While in middle school, I had a teacher who was very focused on building the minds of young children. I know educators should have this mentality, but she was extremely dedicated to pouring in as much positivity and empowerment as she could. She expanded our vocabulary, and knew exactly what to say to make us straighten up and fly right, however there was one concept that still chimes in my ear to this day. "If you fail to plan, than you plan to fail" was one proverb that she loved to ring into our ears everyday. Of course as a child, I thought that was a saying older people used just to confuse kids so they can see how silly our faces looked when we try to figure out their true meaning. I thought, "why not just say what you need to say? Why all of the riddles?", but as I've gotten older, and experienced life in different ways, I see the truth in what she said. Moving forward to high school and now into my adult life, goal setting not only helps with being more organized with your plans, but it's also a way to gain momentum and have a marker of growth. How many of us have issues with setting goals and following through? With social media on the rise, there's no surprise why many people have trouble focusing and getting things done. The endless drama of pop culture, and the constant stress of society's influence to fast track developments that should take more time can make it nearly impossible. However, as we prep for the new year, we can't be that person that believes that EVERYTHING is going to drastically change on January 1st. We all know THAT PERSON. You know, the "new year new me" person, don't be that person. However, let's focus on being a more enhanced, focused, and peaceful version of yourself instead of making unrealistic expectations.
Be On Fire!
In order to be success in anything you have to set goals. Of course that seems pretty simple, and it is, but simple doesn't always mean easy. Setting goals gives you direction and the speed at which you should move in that direction. Even though that does sound all well and good, but be sure to set goals that excites you and gets you fired up. Make sure you set goals that are important to you. If your goals aren't strong enough to help in the bigger picture of your success, than your chances or continuing and being motivated is slim to none. Try to keep your goals simple and concise, because setting too many goals at once, will definitely lessen out the time you have to complete them, and in turn frustrates many people, and they give up. For example, you have a huge mid term project that you have to complete by next Wednesday. You don't want to procrastinate, but seeing the long list that needs to be done in such a short amount of time is overwhelming you. However, planning out your tasks by setting goals of what portion of the project you're going to complete on which day and how much time it'll take to get the job done, is the best way to stay organized and avoid being overwhelmed. In the beginning of your goal setting process, I'd recommend establishing why you're doing what you're doing. Having a strong why is the weapon that can turn a "I don't know if I can do this", kind of day into an "I got this" kind of day.
Let's Be SMART
The SMART plan might be a practice that you've heard before, but honestly, how often do you actually exercise this concept? So SMART stands for:
Set Specific GoalsYour goal must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don't provide sufficient direction. Remember, you need goals to show you the way. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up.
"Set Specific Goals
Your goal must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don't provide sufficient direction. Remember, you need goals to show you the way. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up.
Set Measurable Goals
Include precise amounts, dates, and so on in your goals so you can measure your degree of success. If your goal is simply defined as "To reduce expenses" how will you know when you have been successful? In one month's time if you have a 1 percent reduction or in two years' time when you have a 10 percent reduction? Without a way to measure your success you miss out on the celebration that comes with knowing you have actually achieved something.
Set Attainable Goals
Make sure that it's possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence. However, resist the urge to set goals that are too easy. Accomplishing a goal that you didn't have to work hard for can be anticlimactic at best, and can also make you fear setting future goals that carry a risk of non-achievement. By setting realistic yet challenging goals, you hit the balance you need. These are the types of goals that require you to "raise the bar" and they bring the greatest personal satisfaction.
Set Relevant Goals
Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take. By keeping goals aligned with this, you'll develop the focus you need to get ahead and do what you want. Set widely scattered and inconsistent goals, and you'll fritter your time – and your life – away.
Set Time-Bound Goals
Your goals must have a deadline. Again, this means that you know when you can celebrate success. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come that much quicker."
Write The Vision
One of the sure fire ways to make your goal blossom into something amazing is to write your goals out and make it simple. Writing your goals out in your handwriting brings a personal touch and sparks a light in your brain as something real and flowing. I'm a strong advocate of journaling, and finding a space where you can focus with a clear mind. There's so much chatter from all angles that it's no surprise why people are having a difficult time focusing. Think about it like working out. There are many distractions in the gym. Someone being loud and obnoxious. It might be too hot that day. Your gym crush continues to obliviously walk near your direction, the list goes on and on. However, think about your centralizing your goals and ambitions into a journal or simply written down as you focusing to get that last press or that last quarter of a mile on the treadmill. Hone in on your goal and give it a direction to push forward to. Sometimes we can get distracted if we have too many options, but focusing on one or two goals at a time and writing them down, can make for a more smooth action plan.