Understanding Goal Setting – Learn How To Set Right Goals In Your Life
Goal Setting – Mapping the path:
Goals can be defined as a task or a situation that you want to achieve. It is the end product or the ultimate desire that you have in mind in association with the task or situation. Goal setting on the other hand can be described as the process of identifying your goal and taking legitimate steps to accomplish them. Here’s an example that will clear your concept for goal and goal setting:
Activity Eg: Imagine you want to lose weight. You decide that you will lose up to 2 kg in 1 month. Then you focus on habits such as eating, exercising, regularly checking your weight, and doing other necessary tasks.
In the above activity, your goal is to lose weight (specifically 2 kg in one month), the other tasks carried out right from identification of your goal to taking appropriate steps to accomplish them are goal setting.
Importance of Goal Setting – Drawing your path to success:
Just as how you look at a map and take appropriate lanes and turns to reach a specific destination, goal setting is seen on similar lines.
Changes you for better:
When goals are set, there are two realities, one that is “true” and the other is we have our very “own reality”. When goals are well defined it allows you to see different perspectives and get a clear idea of these realities. This changes you as a person due to a shift in the way you see yourself and your goals.
Set clear objectives:
Goal setting is a process. When you know what you want, you can easily map down the steps to achieve your goal which makes it simpler for you to focus on what is actually necessary rather than the other elements which hold no importance.
The reason why activities such as tracking and goal-setting are highly encouraged is that they measure your tasks. Tracking is an important part of goal setting as it is vital to see if proper measures have been taken in order to reach your goals and make changes if any. Measuring your activities will not only update you on your improvements but also induce positivity and motivation.
Reward and punishment:
Our brain has internal mechanisms to reward and punish ourselves for our behavior. By setting goals, the brain will automatically release hormones responsible for these actions and will reward you for accomplishments that will push you harder in case you fail.
Psychology and Goal setting: Understanding the Theory
One of the most path-breaking theories of goal-setting was the one given by Edwin Locke known as the theory of goal-setting and motivation. He identified 5 factors that are key elements that need to be followed in terms of setting and achieving goals. He also considered motivation to be a crucial element that drives one to achieve goals.
The 5 key elements (Clarity – Challenge – Commitment – Feedback – Task Complexity) defined by Locke can be explained through an example in association to the weight loss activity mentioned earlier –
When you are not equipped with dieting and workout, it does become difficult to follow a disciplined routine. Well, the next element is defined as Challenge. Make sure that you have some challenges in the goals you set as simple targets can be demotivating and easy attainability can result in leniency.
Once you have your goal set, and routine set up, make sure you follow it thoroughly. This element is known as Commitment. Staying committed for example could be following your diet, regular exercising, and an abundance of motivation for not giving up.
In order to understand if your routine steps are working for you, some validation is important. This element is known as Feedback. Gaining feedback will help you understand your progress and induce motivation. Feedback in this example could be tracking your progress using a health tracker, checking your weight, or regularly visiting a dietician if so.
Goal attainment sometimes depends on the difficulty level of the task. Giving time for its achievement as well as giving time to yourself to absorb into it is important. This is known as Task Complexity. Here it could mean, allowing yourself to imbibe the routine and being patient with the results of weight loss.
Approaching Goal Setting: How to Start
This is a basic step in goal setting. As and when one has a clear goal in mind, it becomes all the easier to take appropriate steps in following a path to achieving the goals. One way this can be done is by making a list of the things you want to achieve and going about choosing which is important followed by the next.
Identify your weak spots:
Identify what is causing a roadblock in following your workout session or diet. This will help you to understand the other aspects that need to be worked on. This will also lead to overall development.
Making a plan:
This involves mapping down the steps you need to follow for achieving your goal. So, next time a class test is announced a week before, try and create a schedule for the test and the necessary objectives that need to be followed to achieve that goal.
This point has cropped up in almost all aspects of this blog and its importance cannot be stressed. It’s simple- if you do not know your progress it is impossible to determine if the plan you have made is working out for you or not. Tracking can be using planners or journaling. Make this your safe and productive space to see how far you have reached in accomplishing your goals.
Using Goal-Setting in Life: Following the path!
The whole concept of goal-setting is very application-oriented. Unless tried and tested, its value will not be understood. Following are a few techniques of goal-setting that can be imbibed:
The SMART Technique:
This technique is mnemonic for how your goals should be set and certain key areas that need to be kept in mind. This technique became immensely popular after Jack Welch, the most successful CEO on the planet used this technique.
GOALS should be:
S = Specific (make sure to take one goal are clear to you)
M = Measurable (you should be able to track your goals for progress)
A = Attainable (your goals should be rationally set)
R = Relevant (they should help you in your overall development)
T = Time-bound (your goals should have deadlines and attain timely)
E.g. I will quit smoking within 1 year, track my progress, and improve my overall lifestyle.
THE HARD TECHINIQUE:
This technique when used is successful for personal goals and was confirmed by Mark Murphy in order to send effective goals.
GOALS should be:
H = Heartfelt (your goals should have emotional sentiments attached)
A = Animated (you should be able to visualize your goals and see yourself attaining it)
R = Required (you should have reasons to complete your goals)
D = Difficult (your goals should be difficult to achieve as it will induce motivation)
E.g. I will resort to smart saving so that I can buy a car for myself.
THE WOOP TECHNIQUE:
This technique was an outcome of two New York University scientists as a result of 20+ years of research. This technique has proven to be useful in making/breaking a habit, and goal setting associated with overall development and reducing insecurity-based behaviour.
GOALS should be:
W = Wish (Make sure your goal is something you desire to the fullest)
O = Outcome (imagine and visualize the end product)
O = Obstacle (determine what is causing a block in achieving your goal)
P = Plan (chalk out a plan to overcome the obstacle identified to reach the outcome)
E.g. I will score an A in my math test, but my inability to concept clarity is causing me to lag behind. I will make sure to give math time on a daily basis and track my progress for my goals.
(**Other than these techniques, Locke’s goal-setting theory can also be useful for goal accomplishments and can be followed with the help of the above example given.**)
The following content is for information purposes only. We, in no way claim or assure that using the information can be a substitute for any kind of medical treatment if any. If you are diagnosed with any kind of medical/clinical condition please do not avoid visiting a professional.
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Our purpose is to spread positivity and motivation by focusing on self-love and self-care. We also work towards reducing the stigma around mental health and by creating mental health awareness through our blogs.
People today have forgotten how to be happy; they have forgotten what it is to be inspired what it to be real & motivated. We all are so busy with our daily lives today that we have forgotten to take time out for ourselves. We are here to remind you that you are special in your own ways. We are here to remind you that it’s okay to not finish a task, or meet deadlines, its ok not to be ok! You deserve to be happy, you deserve to smile, you deserve to be cared and loved.
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