Life by its very nature is a series of goal-achieving processes that have a cumulative effect on our entire existence. From the moment we are conceived, nature initiates a series of life stages required to help us build the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual maturity needed to live up to the demands of adult responsibility. In an ideal world, these life stages should occur smoothly in a way that rightly equips us for life. Sadly, most people even in adulthood do not have a solid foundation for life and are left to live lives based on correcting one mistake after another.
I developed the following thoughts on goal setting after having tried for many years to find an authentic goal setting method that starts by aiding the building of a solid foundation rather than a correctional method that builds on a shaky structure of bad decisions.
I like to think of goals as a series outcomes that I look forward to and the actions I need to take to realise those outcomes. Actions are the manifestations of the decisions I make everyday. If I look forward to passing my exams, I will take appropriate action by studying. The idea of looking forward to an outcome brings in the aspect of visualising your future because visualisation helps with motivation. If I can see myself passing the exams, I can mentally experience the feeling of passing.
This brings us to a few characteristics of goals. For an outcome to be visualized; a) it has to be specific, which is what distinguishes goals from wishes b) It has to be time bound and C) it has to be easy to refer to and therefore has to be written down.
The three elements -habit, voice and craft – help with goal setting because they help you create a rhythm for your life. I will invert the order of the habits in order to deal with the characteristics of goals.
Find your voice
Voice is personal and in goal setting it dictates that your goals must mean something to you or else you will give up on them very easily. When a goals is meaningful, it becomes easier to reinforce it with visualization. This is why building your life on talent makes sense because your talent is personal and means a lot more to you. Voice will help us create a set of goals that are consistent to one another.
Develop a good habit
Habit in goal setting helps you build momentum. The starting and stopping of one thing after another robs us of progress because we keep losing the gains we make each time we start afresh. Habits are what define what we do with our time and spending our time on the goals we set for building our lives will keep the momentum of progress going in our lives.
Practice your craft
Craft in goal setting deals with the specific way you choose to write and think about your goals. I write my goals starting with What I look forward to today, this week, month, year etc at the top of the page. This helps me keep the goals continually accessible. It is similar to a to-do list except that by saying this is what I look forward to today, I add a visual and emotional aspect to the list and thus create a high interest in wanting to see the goals through. This gives me a degree of confidence which grows with each goal I achieve on the list.
How do you set goals? Has it worked for you? I look forward to hearing from you.
Till the next time,