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When you hear the word goal, does it make you feel motivated or frustrated?
If it makes you feel frustrated, there’s a good chance that you haven’t set your goals properly. And what a disservice you’re doing to yourself and your goals!
Goals are vital to our success. They nurture the big-picture vision that we have of our ideal
future. They give our life meaning. Without goals, we lack focus and motivation. Without goals, we go through life feeling a bit lost.
So it’s crucial that we set the right kind of goals.
Without setting the right kinds of goals for ourselves, we can be left feeling frustrated,
discouraged and like failures.
What are the right kind of goals, exactly?
Aside from knowing what you want to achieve and setting your goals according to your values, you must break down your goals and have an action plan to achieve them. The only way to judge your progress towards achieving each of your goals is by making your goals measurable .
You need to know where you are so you know where you’re going. You need to know what
you’ve accomplished so far to achieve your goal so you know what you need to do next.
Most importantly, you need to stay motivated by your goals if you want to achieve them, and when you have a way to monitor your progress you’ll feel more confident with each milestone you reach.
And make sure you celebrate each of those accomplishments! Celebrations are highly motivating.
When a goal is too abstract or too big to break down and to measure, it can feel overwhelming. And that’s when we get discouraged. That’s when we don’t reach our goals.
And that’s when we feel like failures.
So how do we set measurable goals?
Start big. Have a pretty clear idea of your life goals. What do you want to accomplish in your
personal and professional life before you leave this Earth? Write them down! It makes your
goals more real.
Now, set 5-year goals that support your life goals. And keep breaking it down. What do you
have to do in the next 3 years? The next year? The next 6 months? The next month? This
Break down your goals and measure your progress.
Here’s an example for a career goal:
Life goal: To be the CEO of a major corporation
5-year goal: Have a significant operational role where I’m running a huge division
1-year goal: Work at a major consulting firm
6-month goal: Enroll in an MBA program
1-month goal: Join 1-3 business networking events to talk to people who are doing what I want to do
1-week goal: Start reading a book that supports my professional development goals
Remember, the key to achieving our goals is staying motivated by them. And the only way to stay motivated with our goals is to measure our progress.
Take note, many of your goals will change so it’s also important to constantly review and
modify. So start big, really big, and break it down little-by-little with smaller goals you can measure each step of the way.