Researchers have found that people who set goals are on average likely to be more successful in most ways than people who don’t set goals.
Goals and objectives are the basis for planning. As the Cheshire Cat said to Alice, “If you don't know where you are going, then any road will take you there.” And that is often how we approach life. We just live, and if we end up where we want to be, hey, that's great. If we end up where we don't want to be, hey, that’s life.
Painting a mental picture of what your goal will look like requires very specific descriptors. For example, if owning a new car is your goal, then a specific goal might be, “I will have a red 2009 Chrysler LeBaron hardtop, with grey velour upholstery, air conditioning, air bags, electronic windows, and an MP3 player.” Then you can picture yourself driving around in that car.
If you can’t measure your goals, you won’t know if you reach them or not. If you are saving money for a new red LeBaron, how will you know how you are doing? You will need to be able to check how much money you have saved toward that goal.
You also want to be certain that your goals are reachable. Sometimes people think that the top achievers of this world set high goals for themselves and then worked toward reaching them. But in truth, the super achievers of the world know that setting high goals can be a de-motivator. How? If you set goals that you feel in your heart of hearts is just not attainable, this can de-motivate you.
Maybe the car you can realistically afford right now isn’t a Chrysler LeBaron but a compact car. So adjust your goal; it isn’t written in cement or blood.
The goal should be relevant to you, personally. Maybe a Chrysler LeBaron isn’t relevant to what you are doing right now. Maybe you really need a Chevy half-ton to carry product or supplies. Or maybe transportation isn’t your problem - maybe you need office space or a new computer. You won’t get committed to goals that aren’t important to you, so you will only put a half-hearted effort into achieving the goal, and then blame yourself or the idea of setting goals if you don’t reach the goal.
Goals often need a timeline. Some of us wouldn’t get a darn thing done if it wasn’t for the deadlines in our lives.
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