In order to be happy and successful in life, you must know what your goals and values are.
To this end, goal setting is an important aspect for anyone to be successful. Goal setting enables you to achieve your tasks in an organized fashion and within the limited time frame.
Therefore, it is important that goals are set very carefully. Proper planning is needed for goal setting otherwise one can lost their focus and get side tracked. When you have set your goals, you would not only feel confident about the work you are doing, but you would also prioritize what needs are to be fulfilled first. These raise your motivation and self esteem and you have a positive outlook towards the work that you are doing.
One system of setting goals is to make sure they are 'SMART'. That means they should be:
- Specific - to the point
- Measurable - you can judge how much of the goal is accomplished
- Attainable - they should be within your potential of achievement
- Realistic - they should be practically achievable and not something vague
- Timely (or Time Based) – there should be a time frame in which these goals should be achieved
Having a SMART approach while setting goals would make you identify the loopholes, gauge yourself and help you achieve them easily. These goals would help you climb the ladder of success in slow but concrete steps.
Chunk Down Your Goals
When you have a large goal to achieve, make sure that you divide it into smaller goals (or stages) which are easier to achieve.
For instance, if you have to submit an important report within a deadline, these steps might be:
- formulate a hypothesis
- data collection supporting the hypothesis
- result analysis
- writing and submitting the report
These smaller 'subgoals' help achieve the final goal of report submission. Additionally, you should also have sub deadlines so that as you cross them you are aware of your progress and the work done.
The major part of goal setting is that it should be attainable and flexible. However, flexibility doesn't mean being too lenient, but rather, you should adjust your goal plan as you go along.
Adjusting your goal plan as you go makes you correct the problems that you face in its implementation. So time your goals well, streamline them regularly, and plan them according to your priorities so that you don‟t end up losing the game.
There are many types of goals that you can set such as professional goals, creative goals, personal goals, family goals, educational goals, financial goals and so on. By categorizing your lifetime goals, you would be able to make sure that nothing is left out. Line up your goals so that you know what to prioritize first and when to execute it.
Goal setting not only helps you plan your life, but it also enables you to ensure that you are in control of your life. Setting smart goals this way ensures their timely completion as well as reduces your stress levels.
The Distinction Between Goals and Values
You might find it interesting to know that everyone in this world is governed by values. Our values and beliefs are reflected through the decisions we make to lead our lives effectively.
We adopt certain values from our family, society or we formulate them based upon our life experiences. Positive values can be adopted at any time of life, but make sure the value to pursue has a positive, strong and integral effect on your life. Since we move within society it's often necessary to espouse such values that meet the demands of society. However your values are your own and other people's values are their own.
So what's the difference between values and goals? Values are not goals - however we often set goals based upon our values. Values are, in effect concepts that we value highly. For instance, we may value being financially well off, so we may set a goal to make money. Attaining the goal fulfils the value.
Goals reflect targets whereas values form the basis of a successful life. We all need a basis to lead our lives, as well as beliefs and actions that drive and support the purpose of our decisions. Effective values always influence our decisions positively and help choose the right path to success.
When we deal with people, we may become aware of their positive values that appeal to us. Jotting down these values is a good way to incorporate them into our lives.
Start A Journal
A very good way to become aware of your values is to make a journal.
In this journal you may write about a lot of things, for example:
- right and wrong decisions you have made, now and in the past
- events that excite(d) you and motivate(d) you
- events that did the opposite: they were dull and unmotivating.
- thinking about actions that had a positive effect on your life
This activity will provide you with a way to consciously appreciate what your life values are.
You should write in this journal at least daily for about at least a week. After you have about a week of information (but don't stop then), you will be able to write out these values and grade them from most important to least important.
Once this is done you need to frame each value as a positive statement - for instance “I am stable financially” or "I have a loving marriage".
You can also add related values - such as “I pay my bills on time", "I am able to save $X" and "I review my insurance regularly”.
Goals And Values Appear In Every Part Of Life
You can determine your values in any area of life - family, friends, community, morals, education, career, health, finances, recreation, etc. Recording your values and further classifying them might take time but once you are done, you will surely be clear about what they are and how they influence your actions.
Please take the time to identify your values since they are the basis on which you set up your goals. Once you are clear on what values have influenced your life positively and negatively as well, your goals will be very obvious.
At times when you are in state of making a lifetime decision you definitely need a clear vision of your potentials. Whilst you already have your values there in your mind, writing them down will surely help you classify them and set your priorities accordingly.
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