By: Alison R
Dreams and goals are the backbone of society and innovation. They are the birthplace of human ambition. And a person without a dream or goal is only a shell of his or her full potential.
Dreams or major goals are so important for a number of reasons including:
- Dreams motivate you to do your best and reach your full potential
- Dreams provide you with positive energy and help to keep you going through hard times
- Dreams keep you focused on what’s really important.
- Dreams help you define yourself as the type of person you’d want to be.
- Dreams keep you excited about life and the possibilities of the future.
by the Mind Tools Content Team
If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.
Many scientific researchers work day in, day out to pursue goals that will take years, decades, or even generations to achieve. Their progress is often painstakingly slow, they likely receive little feedback, and they know that success isn’t guaranteed.
However, despite the odds, they find enough meaning and motivation to keep working towards their objectives. Because of their long-term focus, we’ve all benefited from life-saving advances in areas such as vaccination, CT scanning, antibiotic development – and very many others.
It’s clear that people who maintain focus on long-term goals can achieve much bigger things than those who jump from idea to idea, or those who give up after the slightest setback. So, how can you keep focus on long-term goals, especially when you have to contend with everyday distractions and other urgent tasks?
What is Focus?
by the Mind Tools Content Team
What Does SMART Mean?
SMART is an acronym that you can use to guide your goal setting.
Its criteria are commonly attributed to Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives concept. The first known use of the term occurs in the November 1981 issue of Management Review by George T. Doran. Since then, Professor Robert S. Rubin (Saint Louis University) wrote about SMART in an article for The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He stated that SMART has come to mean different things to different people, as shown below.
To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
Professor Rubin also notes that the definition of the SMART acronym may need updating to reflect the importance of efficacy and feedback. However, some authors have expanded it to include extra focus areas; SMARTER, for example, includes Evaluated and Reviewed. Fortsätt läsa
by the Mind Tools Content Team
Many of us have learned – from bosses, seminars and business articles – the importance of setting ourselves SMART objectives. We know that “SMART” stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. But are these the only factors to consider if we want to achieve our goals?
Dr Edwin Locke and Dr Gary Latham spent many years researching the theory of goal setting, during which time they identified five elements that need to be in place for us to achieve our goals.
In this article, we’ll look at their research, and find out how to apply it to our own goals.
About Locke and Latham’s Theory
In the late 1960s, Locke’s pioneering research into goal setting and motivation gave us our modern understanding of goal setting. In his 1968 article “Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives,” he showed that clear goals and appropriate feedback motivate employees. He went on to highlight that working toward a goal is also a major source of motivation – which, in turn, improves performance. Locke’s research showed that the more difficult and specific a goal is, the harder people tend to work to achieve it.
In one study, Locke reviewed a decade’s worth of laboratory and field studies on the effects of goal setting and performance. He found that, for 90 percent of the time, specific and challenging (but not too challenging) goals led to higher performance than easy, or “do your best,” goals. Fortsätt läsa
by the Mind Tools Content Team
Have you thought about what you want to be doing in five years’ time? Are you clear about what your main objective at work is at the moment? Do you know what you want to have achieved by the end of today?
If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals you lack focus and direction. Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your life’s direction; it also provides you a benchmark for determining whether you are actually succeeding. Think about it: Having a million dollars in the bank is only proof of success if one of your goals is to amass riches. If your goal is to practice acts of charity, then keeping the money for yourself is suddenly contrary to how you would define success.
To accomplish your goals, however, you need to know how to set them. You can’t simply say, “I want” and expect it to happen. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, and ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between there are some very well-defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish.
Here are our five golden rules of goal setting, presented in an article, a video and an info-graphic.
The Five Golden Rules
1. Set Goals That Motivate You
When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you: this means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture, then the chances of you putting in the work to make them happen are slim. Motivation is key to achieving goals.
Set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. Without this type of focus, you can end up with far too many goals, leaving you too little time to devote to each one. Goal achievement requires commitment, so to maximize the likelihood of success, you need to feel a sense of urgency and have an “I must do this” attitude. When you don’t have this, you risk putting off what you need to do to make the goal a reality. This in turn leaves you feeling disappointed and frustrated with yourself, both of which are de-motivating. And you can end up in a very destructive “I can’t do anything or be successful at anything” frame of mind. Fortsätt läsa
Note: This article was originally written at mid year so it is good reminder around June but the principles are applicable anytime.
In a sporting event, the players are given a break at the half in order to refresh themselves, look at how they played in the first half, and set strategy for the second half. So as you approach halftime, here are some thoughts. Do you have a vacation planned in the next two months that will give you the needed break and refreshment? If not, schedule one this week! How did you “play” in the first half of this year? Have you met your goals that you established at the beginning of the year? Here are a few ideas to evaluate where you are at with your goals as you approach the halfway mark.
Take some time to sit down alone and review your goals. How many are you on mark to make? How many have you not even begun on? How many have you achieved? Fortsätt läsa
Goals. Most people have a love-hate relationship with goals. They love them because they are such a great idea and a wonderful way to motivate us to achieve, as well as evaluate our progress, but hate them because for many, they more often than not go unattained and simply frustrate them. This isn’t what goals should do!
So here are some simple ways to set goals so that we achieve them! After all, what good is a goal if it isn’t something you achieve? Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure that you see change in your life this year.
Narrow your focus. That’s right, start small. Pick two or three areas tops, that you want to work on. Too many people say to themselves, “I want to do this, and this, and this, and this…” and they end up doing nothing! Most of what you do throughout your day can be done without a lot of mental or emotional exertion, but change isn’t one of them. So focus down to a couple. This way you can get some victory in these areas. Here are some areas to think about: Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual, Financial, and Relational. What areas need some work? Now, what one thing should be the first item on the change list? The others will come later, but for now, you should focus on two or three total. Fortsätt läsa
You have a choice it would seem – you can float along on the river of the life, don’t worry about where it takes you and maybe disappear over a waterfall or go with the flow but steer your way towards your objective.
If you want a chance at achieving something you have to set goals. If you want to achieve your goals then there are a number of simple rules to follow.
Write them down! Only 5 % of the population writes down their goals! Take a wild guess whether they achieve them or not? If you don’t set goals then at the end of next year you will find your no further forward than you are now at the end of 2004! Writing down your goals involves imagining or visualizing them. Don’t write them on scraps of A4 paper and then throw them in the bin! Get a little notebook you can carry in your pocket and refer to on a regular basis. This sounds crazy but you need a kick up the **** on a regular basis and referring to your goals will do just that!
Make your goals detailed and specific, I want to live somewhere warm and nice is a bit vague even for the subconscious mind! Who, what where, why, when! Fortsätt läsa