Goal setting

Goal setting – setting up for success4 min read

by Dr Olivia Ong

Why set goals?

Setting personal goals is crucial for self-improvement, growth, and fulfilment. Goals help prioritise, strengths, and areas for improvement, which can act as a guide towards making meaningful progress.

By setting personal goals, we can also gain a sense of purpose and direction, which can enhance motivation, focus, and resilience.

They can also bring a sense of order to things, dispelling the chaos and relieving stress along the way.

Goals provide a roadmap to achieve our desired outcomes, which can help us overcome obstacles and stay on track towards our aspirations.

Moreover, achieving personal goals can boost self-esteem and confidence, reinforcing our ability to accomplish future objectives.

Personal goals lead to new opportunities, experiences, and perspectives, enhancing individuals’ personal and professional development.

Why set goals – why not just go with the flow?

What if we don’t set goals? Seems like we can just get on with things as we go along?

Perhaps you have a dream in mind, but find that, all too often, somehow your goals just seem to slip away?

Maybe you find your efforts are unfocussed, and your results inconsistent?

Perhaps you find that you’re spending lots of time on things that, on reflection, are not so important, taking time away from areas which would really benefit from your focus?

All of these are symptoms of not taking a step back, of not taking a more ‘helicopter’ view of things and noticing where your efforts would be best spent.

Goal setting will give you the focus needed to start to see consistent results and as a by-product a reduction in stress.  

The 7-step process for getting results

So, goal setting is a great tool to use, but how to go about setting realistic and achievable goals?

Here are my top tips for crafting your goals so that you maximise your chances of achieving them.

1. Set yourself up to succeed

Break down your goals into manageable chunks, or into smaller more manageable goals. Build your success in gradual steps rather than trying to achieve everything at once. You can certainly have a big dream in mind.

Working in smaller, more achievable steps, will make it happen for you.

2. State your goal in the positive

If we talk about what we don’t want then that’s what we are focusing on, if we focus on what we do want then that is the result we’ll achieve.

3. Be clear about where you are starting from

Measuring your goal is a really important part of the overall process. If you don’t know where you started from then how do you know how far you have to go to get to your destination?

4. Be clear about what your outcome is

Rehearsing what it will feel like (see, hear, feel, etc) is a really effective way of placing a tangible end goal in your mind.

5. What resources do you need?

Who can help you? What do you need to gather first? (Resources / Skills / knowledge). Gather the resources you need, reach out to people and ask them to help before you get started. Other people’s experiences can be invaluable.

Preparation is key.

6. Give yourself a timeframe to succeed

Tell yourself when you’re going to achieve your goal. If you don’t specify a time your goal will more than likely just remain a dream, all aspiration and no action…

7. Know when you have succeeded

Seems obvious, but have a think about your goal.

Let’s take the example – “My goal is to have more money”. There’s no end endpoint, there’s always more to be had! There is no way of telling when the effort ends, and the result appears.

Define your goal with a specific end in mind and celebrate when you achieve it!

Being clear with your goals will go a long way to achieving them.

Remember – ambiguous goals bring ambiguous results.

Summary – goal setting.

I hope that the idea of setting goals resonates with you and you’re all fired up to have a go.

Remember, although there are a few steps involved in setting a goal which may feel a bit daunting to remember, once you have run through the process a couple of times it will become second nature.

If your motivation is low and you feel that is holding you back from sitting down, taking stock, and planning things out then you may be interested in my other blog about re-kindling your motivation,

Once you build effective goal-setting into your life you will be amazed at the positive results you will start to see.


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If you have any questions or feedback regarding this article and any of the issues it raises, or if you’d like to get in touch to find out more about fulfilling your true potential I would love to hear from you.

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