Setting goals and smashing them!

The definition of success appears to differ between individuals. To some, success is measured by the amount of wealth a person has accumulated, to others it is doing what they love. The Oxford dictionary defines success as “A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth, etc.” There are two parts to this definition. Firstly, a person who sets and obtains that goal is considered to be successful. Secondly, a person can be considered successful if they have acquired fame or wealth. In actual fact, the definition of success is simply “A person or thing that achieves desired aims”. This is because a person whom achieves fame or wealth would have set a goal to achieve such things and is therefore, considered a success.

In setting a goal, there are two key main principles. The first principle is to set an ‘ultimate’ goal. This is the overall outcome you wish to achieve and could be anything from spending more time with your loved ones to travelling the world. The goal should to be far beyond your current capabilities and should not be possible to achieve, without the need to undertake considerable action. It is essential that you do not the set the ‘ultimate’ goal too low and that it is beyond your current reach. The main reason for this is that the growth which you will experience as you march boldly towards your goal will enable you to achieve far beyond what you ever imagined possible.

In setting the ‘ultimate’ goal, it is essential that it is given considerable thought. An excellent technique is to lie on your bed in silence or with relaxing music and to completely clear your mind. Close your eyes and think of nothing. Breathe slowly, deeply and completely detach yourself from the world. This can difficult for some at first, but bear with it as it will prove beneficial in the future. Once you have cleared your mind, start picturing your perfect life and focus on specific details. Visualisation is a very powerful technique and can be utilised in the future in order to assist you in achieving your goal, but the process does not work for everyone. If you find yourself unable to visualise your future, adopt the same principles and ask yourself questions such as the following:

  • If Money were no object what would I do?
  • What would improve my quality of life?
  • What changes would I like to see in my life?
  • What do I want to experience?
  • What do I wish I had done in the past?
  • What would I love to have?
  • How would I like my life to be different?

Setting the goal is the first step towards achieving it. If you have not yet set your goal, don’t worry it will come to you. Every person is different and some take longer than others to realise what it is that they truly want.

The second principle relates to ‘milestone’ goals. As the name suggests, these are smaller goals that are set with the aim of progressing towards the achievement of the ‘ultimate’ gaol. Here you look at the ‘ultimate’ goal and determine the steps you must take in order to achieve it. Setting the initial ‘milestone’ goals can be thought of as an ideas phase and can take a considerable amount of time to establish. At this stage, you may have no idea whatsoever as to how you are going to achieve your goal; I certainly didn’t. Don’t worry; this is perfectly fine, if not expected. Below is an example of the process in order to assist you:

Ultimate Goal: Obtain Financial Independence

                 Milestone 1 – Get a Better Job

                          Milestone: Obtain a career in Software Development

                                    Milestone – Attend University

                                              Milestone – Attend College

In the above example, the goal setter’s ‘Ultimate’ goal is to obtain financial independence. The first step towards this would is to obtain a better position through a career change. Following a review of potential careers, the goal setter has decided that they would be suited to a career in Software Development. The career requires a bachelor’s degree, which the goal setter does not possess. A review of university courses has indicated that applications must have a minimum of three A-Levels at grade A. The goal setter possesses no formal qualifications and therefore, must attend a college in the first instance.

The most difficult part of the process is determining the initial steps that must be taken. But once realised, the goal setter is provided with a series of tasks that must be completed in order to progress towards their ‘ultimate’ goal. It is also possible to add further smaller ‘milestone’ goals as and when they appear, for example:

Milestone 1 – Attend University

          Milestone – Obtain 1st Class Honours degree

                     Milestone – Publish Research

In the above example, the goal setter obtained good grades at university and decided to aim for an overall grade of 1st Class Honours. Whilst working on a research project, the goal setter made excellent progress and publishing the research became a ‘milestone’ goal.

Milestone’ goal setting is essential in order to achieve a larger objective. It is common for a person to become overwhelmed by the scale of the journey ahead. By breaking the ‘ultimate’ goal in to several manageable steps, the goal setter is more likely achieve that which they desire. Not every ‘ultimate’ goal has to be live changing, but the principle of setting ‘milestone’ goals still applies. The above process of goal setting, not only allows the individual to achieve the milestone goal, but to significantly surpass their initial expectations.

Goalsetting is absolutely essential in achieving success; no question about it. Nobody arrives at the top by accident. Without goals, we would simply wonder aimlessly through life with no direction and achieve nothing. How can you hit a target you are not aiming for?

 To quote the great motivational speaker, Mr Les Brown, “aim for the moon because even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars”.


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