past tense!” I think you and the other students would begin to ask yourself : “So when exactly shall we be learning that?”

Your mind will be totally demotivated if you do not set a Time Scale within which to achieve your goal or goals. So, while allowing yourself some measure of flexibility – in case of unforeseen circumstances, you must tell yourself: “By the end of today/tomorrow/next week etc, I would have achieved the following 1, 2 3—“.

Stick to your time scale, achieve that goal, tick it off, give yourself a small reward for your success (positive reinforcement), and then move on happily to your next SMART goal.

In the next post, I will look at the best way to take the necessary actions you need in order to achieve your goals.

Until next time, go on and set your goals!!

Stay well.

Dr Grace Anderson.
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