Our friends at Daxue Consulting has some great tips on how to find your purpose through goal setting and how to achieve them.

Goal Setting and Planning

One of the most life-changing acts is to coordinate themselves and set life goals. Many still underestimate the positive effects of goal setting, and more often people have not experienced how it feels to clearly define what drives and motivates them to grow as an individual. By having a clear vision of the end state, it is easier to take action to reach any key task that has been set in order to achieve one’s goal. Most people feel as if they are adrift in the world; despite working hard, they still feel like they’re not getting anywhere worthwhile. According to Lee (2015), a key reason people feel this way is because they do not take the time to figure out what they want from life and set formal goals for themselves.

Goal setting and planning are powerful processes that allow us to think about our ideal future and motivate us to turn those visions into reality. Successful people, whether they are athletes, business people, and achievers in their chosen fields all set goals they want to achieve. Setting goals give us long-term vision and short-term motivation. It helps you focus on how you acquire knowledge, and how you organize your time and resources to make the most of every situation. With a suited deadline, goal setting and planning will give one the ability to achieve their goals.

The Process of Goal Setting

It is often difficult to discover one’s goal or purpose in life, but categorizing goals, creating lists on how to accomplish them and setting a deadline for each task can help point you to your passion and purpose.

Below are a few examples of categories that one could use in order to help identify their goals setting and planning.

  • Career  – What do you want to achieve in your career?
  • Financial – How much do you want to earn and what do you plan to do to get to that amount?
  • Education – What knowledge, skill or information do you want to acquire?
  • Family – What is the perfect age for you to get married and have kids?
  • Attitude – What behavior would you like to change and how do you plan to change it?
  • Physical – How do you plan to stay healthy?
  • Pleasure –  What do you want to do when you retire?

Brainstorming these categories will allow one to best reflect on the steps needed to accomplish the goal. Keep in mind that the goal has to be something you wish to do for yourself, not what your family or employers would like you to achieve. Next, divide these goals into small, achievable tasks, and prioritize according to importance and urgency so you could focus on what needs to be done.

Once you have decided on your goals, it is best to set a time frame as to when these should be achieved. You can choose to set a one-year plan, a six-month plan, and a one-month plan with progressively smaller tasks. The goals set at shorter durations should be correlated to the lifetime goals that would help improve the quality and realism of the final goal. It is essential to continuously evaluate the plans to ensure that the goals are in line with the bigger goals. Occasionally review the longer-term plans and modify them to reflect your changing priorities and experiences.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

A useful way to build a goal is to use the SMARTER mnemonic.

SMART stands for:

S – Specific or Significant

M – Measurable or Meaningful

A – Attainable or Action-oriented

R – Relevant or Rewarding

T – Time bound

The more specific the goal is, the easier it would be to clearly see what needs to be done in order to accomplish it. Next, a good goal is one that is realistic, which ensures the goal gets one out their comfort zone, but a dose of common sense has to be added. Last but not least, every goal needs to be associated with a date on when it should be accomplished, as a goal without a date is just a dream. For an example, a good goal would be to run 10 kilometers within 45 minutes by end of the April 2016.

Achieving your goals

By understanding or having a conscious idea of what needs to be achieved, one would be able to spot distractions and come up with strategies to avoid them. It is important to set a sharp, clearly defined goal and take pride in the achievement as one progress.

When a goal has been achieved, remember to take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of your accomplishment. Do not forget to reward and reassess yourself. Reflect on your accomplishments and the steps taken to complete it, absorb the implications of the achievement and move on to your other goals. This would help one continuously build the self-confidence one deserves, as there is not much point in achieving anything if there is nothing enjoyable to gain out of it.

The practice of goal setting and planning is very helpful; it allows us to find our purpose and turn our dreams into reality. Pychyl (2008) states that people who consistently make progress towards meaningful goals are happier and lead more satisfied lives compared to those who don’t. The key is to start small and follow through. What’s most important is you start, and there is no better time to start than today.

Article written by Arthur Seet, Consultant at Daxue Consulting

Join the movement!