Personal goals are important as they enrich your life and give you the reason and path to move forward. As crucial as it is to have plans, it is equally essential that they are achievable. Setting yourself up for failure will only put you down and take you further away from the end line.
This article will discuss why it is important to set personal goals and how you can create your own path to success by defining achievable and realistic targets.
Why having personal goals is important in life
Personal development goals encourage you to be the best version of yourself. Even if you cannot reach them all, simply having goals gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Here are a few benefits of goal setting.
- It gives you a sense of direction
Imagine you woke up in the morning with nothing on your to-do list. Without direction and purpose, life can be dull and boring. When you set your personal goals, you feel a sense of direction and have a clear view of your destination. Goals give you something to aspire to and direct your efforts towards– ultimately guiding you to be where you want in life.
- You can focus on what’s important
Goals allow you to differentiate between the direction that leads you to your destination and where circumstances in life take you.
Here’s a personal goals example: Suppose you live in a rented house but want to buy your own house one day. You also want to replace your old car with the latest model on the market. Now, it is up to you to decide what is more important for you. Would you rather buy a house and continue driving your old car until you can buy a new one? Or do you prefer spending money on a new car and waiting a few more years to get the house?
When you set personal goals, you systematically and consciously focus all your energy and efforts on achieving them. If you do not determine where you want to be, you will eventually spend your time doing unimportant things.
- You gain better control of your future
When you set the direction of your life, you feel more in control of your present and future. Instead, if you simply go with the flow without an aim, you will feel powerless and helpless. Your personal goals give you perspective and enable you to prioritize things that lead you to the destination.
When you feel like you control your future, you take complete responsibility for shaping it your way. This heightened sense of responsiveness allows you to lead life consciously, ultimately increasing your chances of success.
- It gives you motivation
People divide their goals into long-term and short-term goals. The latter provides building blocks that help achieve the final destination. Since you cannot always be thinking about the finish life, short-term goals keep you on the right track while you work towards the bigger picture. The more things you are able to achieve, the more you believe you can reach your ultimate goal.
Attaining short-term goals gives you a feeling of accomplishment which fuels your desire to do more, motivating you to continue on the path.
- You feel satisfied
Having a purpose in life and working towards its achievement gives you a sense of satisfaction that you’re not wasting away your energy. While goals make your life challenging, they also enrich it and make you feel fulfilled. Setting realistic goals is key to reaching your full potential. Every step you take towards your short-term and long-term goals makes your confidence grow, and you feel better about yourself.
How to set realistic personal goals
Everyone tends to dream big and set high standards for themselves. However, if you cannot devise an actionable plan to achieve your target, your dream will remain just that. This separates struggling individuals from successful people: the ability to set realistic goals.
It is crucial to know what you want, but it’s equally important to know what you can actually achieve. Without considering your resources, you can set impossible goals you can’t accomplish no matter how hard you try. Getting excited while thinking big is easy, but you will quickly lose motivation and momentum without a solid plan.
Here are a few tips to help you set realistic goals in life.
- Note down your ideas
Many things seem achievable in your head, but once you write them down, they become tangible and force you to assess whether they are possible. Also, once you write your goals, you continue to write how you will achieve them. For example, suppose your short-term goal is to take your family on vacation next summer. When you start jotting down the things you need to make the trip possible, you will quickly realize whether it’s doable for you or not.
- Take your resources into account
You can achieve your goals if you understand the resources you need and have a plan to overpower any obstacle that comes your way. Here are a few things to consider when making a realistic plan.
- Time– Establish the time you will need to reach your final goal. Are there other things that might keep you engaged or take time away from your plan? If yes, how will you tackle that situation?
- Information– Assess if you have the knowledge to reach your goals—research what you don’t know to devise an actionable and realistic plan.
- Desire– You need to ask yourself: Is your goal truly yours, or is it a reflection of societal values? If you set goals you’re not passionate about, you will lose motivation mid-way and give up the chase. Therefore, understand what exactly you want and whether you feel motivated to achieve it.
- Training– Determine if you possess the skills required to achieve your goals. If you don’t, ask yourself: Where do you lack training? How can you make up for it?
- Monetary resources– Your budget is a deciding factor in your plans, so you should be aware if you have the financial assets to attain your goal. Are there other sources for raising funds? Is there something straining your budget?
- Evaluate results
Once you’ve set your plan in motion through conscious thinking and actions, you must pause to evaluate whether your plan of action is working or not. This is where short-term goals can come to the rescue. You should assess if you were able to achieve your short-term goals in the time frame you set for yourself. Similarly, you should check if you have reached your full potential with the resources you have.
If you aren’t satisfied with the outcome, it is time to adjust your plan so it aligns better with your personal goals.
When you begin to set ‘my personal goals in life,’ you should ensure they’re realistic and achievable. Unrealistic goals lack discipline, structure, and feasibility, and that’s why they counter your productivity when they fail to materialize in the long run.