Last Updated on March 3, 2022 by Coach M
Have you set goals for the New Year? How well did you achieve last year’s goals?
Setting our goals is very important. Without this, we spend every day being swept away.
But It’s not just about setting goals. It’s about taking action!
Let’s set a firm goal not to end up saying, ”My life shouldn’t have been like this” decades from now.
In this post, I will talk about setting goals that work. But before we start, let’s talk about the purpose which is essential for setting goals.
Table of Contents
1. The difference between goals and purpose.
What is the difference between goals and purpose?
Your purpose is like the North Star. It shows you a direction to take, and it’s the final point we want to get to. Think of your purpose not as a thing to accomplish, but rather what it is you want to be.
A goal is a milestone on the way to achieving our purpose. In other words, there is always a purpose behind the goal.
For example, let’s say you had a goal of losing five kilograms this year. The purpose of this goal may be to increase your running stamina, become healthier, or become more beautiful.
If there is no purpose, there is no larger motivation. It’s like sailing without a destination. If there is no destination, we can’t ever reach it and twenty years go by before we know it.
So let’s create a purpose for your goal-setting.
By the way, why is it important to set goals in the first place?
2． Why is goal setting important?
2－1． The goal is milestones
Since the purpose is abstract, it is essential to set how to achieve it specifically, and that’s where the goal-setting process comes in.
A goal is simply a milestone. If we do not set this, we will not be able to reach where we want to go, or we will get lost on the way and we will waste significant time.
Compare it with the goal of ”Running a full marathon in less than 5 hours” or ”Participating in a full marathon’’. The daily practice menu is different.
2－2． Effective use of time
By setting goals, we can make better use of our daily time. We can prioritize what we want to do every day to achieve our plans and not to waste our time. We are only given twenty-four ours a day.
The key to accelerating your success is to do the things of your first priority when you perform best.
In my case, I start with my top priority first thing in the morning.
2－3． Clarification of the path to achievement
Setting goals makes it clear how long it will take to get there. For example, rather than just wanting to start a business in your thirties or retire in your fifties, you will have a better view of what action to take now and how long it will take.
According to the purpose of your life, set your end-point goals. For example, what kind of life you want to live at the age of eighty. When it gets clear, then break it down to shorter-term goals. Make it ten years, five years, three years, two years, one year, next six months, three months, one month, one week, and one day.
Also, by doing this, you may find that you can achieve a goal in a few years that you thought was just a dream. So, if your goal is still dim in your mind, you will be more motivated to gather your thoughts and put them into concrete shape first.
2－4． Clarifying the gap between the current situation and the goals
Knowing the gap with your current situation will help clarify the necessary resources you will need, such as skills, abilities, people, information, funds, time and so on. Once you know what is missing, fill these in one by one.
2－5． Stay motivated
By having a clear idea of what we need to do now, we will have the energy when we wake up in the morning to achieve it and make the most of the twenty-four hours in a given day.
As you close the gap, you realize that you’re getting closer to your goals every day so that will keep you motivated.
For me, setting goals is absolutely necessary.
3． How to set goals
Becoming a competent leader, succeeding at work, becoming healthy, etc., goal setting tends to be abstract.
The more specific the goal, the more achievable it will be.
You can create these milestones more clearly by following the goal-setting steps along with the SMART Goals framework.
Smart goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (deadline).
Now, I will explain how I do this.
The more specific the goal, the easier it is to achieve. Making your goal specific will make it clear what you need to do to achieve your purpose. It will also make it more realistic to achieving your goal by repeatedly visualizing the required image in your head.
This is because your subconscious tries to fill tin he gap between your current state and your completed state.
When you have the image, the more detailed the five senses’ depiction, the more effective it is.
For example, where are you when you achieve it? What are you looking at? What do you hear?
Who are you with? How do you feel?
3－2． How do you measure the results?
When you can measure your results, you can see what you’ve achieved, so you’ll stay motivated.
On the other hand, if you can’t measure it, there is no standard of how far you have come, so it tends to be ”I did my best, and this is all right”.
Ideally, it should be measured in numbers.
3－3． Is your goal achievable and beyond your comfort zone?
Our comfort zone is within the range of abilities we already possess. We don’t feel any anxiety or fear here.
It is a bit scary, but for us to grow, it is essential to get out of our comfort zone and test our abilities. When we are outside of our comfort zone, we recognize skills that need to be acquired.
However, we need to remain realistic when we set our goals or it might end up being just a dream.
So, setting goals with just the right sense of challenge is good.
It is the same as muscle training. Our muscles will not become stronger if we keep doing the same thing. However, if we put too much load on it, our muscles will be injured.
In the long run, it is scarier staying in our comfort zone in a world that is changing dramatically, isn’t it?
3－4． Is your goal in line with your values?
Are the goals you setin alignment with your values? Is it a goal for someone else’s values?
To know the answer, start by understanding your values.
What is essential to your life? What do you value when you work? What beliefs and values can you never compromise?
Passion, honesty, and respect are vital to me. If we go against our values, it will come back to haunt us someday. We know it better than anyone else when we are lying to ourselves.
If your goal is not aligned to your values, no matter how great your goal is, it will not be achieved because your emotions resist doing it. In other words, this is why we often can’t achieve our goals.
3－5． What’s the deadline?
If there is no deadline, you will do the everyday tasks in front of you, and things that are important but not urgent are easy to put off. But by spending time on non-urgent but important things, our three, five, ten year-selves from now will change.
Prioritize your projects and execute important but non-urgent ones. Take stock of your work and think about the tasks you can do without. You may notice that you are spending time on things that are unexpectedly not necessary.
I shared my thoughts about setting and creating goals that work. The key is to keep asking yourself:
”Why will I start to do this?”
”Why am I doing this?”
We sometimes focus too much on achieving our goals and forgetting our original purpose. Also, since time is finite, it is important to decide what not to do. It’s a good idea to make time to reflect on whether you’re on the right track every day. If you want to significantly reduce the time to reach your goal, having a business coach is a great option.