If you want to make changes and accomplish tasks in any area of your life, one of the most effective ways to do so is setting goals. You can combine both short and long-term goals but give yourself enough time to achieve them. Some goals take only days to achieve while others take a longer period, like from a few months to a year. What is important is not the time frame but the clearly defined goals that you are targeting to achieve.
It is important to write down your goals detailing it to the last bit of information that you can muster. Be as precise as possible using terms that are easily evaluated and identified.
- To learn a new job skill. (This is a general goal and not precise!)
Instead, write something like:
- To complete a 12-month distance learning course and earn my career diploma. (Make your goal as precise as this one!)
Notice the big difference between the two goals? The second example identifies a career area (by indicating the course) and time frame (12 months). This is a well-written goal since you can quantify and determine after a time period if you are keeping up with your set goal. It is essential to write your goal on a piece of paper and place it where you can see it often. You may also add a picture from a magazine that best represent your goal, like a person in office attire or the car that you want to drive as you go to your work every day.
Next step is to break down your goal into small components or what is also called defining your objectives. Write it down and itemize the steps that you’re going to take in order to achieve your goal.
Here’s an example:
Steps to completing your course via distance learning
- Gather information on the courses available
- Pick a course and enrol
- Set aside regular time each week for study sessions
- Keep self motivated to concentrate better in each study period
- Focus on the lessons and learn
- Read regularly to retain more information and improve comprehension
- Review the Reading Assignment before answering the Achievement Examination questions
- Make sure to prepare for the next lesson. Each lesson completed brings me closer to earning the diploma that I want.
- Follow school policies and pay tuition on time to avoid delays in learning and disruption of course schedule.
Post your big goal and the objectives in a place where you can see them every day. Put an accompanying picture to represent your goal. This will help you focus on your goal and also train your subconscious mind to record your objectives which in turn will make it easier for you to achieve them.
The positive energy and enthusiasm in achieving your goal can help you reach it according to plan.
The reason for breaking down your goal into small steps is to make it more manageable. A big goal can be overwhelming at first but as you lay the step-by-step methods on how to achieve it, it becomes easier to accomplish.
When you practice this habit, you can then use it in other areas of your life and soon, you can see that one by one, your goals are getting fulfilled. Setting goals is a form of planning. It is like anticipating a good thing happening to you so you better get yourself ready for it.
You can also use inspirational sayings such as the following:
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.”
“It’s important to plan your work and then work your plan.”