Goal Setting: How To Set And Achieve Personal Success


Having a personal goal simply means that you have  something in your life that you would like to do, have or achieve.

For example, you can have a personal goal  related to your health, such as trying to lose a certain amount of weight,  related to your career such as advancing within a company and reaching a  certain position, or  related to your personal finances,  such as earning a  certain amount of money each month or year.

Busy week? You've got this!

In  fact,  you  can  have  a  personal  goal  related  to  virtually  anything  in  your  life  that  is important to you, and most  successful people  will have  several personal goals for multiple areas of their life which they are working towards at any one point in time.

Goal Setting the Right Way

Goal setting on the other hand, deals with the things that you must do in order to reach your aim or objective. Typically, it involves writing down your goals, planning a course of action and then following your plan until you finally accomplish what you have set out to do.

For some goals, this may take as little as a few hours or days and you will be able to quickly complete your goal. For other goals, however, it may take you months or even years before you are able to finish all the things that you need to do to complete your goal.

As you might imagine, those who continually work towards the attainment of their personal goals tend to be amongst the highest paid and most  successful people in  society, because they focus their energy on doing the activities which provide long-­term benefit to their life and so are rewarded as a result of their hard work and effort.

Focusing on success

If you have ever read a self­-help book before or a book on how to improve your life, then you are probably already familiar with what a personal goal is. After all, the concept itself is extremely simple, as all a personal goal really is, is something that you desire to have in life.

But what not everyone is aware of, is exactly why it’s important to have personal goals. As a result, even though having them may seem like a good idea, most people soon forget about them and quickly go back to their old way of doing things. They then wonder why their life hasn’t changed.

Why is Having a Personal Goal Important?

One of the most important reasons for having personal goals is that they help you to focus your mind on the things which will benefit your life and off the things which won’t.

For example, if you strongly desire to lose weight, then you are likely to take steps to help you achieve that aim.

As a  result, you will probably start exercising, eating healthy foods and staying away from junk food because you know that those are the things which you must do to achieve your aim.

Without  a personal  goal  however,  you  are likely to  spend the majority  of  your time  doing what is fun and easy with little or no regard for the long-­term potential consequences of your actions, because  all  you  are  concerned  about, is the here  and now  and the  satisfaction  of your immediate short­-term needs.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Telling someone your goal, makes it less likely to happen” quote=”Telling someone your goals, makes it less likely to happen” theme=”style2″]

If you set goals the wrong way, you will not only make it harder to achieve them, but you could  also put  yourself  off the process  of goal  setting  and  end up never  setting  any more goals at all.

When setting goals, there are four things you need to remember at this stage; make them specific, make them realistic, make them challenging and make them measurable.

So  let’s  have  a  look  at  each  of  these  now,  and  then  later  on  in  this  article  we  shall  go through a step by step example of how I set my goals.

1) Set specific goals.

An unspecific goal is something which gives you a rough idea of what you want to achieve, but doesn’t provide you with enough information or direction to actually achieve it.

An example of an unspecific goal would be “I want to be rich“. These types of goals are the most common types of goals that people have, but they aren’t really goals as they are more like a dream or a wish.

A  specific  goal  is  something  that  provides  you  with  enough  information  and  direction  to enable you to work towards its achievement. For example,  “I  will  earn  $50,000  by  31st December  next  year  by increasing  my  sales  of widgets by 15%“.

This type of goal is specific, because it tells you exactly how much money you want to earn and what you can do to get it. Once you have this information, you can then create a plan of action with specific steps to follow to achieve your goal.

This  plan  would  involve  taking  your  long­-term  goal  of  making  $50,000  next  year,  and creating  a  series  of  smaller  short­-term  goals,  which,  when  completed,  will  result  in  the completion of your main long­-term goal. To  set  a  specific  goal,  start  with  a  general  goal that  you  would  like to  complete.

 Write  it down, and then beneath it try to write something more specific. Continue this process until you  have  a  clearly  defined  specific  goal.  Lets  use  another  example  to  demonstrate  this process. • I want to get rid of my guitar because I don’t use it anymore.

• I want to sell my guitar and make some money.

• I want to sell it on eBay.

• I want to get as much money as I can.

• I want to get $100 for it.

• I have sold my guitar for $100 on eBay excluding delivery and fees.

As you can see, if you apply this process to any general goal you can easily make it become much more specific. Once you have a specific goal, your chances of completing that goal will dramatically increase.

2) Set realistic goals

An unrealistic goal is any type of goal which seems so impossible to achieve that you never even bother to start working on it.

As a result, it’s viewed as something that might happen, but probably won’t. People who only set unrealistic goals very rarely achieve them, and so this is something that you want to learn to avoid doing from day one.

On the other hand, a realistic goal is something that seems possible to achieve. It’s not so far out there that you know if you were to work towards its achievement, the chances of you getting it will be very good. However, what you will often find, is that realistic goals can be related to, and sometimes stem from, an unrealistic goal.

For example, if you are currently overweight, then losing 100 pounds in two months might seem like an impossible task. After all, that is a lot of weight for a person to lose and it is going to take an enormous amount of hard work and self-discipline to achieve it.

But if you were to shorten that goal to losing 10 pounds in one month, then that goal suddenly seems a lot more achievable and real. Which goal do you think would motivate you more to start working on it immediately? Obviously, the 10 pounds goal because it’s a lot more realistic, and therefore, believable.

3) Set challenging goals

While goals must be realistic, it is also very important for them to be challenging. A challenging goal is something that feels just out of your current reach, but you know that you will be able to grab it if you stretch yourself.

Challenging goals therefore act to get you out of your comfort zone by motivating you with the prospect of achieving something that you want, but don’t yet have.

Goals that are not very challenging are those which seem very easy to accomplish. As a result, they don’t really motivate you to go after them because you feel as though you could achieve them any time you want.

But because you are not being pushed out of your comfort zone, the chance of you ever bothering to achieve such a goal is not going to be very good. The reason for this is simple.

When faced with an unchallenging goal you are more likely to be motivated by the current comfort you are experiencing, rather than being motivated by the benefits that achieving your goal will bring.

4) Set measurable goals

Unmeasurable goals are things that can’t be measured or defined in specific terms. For example, “I want to become a better person” would be an unmeasurable goal because how can you possibly know when you have become better? And what exactly do you want to become better at?

Just like unspecific and unrealistic goals, unmeasurable goals are very unlikely to ever be achieved because they are far too general for you to know what you want and how you will get it. Measurable goals are therefore goals which you can measure in some way.

For example, if you wish to complete a goal within a specific period of time, say, run a mile in under four minutes, the measurement of time can be used as a determinant of whether or not you have achieved your goal. Another common form of measurement is quantity.

For example, losing 20 pounds over two weeks involves measuring the achievement of your goal against a specific quantity and a specific time period.

The measures you use when setting goals therefore serve as signposts to let you know how far along you are and how far you have left to go. Once you have a specific target to aim for, you will find yourself much more motivated to achieve such a goal because it also becomes much more specific and realistic.

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  1. Emily Bendler

    Love this! Goals are so important for finding motivation and living the life you want!

    1. Janica Khemlani

      Hello Emily! Thank you so much for reading (sorry for the l late response). What are some of the goals you set for yourself this year? 🙂

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