Have you ever had a goal which you never managed to achieve? Can you think of how attractive and real something seemed to you for a short while, yet as time passed by you couldn’t achieve it? Then this article is for you.
I would like to share with you the three basic rules of goal setting, and while I totally agree that success of your goals is largely based on your personality and relevant skills, I also want to make sure that you know these rules of the game before you try playing it.
The bottom line is this: If you’re aware of these rules, they make goal setting a much easier process, and greatly increase the probability of your success.
Rule 1: Make sure your goal is valuable
It is very important for you to realize how valuable to you and to others a particular goal is. You need to be absolutely clear about this rule – it will save you from going after many irrelevant or useless goals in your life.
Just think about it: how successful anything can be if you’re not really interested? Without proper motivation, you will be limiting your productivity to only a tiny portion of your true potential.
In goal setting, each of your goals has to be valuable and important. And even if you think you know what the value is, please take some time and write it down. Write as much as you can, and do it in a fashion you’d use if you had to explain why your goal is important to someone else. Use all the arguments you have, and don’t go further in your goal setting process until you have a list of positive outcomes which achieving a particular goal is going to give you.
Rule 2: Make sure your goal is an absolute necessity
If you think you can go on without having a certain goal, this is probably true. And it’s therefore a very good sign that the goal you’ve chosen isn’t real or isn’t important for you. Unless your goal is something you absolutely must do, there is no point even trying – because anything you think you should be doing has practically no chance of ever being realized to its potential, compared to things you know you must do.
If some goal seems like a good idea to you, just collect it – write it down and get back to it regularly when doing your goals review (surely you have such reviews now and then, don’t you?). Make sure you check back on it sometime later to confirm whether it’s important and critical enough for you to make it a real goal.
Don’t make something your goal just because it seems like a good idea – because this will save you a frustration few months down the line when you review your goals and realize you haven’t done anything about some goals.
Timing is very important in goal setting, because if you make something your goal too early, you may get disappointed very quickly, and never come back to it, thus losing yet another chance to succeed. If there is not enough urgency, and if you don’t see why you absolutely must make something a goal, this usually means that it’s not a goal for you yet.
Rule 3: Achieving a goal is a process, not just a result
This rule is something most people tend to neglect. They set new goals, and spend their time and efforts trying to achieve them, but never really take time to realize that achieving a goal is a process they’re supposed to enjoy. If you keep this rule in mind, you can easily review each of your potential goals to see how good they are going to be.
Just ask yourself a few questions like these:
- How do I see the process of achieving this goal?
- Am I going to enjoy achieving this goal?
- How long am I going to be trying to achieve this goal? Am I going to be motivated and interested enough over this period of time?
I’ve once mentioned that goals are much easier to achieve if you treat them like outcomes. This way, you know you’re going to achieve the goal, because you can’t do anything without some kind of outcome. It could be a success or a failure, but it’s definitely going to be an outcome.
That being said, it is really important to make sure you will enjoy the process of achieving the outcome. You don’t want to set goals which will mean long months or even years of physical exhaustion, lack of sleeping hours and other deprivations just for the sake of a really good outcome.
No goal is going to work for you if that’s the case. Setting a long-term goal must take into account the fact that you will want to maintain your life standards. If it’s anything long-term, you have to be thinking of subtle changes to your lifestyle which will mean the desired outcome in long-term, and not some inhumane methods which you will not be able to sustain anyway.
If you put any goal of yours in a long-term perspective, and it seems too hard for you to accomplish, the chances are that it is going to be even harder when you try it, and this means you have to restructure or even reconsider your goal.
There you have it. These 3 rules are the very basic requirements for your goal setting. Look at them as both your guides and your guards . They have the power to lead you towards success and keep you away from unnecessary failures. Learn to use these principles in your goal setting, and I’m sure you will enjoy the success you deserve.