Sunday, October 18, 2009

Goal Setting

The difference between a goal and a dream is the written word.
Gene Donohue
Goal setting is simply having a clear plan and a future vision of where you want to be somewhere in the future, in order to set goals or have a plan you first need to know where do you want to be in the future, you need to have some kind of a dream, something that you really desire to achieve, this can be anything starting from being successful in your academics, getting a good job, having a successful relation, buying a big house or car to being the president of U.S.A. You will have to follow a few simple steps to set your goals.

Step 1: develop a burning desire

Just sit and think of what do you really desire to achieve, what is the thing that will change your life if you get it, what you really need, what will make you live a happy and proud life rather than living defeated. Visualization can help you much in knowing what you really desire to achieve. Just sit in any place where you won’t get disturbed and dream “what you desire to be”! After visualizing your dream the goals that you are going to set are going to have the purpose of serving the big dream or the plan, for example suppose that you decided to be an ambassador, most likely your goal list will contain items like studying political science, learning more than two languages and having superior communication skills. Each goal on its own doesn't make you become an ambassador but together they serve the plan and will help you to get closer to your dream.
Step 2: Goal setting rules and guidelines

2.1- Goals need to be challenging but achievable:
It is important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people (employers, parents, media, and society) can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions. Alternatively you may set goals that are too high, because you may not appreciate either the obstacles in the way or understand quite how much skill you need to develop to achieve a particular level of performance. So, be realistic, keep your goals challenging yet achievable. If your goals are challenging, you will get motivated. Make your goals achievable to prevent yourself from depression.

2.2- Goals need to be time limited:
In order to set a goal you have to have a time limit set for it, after all you aren't going to live hundreds of years, life is short, not setting time for your goals may result in lacking motivation or being indifferent.

2.3- Goals need to be measurable:
You can't set a goal like "I want to be good at computers, what do you mean exactly by being good? Instead you have definite phrases like reading 50 computer related articles and learning two programming languages over a period of 3 months.

2.4- You need to be flexible in setting the goal:
You need to be focused on what you want and not on how you are going to do it. There are hundreds of ways to do it. Flexibility is reaching your final goal using whatever method you could find and not getting bounded to a certain method that don't work. It was found that people who set long term goals usually achieve what they have planned for as compared to people who set short term goals and usually end up with disappointment, frustration or depressed. Planning on the long run can increase your chance of reaching your goals and can compensate for the lack of some resources like time or money.
Usually when goal setting is mentioned, another topic is mentioned along with it which is time management. Learning time management will make you more capable of using your time efficiently; this will lead to faster results in reaching your goals.

2.5- Crisis management:
Finally you need to have scenarios for what to do in case that you were unable to achieve your goal, having a scenario for an unexpected event that may occur will prevent sudden emotional decisions when the event happens as you will be already prepared, it will also prevent depression in case that the goals are not met and that there is no other choice rather then getting depressed.
2.6- Goal setting and having a vision:
A vision is a mental image or a mental video that you have in your mind for where you want to be in the future, it’s like imagining your goals and dreams after they have came true. A vision is also your expectation for the future of your business, yourself or a technology change. Having a vision is an essential item for reaching your goals.

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