Setting goals is one of the main ways in which we can grow and develop as individuals. It enables us to stay on the right track and ultimately, creates a healthy relationship with our work and personal lives.
However, the art of goal setting can sometimes be lost in a world where we are told to constantly want more. Hustle culture, social media and societal pressures can often make us feel like we aren’t doing enough, thus creating an unhealthy relationship with goal-setting: they can become vapid, and in some cases miss the mark completely.
“Often, when people set goals, they hope that willpower and inspiration are enough for success” - Indeed
The truth is, there’s no “silver bullet” to goal setting - because it’s so personal to each individual: your age, financial situation, location, gender, and even your relationship status will impact how you set goals!
However, there are some elements to be mindful of when setting goals
Less is more
Instead of trying to have 10 goals you’re trying to reach, how about two (one professional, one personal) that you want to reach by the end of the year? You can then break those down into smaller, “mini” goals that enable you to get to the main one at the end of it. You can’t do everything at once - focussing on quality over quantity is the best thing you can do when setting goals.
Have an equal blend of personal and professional
Goal-setting is often used in a working environment to motivate employees, and this is an excellent vehicle - particularly for juniors who are entering the working world and need/want direction. However, as you get older, and your career develops, focus on goals that are going to complement each other both in your personal and professional life. It’s a fine balancing act, but one that if you can master - your goals will coexist in harmony!
Comparison is the thief of joy, and if you spend your days comparing your goals to the person sitting next to you, you’ll spend a lot of time feeling disappointed and envious. You could be using that energy on yourself instead.
But, how can a goal be made impactful?
We believe that there are three ways that you can make a goal impactful
Put a time limit on it
Whether it’s a month, half a year, or a full year - having a time limit on your goal gives you a sense of urgency as well as knowing what you’re working towards (and what mini-goals you need to achieve in that time frame). Creating set milestones, such as smaller goals leading up to one key event can be a great way of approaching this.
Break down what you need to do to get there (make it realistic)
What actions do you need to take and who else (potentially) is involved to make this goal a reality? If it’s a professional goal, such as a promotion, what are the steps and also, are they realistic (if you compare it to the timescale in which you want to achieve it)?
Collaborating on impactful goal setting can help you ascertain this quicker - for example a manager or mentor can guide you on how not to fall short, as well as knowing what to advise you on as they’ve seen it and done it themselves.
Sometimes, reaching your desired goal may take a little longer than expected, and there will no doubt be bumps in the road that may prevent you from getting there at times. However, setting impactful goals is all about keeping perspective and also having a positive mindset. If you believe that you can achieve something - that can be half of the battle!