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The Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting Process

April 20th, 2022 . 8 minutes read
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Goal Setting’ is one of the most important steps when it’s coming to accessing one’s progress, and it is such an explicit process, yet a lot of people are intimidated by the very thought of setting up goals.

It’s like having a New Year’s resolution for some people when it comes to goal setting, per se, you have it for a moment, and then it gets swayed in no time.

Whereas for some people, goal setting is an endless loop where they get stuck and fail to come out of.

Now, you may be wondering as to why is goal setting so intimidating, when it is actually a “necessity” for every individual and if it is that important then how can one set the perfect goals for themselves.

Let’s understand why goal setting is a pain in the nerves for the majority around-

Why Setting Your Goals is Difficult?

There are many factors aiding to make it difficult for you to stick to your goals, for instance-

Lack of focus

Could Arjuna hit the eye of the fish in Mahabharata, had there been no focus? NO, right? No matter how simple or complicated a task may be, focus is the key to achieving your goals or reaching the end point of anything.

You may be thinking as to what to do when there’s lack of focus or difficulty in building that focus? Fortunately, there is a solution to this as well.

Every time you feel that you are lacking the required focus, take a break at first, divert yourself for a bit from that particular task, introspect why you started on something and then get back on that task after the required break.

Try this out and see better results each time!

Fear of Failure

Who doesn’t have the fear of failure within? Unfortunately, the answer to this is – almost all of us!

Failure not only breaks one’s confidence, but it also brings one down on their self-esteem and the ability to get up and get going once again.

Well, this is natural and this is a fact indeed – ‘We all are going to face failures or setbacks once or the other time in life and there’s no escape to this’. Harsh? But this is reality.

The earlier we accept it, the stronger we become. Let’s accept that there may be ups and downs in life and in anything that we do, but let’s make it a point that that fear of failure is not stopping us from trying our best.

Commitment issues

Developing an action plan may sound very easy and may also seem like a simple task to many, but, the real challenge is adhering to those action plans that you created for yourself and sticking onto it.

Being committed when you start your journey to staying committed until you reach your end goal is a bridge that most people fail to cross successfully.

Now, since merging this gap is a major challenge for so many out there, how do you actually bridge this gap? The only way out is staying focused and working with sheer dedication.

There may be endless distractions coming your way, but your ideal aim should be sticking to your plan and not letting anything divert your mind ‘midway’.

– Lack of knowledge

So many people do not even know what goal setting means? As weird and strange as it may sound, but it is for real.

There are so many researches and surveys out there which reveal how majority does not even know the process of goal setting, why it is essential, what are the fruits of goal setting and so on!

There’s so much power that Goal Setting has, and the outcomes are also huge, which raises the question of lack of knowledge and awareness about this, even more.

If there’s anyone out there who is not aware about goal setting, we hope this blog provides an insight into the same.

Low self-esteem and confidence

One of the most important reasons why people escape the whole goal setting process – ‘Lack of self-esteem and self-confidence’.

Many a time, the process raises questions like – ‘What if we fail to achieve the goals?’, ‘What if we did not set the right goals?’, ‘What if we end up disappointing others who know about the goals?’ And so many more questions like these.

Questioning and doubting yourself is what leads to breaking on your own confidence. ‘WHAT IF’ – These two words have spread more negativity than anything else.

Next time when there is a what if in your mind, try considering ‘WHY NOT?’. Why not giving it a try? Why not pushing harder to achieve goals? And, most importantly, why not focus on walking a path and not worrying about the view in the end?

Now, as you have read out on the many reasons why goal setting can be such a pain, let’s also understand that there are ’n’ number of ways in which these points can be addressed, and you can also set up the most appropriate and correct goals for yourself.

How to Set Your Goals?

How to get what you want? The first step to that is setting your goals. Here are top 5 ways in which you can set your goals right (thank us later!)-

How to set GOALS?

Brainstorming

Stumped about where and how to start? Flooded with ideas and thoughts that could be your possible goals? Well, the only solution to this would be “BRAINSTORMING”!

When you find yourself lost, and you are unable to figure out what goals you should list for yourself, start brainstorming in order to entangle yourself from all those haywire thoughts.

You may start with a clean slate and chalk out all the thoughts that come across your mind. Do not limit yourself when it comes to brainstorming because the more thoroughly you do it, the better your outcome turns out to be. 

Follow the SMARTER goal model !

Once you’ve done sufficient brainstorming and narrowed down to your goals, the next step would be to check if those goals meet the SMARTER criteria-

SMARTER Approach
  • S – Check out if your goals are specific or just too broad in general. The more specific our goals are, the easier it would be to work towards achieving those goals.
  • M – If your goals are not measurable then you would never be able to identify if you are moving in the right direction or per se, you will never be able to determine your progress.
  • A – Remember – your goals should be achievable, always! Setting up high or tough goals that may or may not be achieved could actually bring down anyone’s confidence, especially if you are setting goals for the first time.
  • R – Ask yourself – Are the goals realistic? If the answer is yes, GREAT! But if you are not sure of the same, then you need to revisit your set goals and make them realistic. Unrealistic goals will lead yo to nowhere.
  • T – There is no point of having open-ended goals with absolutely no timeline. How would you know till when you are supposed to work on your goals? How would you know if you are at the right speed or not? Setting up a timeline will not only keep the goal clear, but also help you speed up or slow down as per the need.
  • E – Once your goals are in place and you have started acting on achieving those goals, evaluating the same would be the next step. Until and unless, you do not evaluate your progress, you would not be able to know how far or close you are to the target and if you are doing it all right.
  • R – Who doesn’t like to be rewarded? Oh well, everyone does. Set some rewards in place while you are progressing towards your goals. This will not only boost your confidence, but also give you that extra push to perform even better.

Pen down your goals!

Merely deciding your goals in your head, wouldn’t really be of help unless otherwise penned down.

Why do our teachers or speakers or guides suggest that write down all that you think of or plan or wish to accomplish?

It is because when you pen down everything, you have a clearer vision in front of you, and you know that you are accountable to work towards performing every task.

Not only will this provide a clear and concrete metrics of your progress, but it would surely help in keeping you focused and determined too.

Focus on the journey, not the destination!

Whilst you move towards achieving your goals, the entire focus should actually be on how you are taking each step ahead, what you need to do to achieve those goals, rather than merely focusing on the end point.

There may be hurdles in between, not so favorable situations too, but keeping yourself focused on the journey will enhance your chances of achieving those goals quicker and better.

There is a saying “Journey is more beautiful than the destination”. Well, it is applicable here too.

With all the learnings and experiences that you would be gathering whilst moving towards your goals, the journey would surely be worth everything.

Check-in your goals frequently !

Regular check-ins are extremely useful as they help you in identifying whether you are moving in the right direction, whether you need to further bifurcate your goals and make it simpler, whether you have sufficient time in hand to achieve your goals and whether you need to revisit your goals and make any changes there.

It is not necessary that you have check-ins every day, you may keep it to weekly or bi-weekly or monthly as per your needs.

Wrap Up

The process of goal setting makes you work more efficiently and builds in a lot of patience and confidence within. Adding that extra fuel to get you going is what GOAL SETTING does.

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Author: Richa Mandhania
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