Setting (life) goals and pursuing them consistently is considered a must in today's society. Those who cannot name any plans for the future are quickly classified as undisciplined. For most people, goals are actually an important anchor for finding meaning and orientation in their lives. However, goal setting is not as easy as most people claim.
Quite a few people set unrealistic goals or want to change too much at once. As a result, failure is practically pre-programmed. Or else it is given up too quickly because it was basically an extrinsic motivation, i.e. an external influence. Goals that do not really correspond to your own desires cannot be successfully implemented.
Goal setting is possible in all areas of life: Maybe you've been dreaming of getting promoted at work for a long time? Or you want to turn your passion into a profession and fulfill your dream of self-employment? Whatever it may be: Goals spur you on to top performance. They help you to lead the self-determined life you want.
What are the target species?
There are three types of targets:
- Process goals
- Performance targets
- Earnings targets
Process goals are concrete actions that can be taken. For example, if you plan to study two hours a day for your degree, this is a process goal.
Performance goals focus on a measurable outcome that matches your own ideals. If you aim to achieve at least 80 % on an exam, this is your personal performance target.
Outcome goals are the most difficult to achieve because they are easily influenced by external factors. Typical outcome goals are, for example, the achievement of a desired professional position.
Goals are different from person to person
Goals are as individual as the people who pursue them. What you call your life's dream may be completely irrelevant to someone else. The same is true in reverse, of course. Basically, there is no right or wrong with goals. You should not let yourself be distracted and act freely according to your convictions.
Nevertheless, there are some stumbling blocks in goal planning that, depending on your mentality, can quickly lead to you giving up. As mentioned at the beginning, these include, above all, unrealistic goals. But also vaguely formulated goals have the great potential to vanish into thin air.
Turn dreams into goals
Dreams and goals are often mentioned in the same breath. But there is an important difference: You have to transform dreams into goals before you can realize them. The keyword is: goal setting! Preferably as concrete as possible.
It is advisable to proceed step by step. We would like to illustrate this with an example:
Initial Situation: "I have a dream. I want to be a writer."
Goal setting Step 1: Define the goal
What exactly is my goal?
Possible answer: "I want to write and publish a book. I want my work to find readers."
Objective Step 2: Develop strategy
How do I reach the goal?
What do I need for that?
Possible answer: "I need a convincing, mature idea. In parallel, I research which publishers are worth contacting. I think about my target group in detail."
Goal setting Step 3: Set milestones
Which partial steps make sense?
How do I organize my project in terms of time?
Possible answer: "I'll be writing my novel every day after work between 6pm and 8pm. On weekends, I'll work from 10am to 1pm. My weekly writing goal is 10,000 words."
Objective Step 4: Execution
Are my milestones realistic?
Where is there a need for optimisation?
I'm taking stock.
Possible answer: "I notice that I can't motivate myself to write every night. Therefore, I shorten my intervals to two writing days within the week, but write an hour longer on the weekends. I'm revising my writing goal to 8,000 words a week."
Objective Step 5: Result
What have I been able to achieve so far?
Is this still the right path for me?
Possible answer: "I completed my novel within the time frame I set and have already been able to make some promising contacts regarding publishing opportunities. My objective was successful."
Important: The goal setting strategy we have just presented can be applied to any goal in life. Through the concrete example, we wanted to make the method a little clearer for you.
Why are milestones so important?
Why it is advisable to divide a big goal into small steps is easy to explain: you will achieve a sense of achievement more quickly, which will spur your motivation.
Let's say you want to lose 20 kilos of weight. It may take you a while to achieve this in a healthy way. This can seem daunting. However, if you set yourself an achievable goal (e.g. one to two kilos per week), you will experience continuous success. Motivated in this way, it will be easier for you to persevere until you reach your ultimate goal.
5 tips on how to get your goal setting right
You are probably aware of the fact that you should not set unattainable or unrealistic goals. However, there is much more to setting the right goals. The following proven tips should help you to achieve your goals. Some of these are already somewhat obvious from our example. However, we'll explain them again in more detail.
First, set yourself deadlines.
Procrastination is one of the biggest killers of success. This has already been repeatedly proven.
Therefore: Set yourself a time limit for all goals, by when you want to have achieved them. That this limit should be based on a realistic foundation is of course self-explanatory. The time limit brings you into action. At the same time, it acts as a control mechanism.
2. set a measurable goal
Your goal should be clearly measurable so that you can clearly judge success as such. For example, instead of setting a goal of moving every day, set a goal of 10,000 steps. Instead of aiming for a salary increase, set a goal of a 200 € increase.
3. be confident!
You can't achieve your goals if you don't have confidence in yourself. Look back at all the successes you have had in your life and become aware of your own strength. In this context, consider the self-fulfilling prophecy: If you're convinced you can't do something, you'll be right. But the same is also true the other way round!
4. be ready to work for your goals
Nothing comes from nothing! This well-known saying is very true. It is not enough to set your goals only theoretically. In order for them to become reality, you must work towards them in a concrete and determined manner. Don't shy away from possible additional effort, but think about the result!
5. use the SMART method
The Smart Method is ideally suited for achieving a clear objective with a high implementation rate. The abbreviation Smart stands for the following:
- S: Specific: What do you want to achieve, when and why?
- M: Measurable: How can you measure progress?
- A: Achievable: What skills do you need?
- R: Relevant: Does this goal really fit into your life plan?
- T: Time-Sensitive: When is your personal deadline?
Inspiring examples for your goal setting
Is there one big goal in your life that you want to achieve at all costs? You are not alone in this. However, it is much more effective to not only focus on one big goal, but to pursue goals in all areas of your life. This is the only way to develop yourself holistically. After all, what's the point of achieving your professional goals if in your private life you don't have dissatisfied stay?
Enclosed are some meaningful statisticsthat proves this.
Therefore we would like to give you some inspiration for your goals in different areas of life:
- Seek promotion to a management position.
- Double your income.
- Become a pioneer of new ideas in your industry.
- Catch up on your college degree.
- Learn a foreign language and open up new career opportunities.
- Make your hobby your profession.
- Start your own business.
- Invest in the stock market.
- Get paid to do what you enjoy.
- Develop multiple sources of income.
- Build your own online business.
- Make sure you have a good work-life balance.
- Pay off your student loans well before they're due.
- Run a marathon with me.
- Take a trip around the world.
- Visit one or more of the Seven Wonders of the World.
- Give up alcohol completely for a year (or a lifetime).
- Write a book.
- Read at least two books a month.
- Get rid of all your debts.
- Rekindle an old friendship.
- Maintain your social and family contacts.
- Try yoga or meditation.
- Plan your retirement.
- Wander out into your dreamland.
- Ride in a hot air balloon.
- Go diving with dolphins or sharks.
Goals in the partnership
- Celebrate the anniversary with your partner every year.
- Say something nice to your partner every day.
- Allow yourselves at least one romantic, two-person evening a week.
- Create a new family tradition.
- Find a joint project with your partner (e.g. building a home).
- Plan on moving in together.
- Plan your wedding.
- Plans to start a family.
- Eat together every night.
- Plan a trip together.
Next step: Achieve your goals
As you now know, goal definition plays a crucial role in achieving your life goals. What sounds so simple in theory, can turn out to be quite troublesome in practice. The reason: Many people do not know what they really want. If you feel the same way, you are by no means alone. Fortunately, there are ways to get clarity.
At this point we would like to recommend our seven-day Visions Challenge. Within one week you will learn with proven methods how to find out what you really want in life. This includes exploring and releasing old blocks as well as developing a clear vision for the future: What do you want your life to look like in five years? What do you need for that?
Our Visions Challenge includes seven videos, a comprehensive PDF vision book with numerous exercises for your dream life and four meditation instructions for more inner serenity. Have we aroused your interest? Then inform yourself today completely free of charge and without obligation!