How to Set Achievable Goals and Objectives

Goal setting is vital to success, but there are some strategies you may not know about. In this article, we explore how you can set more achievable goals and objectives. Guest-written by Letícia Miranda.

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Goal setting is an important process in life. It affects and impacts everything; from thinking about your ideal future and motivating yourself, to turning your vision of the future into reality. The goal-setting process can help you to get to where you want to go. Goals provide us with clarity to understand where we are going, how we get there and what we do when we arrive at our ‘goal destinations’. When setting goals, it is important to first understand the ‘why’ and the meaning behind setting them. This meaning, or mission, can determine everything. Based on your mission, you can then make choices that will enrich your journey.

Setting goals seems to be a simple and common task, because the impression one has is that people are already familiar with the process of thinking, elaborating, and putting into practice the strategies necessary to achieve these pre-established goals. The truth is, it is not as basic and simple a process as it seems. Goal setting often requires studying and research, information, tools, and methodology.

According to a classic phrase from the movie ‘Alice in Wonderland’, if you don't know where you want to go, any place will do. In order not to run the risk of reaching an unpleasant or dissatisfactory destination, it is necessary to set goals and objectives and then strive to achieve them. But, before that, it is important to make clear the differences between these concepts.

Objective is the purpose of accomplishing something, that is, it is the guide that determines where you want to go. From your life goals, your goals emerge. A goal is a specific, concrete, measurable step that will serve as a gauge towards your objective.

Think about all areas of your life (family, leisure, jobs, studies, spirituality, etc.) and how satisfied you are with them. Then identify what you would like to achieve to increase your level of satisfaction within each area. A good option is to divide your goals into three groups:

Group 1: HAVE - Get something you want.
Group 2: BE - Become something.
Group 3: DO - Do things that motivate you.

By choosing the goals with the greatest impact, you can focus on writing them clearly and objectively. This will help you develop an action plan to achieve them. When writing goals, you might want to use the SMART methodology. The key elements to SMART are:

S: Specific
When setting your goals, you need to be specific. The goals need to be clear in your mind. Determine something like “within three years, I want to increase the online reach of my business and conquer the number of more than X% of acquisitions coming from the digital medium. For this, I will invest the X amount in Digital Marketing strategies.” By setting specifics, your goals will immediately become far more tangible.

M: Measurable
Set measurable goals. To reach a goal, you will need to follow it and effectively measure it. You need at least some form of measure, in order to monitor progress and see if you are going on the right path.

A: Achievable
Set attainable goals. This should be a ‘no-brainer’ but is often forgotten. It is essential that you are realistic. Being realistic is crucial in ensuring you don’t end up frustrated and despondent. We all like to believe we can achieve more than we realistically can, in the set hours we have. Look at what has been achievable in the past and use this to determine achievable elements to your future goals.

R: Relevant
Be relevant. Your goal must make sense for you, your business or organisation and be linked to its values and purpose. If it isn’t relevant, it’s far more likely to be forgotten or dropped mid-way through. Relevance can further motivation too.

T: Time-based
You need to set a deadline to reach your goal. Without a deadline, it’s far easier for you, or your team, to procrastinate and take longer than you should, to reach it. Untimed goals become exhausting. If you have not achieved what you expected perhaps it is time to evaluate what went wrong and redo the plans, with new strategies and objectives? Whether or not you’ve acknowledged or analysed it, the chances are very high that you have achieved numerous goals so far in your life. For a moment, forget everything that didn't work out and evaluate the things you got right.

Always stay attentive to all these details, as this will give you strength and confidence to continue moving towards your achievements.

In addition, periodically review all your goals.

Achieving established goals is not an easy task, but failing to set goals for fear of not achieving them is much worse. We are all at risk of being disappointed, but the difference is that those who strive to define their goals have a great chance of achieving them. Remember, if you’re looking for goal setting and support in goal tracking, PushFar’s free mentoring and career progression platform is here to help. Click here to register today.
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