Setting Goals

Goal is the purpose, aim or objective towards which an endeavour is directed. Without goals you would be adrift like on a boat without oars, going nowhere.

You make faster progress when you are clear about the direction we want to take. You need to have a definite purpose and focus about a specific area of work or life.

People have different goals in different areas of life. They could be money, work, family, friends, society, education or health. The goals that we decide for ourselves depend on our personality and mental make up. They also depend upon the environment we grew up in and more importantly what gives us satisfaction.

Goals should align with our vision and should translate into clear specific day to day actions.

Goal setting not only gives you direction, it also gives you momentum. You begin to set priorities, look for opportunities and monitor yourself continuously. This by itself takes you closer to your goal. However, it is not sufficient just to set goals and lie back. Things will not happen on their own. You have to discipline yourself to move and act swiftly and accurately in the direction of your goals. You need to make a complete list of all your activities with the time it takes for each activity. Now go through each activity and see how much is its cost in terms of the time it takes and what value you get in its contribution towards meeting your goals.

You will be surprised to find that most of your time is taken by activities that do not move you forward but seem to be doing so. Attending meetings after meetings, just sitting in front of your computer and gossiping with friends and colleagues achieves nothing. Don’t do tasks just because you can’t say no to a friend or relative. Such activities make you feel you are busy but contribute very little to goal achievement.

We should be able to achieve a balance of the goals that we have for different areas of our life and work. We need to give time and attention in a focussed manner to each area in turn. Focussing on one goal area at a time rather than all at once helps achieve results faster. It also encourages us to succeed in one area after another.

Sharing our goals makes an important contribution to our ability to sustain and achieve our goals. We have to be careful with whom we share our goals. We shouldn’t share it with people who are themselves drifters with no discipline. They are likely to ridicule us and discourage us with their negativity. On the other hand if we share our goals with our real well wishers, they will encourage us and help us to achieve them. But here we have to be able to recognize the sycophants and stay away from them. They will praise us even when we are going wrong.

Goals will be long and short term, difficult or easy. We should not shy away from lofty goals. Only when we dream we can make goals beyond the realm of the possible and achieve them. There will be good or bad days and good or bad times. We must stay the course not allowing momentary failures to deter us from the path.

Setting goals should be followed with specific action to achieve them. Monitoring the tangible and intangible results of our actions is important. Pursuing our goals relentlessly will give us success and satisfaction in our life and work. Without goals we drift aimlessly and meaninglessly, leaving no legacy to be remembered by.

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