SETTING PERSONAL GOALS
Why set personal goals?
An individual sets personal goals because it helps in finding the direction of life. The individual understands his position with respect to his overall life and this knowledge allows him to change his thoughts, behavior, actions, and thereby change his life as per his desire. He achieves goals that he visualized and hence sets further goals for greater achievement.
What are personal goals?
Personal goals are certain stages that the individual wishes to achieve. For example, a person may desire to become a very good athlete. Then that is a personal goal, for which he undertakes various actions like regular exercise, healthy diet, etc., towards the fulfillment of the goal. Personal goals may be as many as there are persons; however, a generalization can be made as given below:
* Educational Goals – Knowledge/ Information/ Skills to be acquired.
* Career Goals – Achievement of superior positions/levels.
* Financial Goals – The amount of desired earnings at different stages/years/age
* Health Goals – Achievement in sports/related activity. Quit smoking/drinking.
* Family Goals – Raise a family, deciding on number of children, schooling, etc.
* Recreational Goals – Participation in clubs, groups, etc.
* Social Goals – Participation in socially relevant activities.
* Artistic Goals – Achievement in artistic pursuits like music, dance, etc.
* Development Goals – Developing the body, mind, and soul for all round improvement.
These broad goals should be analyzed and a priority should be assigned to them according to immediate wants. Again, after fulfilling them, new goals should be drawn up and hence reprioritization should be done. The goals should reflect the individual wants and needs and not the desires of the family, spouse, children, or someone else.
Effective goal setting
Goals can be set in many ways. However, the broad guidelines given as below certainly help an individual to set the personal goals effectively.
* Each goal should be written down. This clears doubts.
* Each goal should be realistic. This leaves no scope for illusion and delusion.
* Each goal should be a little difficult but achievable. This ensures sufficient effort.
* Each goal should be within the individual’s control. They should be performance oriented, measuring your effort against its achievement.
* Each goal should be clearly stated. No ambiguity should be present. Example, “I want to be a rich person”, should preferably be written as “I want to be a billionaire”.
* Each goal should be written as a positive statement instead of a negative statement. Example, “I shall exercise daily”, instead of “No day will pass without my exercising”.
* Each goal should be written as precisely and as detailed as possible to enable efficient performance measurement. Example, “I want to be a billionaire”, should be written as “I want to become a billionaire by 31st December, 2006”.
* Each goal should be broken down into smaller goals. Lifetime goals should be broken down into yearly goals – into monthly goals – into weekly goals – into daily goals – into hourly goals. Achievement of the goals from smallest to biggest gives proportionate boosts to confidence.
Fear of failure should be eliminated and the work towards achievement of goals should be undertaken vigorously. Mistakes shall happen and goals should be constantly revised and adjusted accordingly.
How are goals achieved?
Goals are achieved by hard work and persistence. Work works. An individual should always first know one’s position relative to one’s age, education, income, family, society, and then
– measure and evaluate the available options
– sort what is important and what is unimportant
– arrive at a conclusion on what is to be achieved
– build realistic goals for its successful achievement
– motive oneself and keep up persistence for its achievement
– realize small goals and build self-confidence
– understand that achievement of small goals ends in achievement of the big goal
– realize that achievement of the big goal makes further setting of still bigger goals, and this cycle of growth continues.