Setting goals is one of those defining differences between those who are making it in life and those who are letting life make them. Of course, crafting your aspirations is easier than realizing them; however, taking the time properly to set goals is a crucial step toward attainment. Follow these three tips to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success:
It’s easy to say, “I need a job where I can be happy” or “I want to buy my dream car.” Setting vague goals is at least a start, but try getting more specific. Write down and quantify your goals, and list the steps you need to take to get there. You’ll have a clearer picture of what you’re aiming for, and the necessary actions to achieve them.
To get a job that makes you happy, you’ll have to determine what, in fact, that is. Do you want to work outside, in a high-energy environment or would you prefer an 8-5 desk job where you let your brain do the work? Would you like to bring your dog to work like employees at Printingforless.com or ping pong during an afternoon break like marketers at Yelp.com? Don’t just get your dream car; set your goal for the BMW M3 you’ve always wanted.
Envision not 20 years before but one to five years before. Then list the steps you need to take to come from A to B, and manage those one at a time.
Adjust Your Attitude
For many people, it isn’t ability or wisdom that holds them back — it’s attitude. A key determinant in whether you achieve your goals is whether you want to or not. This sounds overly simplistic, but having the right attitude about whatever challenges you may encounter can help you push on when the journey to your goal gets tough.
Any goal worth attaining will be difficult. If you have a positive attitude and the presence of mind calmly to assess a situation until you arrive at its solution, you have a much higher chance of succeeding. This isn’t to say, plaster a smile on your face and use blind optimism — rather, have faith in you and refuse to be discouraged. Concentrate on positive things, and continue to move in the direction of your dreams.
Look Back to Go Forward
One of the most underrated and underutilized skills is honest self-reflection. Being able to look back and evaluate your triumphs and failings enables you to learn from your mistakes and take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. When starting anew, it’s vital you know where you are and where you’ve been.
Setting appropriate goals requires you know your abilities and character defects, so you can create realistic expectations about what you can achieve. Knowing your deficits is a terrific way to choose areas that need improvement. Look back at your highlights and low lights to help materialize goals.