The year is quickly drawing to a close and with the Christmas season comes the accompanying hustle and bustle. We are most times enveloped in the activities of the season that we forget to do a review of the year coming to an end before it rolls over. Therefore most often than not, we are ushered into the new year unprepared for what is ahead and we end up going along with anything life offers us in the course of the new year rather than defining what we want to make of life.
It is common notion that ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. Therefore one factor that will determine the end product of a venture is the measure put in place at the beginning. We all have goals and aspirations; we want to be ‘somebody’, we want to be financially buoyant, we want to set or beat already set records. We know the ‘what’, the next step is the ‘how’ – road map. Setting goals basically has to do with putting life to our aspirations and dreams.
Putting down one’s goal on paper (or documenting it using modern gadget) is the first major step to its accomplishment. A goal is an envisioned end or a desired result to which plans are committed to ensure its realization. Setting goals allow people to specify and then work towards achieving their objectives which may border on financial, religious, social, health or career-based goals. These goals could be short term or long-term.
A short-term goal usually has time constraint and is usually complements the achievement of one’s long-term goal, which may take a lifetime to attain. Hence, if we must set goals for the forth coming year, it is important to ask, ‘what do I want ultimately in life’? The answer to this question is usually our long-term goal. For example a person’s reply to this question may be ‘I want to become a renowned engineer’. The next question to ask is, ‘what can I do in the short run to achieve this goal’? The answer provided will determine your short term goal.
For example, a person who intends to become a renowned engineer must qualify to practice in that profession. So, must get admitted into the university to study engineering; be studious; and graduate tops.
Planning for the short term is key to the attainment of one’s long-term or life goal. The easiest way to ensure that your short term goals are in order is to use the S.M.A.R.T.E.R goals setting formula.
S – Specific: Goals must be clear and not ambiguous. They should target specific areas for improvement.
M – Measurable: When we say a goal is measurable it means that can be quantified. When a goal is not measurable it is difficult to know if progress is being made.
A – Attainable: It is important to make goals that are realistic and achievable. While an attainable goal may stretch a team in order to achieve it, the goal is not extreme. That is, the goals are neither out of reach nor below standard performance, as these may be considered meaningless.
R – Relevant: When a goal is irrelevant there is usually lack of passion to attain it. Therefore a relevant goal is born out of passion and will usually instill zeal for its completion.
T – Time-bound: Goals must have time frames. Fixing deadlines helps provide focus for the completion of the goal on or before the due date.
E – Evaluate: Assess progress, visit goals and make adjustments where necessary.
R – Re-evaluate: Once again, assess progress, re-visit goals and make adjustments where necessary.
Setting goals is important, but equally important is action! Do not procrastinate, as the popular sports brand’s (Nike) slogan says ‘Just do it’!