In this blog post we are going to discuss goal setting for high achievement, simply because you can’t achieve anything unless you know what you want to achieve and the thing we achieve is often refereed to as a goal.
Now, Wikipedia defines a goal as:
“a desired result that a person or a system envisions, plans, and commits to achieve: a personal or organisational desired end point in some sort of assumed development. Many people endeavour to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines.
It is roughy similar to purpose or aim, the anticipated result which guides action, or an end, which is an object, either a physical object or an abstract object, that has intrinsic value.”
But I suppose the best metaphor for defining a goal is to think about a game like football, soccer to hockey. Here, the object that you aim for is called a “goal,” and you know that the objective of the game is to get the ball or the puck in the back of the net, and in doing so you will have scored a goal. The way the game is organised, the way that you have to work to score that goal, or to get a team mate in a position to score that goal, can be read across to how you can set goals in life and in your business.
Now the are two different types of goals. There are short term goals and there are long term goals. Short term goals are expected to be accomplished in a short period of time. An example of a short term goal might be something like aiming to get a bill paid in the next few days. Short term goals can be stand alone accomplishments or they can be steps along the way to achieving a longer term goal. So in our example of the short term goal of paying a bill, this could a stand alone payment of a bill or it could be a mortgage payment, which is a step along the way to the longer term goal of getting your house paid off.
Now, long term goals are also called an objective and they can take many years or even a lifetime to achieve. For example, long term goals may include things like gaining a professional qualification, or purchasing a home outright. These are things that take a long time to accomplish.
Now, when it comes to setting goals, you want to stick to what is known as the SMART system. Now, what do we mean by SMART? It means that your goals must be:
- Specific – you must have a specific aim in mind when you are setting that goal.
- Measurable – you must be able to see when your goal has been achieved or how close your are to it.
- Achievable – you must have the ability or the means to achieve the goal.
- Realistic – it should not be pie in the sky or a pipe dream. You must have a realistic prospect of achieving it.
- Timely – there must be a time frame for when you want the goal to be accomplished.
And if we apply these criteria to our football or soccer analogy, then here, you know exactly what the goal is. The specific goal is to get the ball in the back of the net. It is measurable because you can look at the score board and see how many goals you have scored. It is certainly achievable because that is the whole object of the game. It is realistic, especially if the two teams are evenly matched, and it is timely because you have a set time in which the game will be played.
Now when you are setting your goals, you want to start with the result you want to achieve and work back from that. In other words, you want to think about WHAT you want to achieve. HOW you are going to achieve it will come later, because once you have decided what it is you want, you can then work backwards step by step to where you are now and you will have a clear road map towards achieving your goals.