3 Golden Rules of Goal Setting
3 Golden Rules of Goal Setting

You need to set goals if you want to succeed. You lose concentration and direction without targets. Goal building not only allows you to take charge of the course of your life; it also provides you with a benchmark to assess whether you are actually succeeding. Think about it: getting a million dollars in the bank proves success even if one of your goals is to amass money. When your aim is to perform charity works, so the way you can define success is immediately contradictory to having the money for yourself. 

Yet you need to learn how to set them to achieve your goals. You simply can’t say, “I want it” and expect it to happen. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve and finishes with a lot of hard work to do. There are some very well-defined steps in between that transcend the particulars of each target. Learning those steps will allow you to formulate goals you can achieve.

The Three Golden Rules

Set goals which will inspire you 

When setting goals for yourself, it’s crucial that they inspire you: this means making sure they’re important to you, so there’s interest in getting them completed. Whether you have no interest in the results or, in the broader picture, they are insignificant, then the chances of you putting in the effort to make them happen are slim. Motivation is central to attaining goals. 

Set goals that relate to your life’s high priorities. You will end up with far too many goals without this sort of emphasis, leaving you too little time to devote to each one. Goal achievement needs dedication and you need to feel a sense of urgency and have a mentality of “I will do this” to increase the probability of success. You risk putting off what you need to do when you don’t have anything to make the target a reality. In effect, this leaves you feeling depressed and irritated, all of which are de-motivating. So you might end up in a really negative mind-frame of “I can’t do something or excel at something.”

Set SMART targets 

You have probably heard about SMART goals, but do you still follow the rule? The simple fact is that they should be built to be SMART for aims to be strong. Whoever SMART stands for, there are several variants, but the core is this – goals should be: 

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

Set clear goals 

Your mission needs to be simple and clearly established. Vague or common targets are unhelpful, as they do not have adequate guidance. Remember there are targets that need to show you the way. Make it as simple as you can, by describing precisely where you want to end up, where you want to go.

Set Achievable Goals 

Include specific numbers, dates, and so forth in your targets so that you can calculate your progress rate. If your target is clearly described as “Reducing expenses” how do you know when you’ve succeeded? In a month’s time if you have a reduction of 1 percent or a reduction of 10 percent in two years ‘ time? Without a way to evaluate your success, you are losing out on the joy that comes with realizing that something you actually accomplished. 

Set Realistic Goals 

Be sure that the goals you set are achievable. When you set a target that you can’t expect to accomplish, you’ll just demoralize yourself and erode your confidence. Resist the temptation to set goals that are too convenient, though. Achieving a target you didn’t have to work hard for can at best be anticlimactic, it can also make you dread setting potential goals that carry a chance of failure. Through setting targets that are achievable and demanding, you score the balance you need. These are the types of goals that allow you to “raise the bar” and carry personal satisfaction to the limit. 

Set relevant targets 

Goals should be important to where you want your life and career to be going. In having goals aligned with this, you will be building the energy that you need to step ahead and do what you want.

Set timely goals 

The milestones require a deadline. Once again, that means you know when to celebrate success. If you work on a deadline, your sense of urgency rises, and success will come to you a lot quicker.

Make an action plan and stick to your goals

This move often gets missed during the goal-setting process. You get so focused on the result that you fail to prepare all the required steps along the way. You will know that you are making progress towards the ultimate objective by writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each off when you complete it. This is important particularly if your target is big and challenging, or long-term.

Recall that setting goals are an ongoing task, not just a means to an end. Put in reminders to keep track of yourself, and have daily time-slots to review your goals. In the long term, the end destination can remain very similar, but the action plan you set for yourself along the way will make a huge difference. Be sure to stay high in importance, interest, and need.

Setting goals is far more than just saying that you want to see something happen.  If you identify clearly and precisely what you want and understand why you want it first, the chances of success will be reduced considerably. By following the Three Basic Principles of Goal Setting, you can easily set goals and enjoy the happiness that comes with realizing you’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do.

Along with goal setting, your aim should also be towards learning new skills and improving upon your existing knowledge base. The best way to learn new skills that will have an exponential effect on your career is to take up widely-recognized certification training that adds tremendous value to your resume and helps you to stand apart from your competitors.

Some of the popular courses that individuals can take up to grow in their careers are:

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Billie Keita is known for her exemplary skills in implementing project management methodologies and best practices for business critical projects. She possesses 10+ years of experience in handling complex software development projects across Europe and African region. She also conducts many webinars and podcasts where she talks about her own experiences in implementing Agile techniques. She is a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and PMI Project Management Professional (PMP)®, and has published many articles across various websites.


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