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Keys to Setting Goals and How They Can Change Your Life

Everyone takes a different path in life, but we all have some level of control over what direction that path takes. We all make decisions that affect our future each and every day, but do we have a plan for where they’re going to take us?

Goal setting is an amazing tool to help you take charge of your life. It can lead you in all kinds of directions, and the great thing is, anyone can create goals. There are good goals and bad goals, though, so it’s important to take the time to make sure you’re forming goals that will take you in a positive direction.

It’s commonly accepted that the most successful goals are what’s known as SMART goals, and they have a number of features.

Specific

Setting specific goals gives you a clear idea of what you’re working towards. If your goals are vague, then they’re open to interpretation, and they’re less likely to be effective.

Sometimes when we set goals, we deliberately leave them vague, perhaps because of a fear of failure, but you’re not helping yourself when you do this. Sure, if you set explicit, clear goals, then you might fail to reach them, but at least they’re representative of what you really want to achieve in life.

For example, if you enter college and set yourself the goal of getting a ‘great’ job on graduation, what does this mean? Really think about what you want from life, and be honest and specific about it with your goals.

Goals are about focusing your mind and giving you a target to work to, and the more specific they are, the more effective they’re likely to be.

Measurable

You need to know when you achieve success or when you’re on the right track, or even if you’re heading in completely the wrong direction. If you have no way of measuring your success, then your goals are much less useful.

You might set a goal of retiring and living in a nice environment, but how can you measure that? Does that mean having a beach house in Hawaii, or does it mean being able to afford the best assisted living at Frontier Management (visit website today to find out more), and how can you measure this?

If you’ve got specific goals, then it’s much easier to work out how you can make them measurable. If you set your goal to retire to Hawaii, then you can work out how much you need to have saved up and how much you need to save each year to achieve that.

Goals that aren’t measurable tend to stay as dreams because you don’t have a good way of seeing if you’re actually making progress towards them. This is true for long-term, mid-term, and short-term goals. It’s great to have that motivation of knowing you’re getting closer to achieving your goals, and this is why making them measurable is so important.

Attainable

Goals are there to challenge us. There’s no point making goals that are so easy they take no effort to achieve, but at the same time, they can’t be unattainable.

We’re all capable of amazing things, and we should be looking to challenge ourselves.However, your goals have to be realistic. One of the most difficult things in life is consistency, and if your goals aren’t attainable, then it’s much easier to lose motivation and stop what you’re doing.

You need to find a balance between challenging yet attainable, and this requires some deep thought. When you hit the right balance, you’ll find your goals can become a great source of inspiration, though.

You want to have a collection of different goals you can work towards so that you’re always close to ticking something off. If your goals aren’t attainable, then they’re not going to have the same impact.

Relevant

You can set a specific, measurable, attainable goal, but if it’s not relevant to what you want to achieve, then it’s probably not going to be helpful.

This is where it’s important to take the time to think about what you want from life and make sure your goals reflect this. If your goals aren’t helping you achieve what you want out of life, then you might want to rethink them.

If you’ve got a clear picture of what you want to achieve, then you don’t want other things distracting you from it, so be thorough with your goal setting but make sure they remain relevant.

Time-Bound

You never know what’s going to happen in life, and this can make goal setting difficult. However, if you don’t put a time limit on your goals, then you’ve got less motivation to go out and achieve them.

If you say one day I want to take up golf, then it’s easy to keep kicking it down the road. Instead, if you say I want to take up golf and have a handicap of 12 by the time I’m 55, then you’ve got a timeframe for what you want to achieve. You know if you leave it to the age of 54 to get your first lesson, then you’re struggling to meet your targets.

Setting a timeframe gives your goals a sense of urgency which can be important. Again, you need to be realistic, though; you’re not a miracle worker, so give yourself enough time to achieve what you want to achieve.

Conclusion

Goal setting can have a big impact on your life, but if you’re not setting good ones, they can have a negative effect. To give yourself the best chance of success, your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

We all tend to have goals in mind, but when you sit down and write them out, they become much more real, and this gives them added power. With challenging yet attainable goals, you’ve always got something to motivate you, and they’re a great way to achieve the things you want in life.

It’s not easy deciding what we want our lives to look like, but it’s a little easier with good goals.

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