The Importance of Setting Goals

The first thing a successful person needs to have is a goal (and the more, the merrier). We all seek success, and we know that nothing ever comes easy. In order to achieve the success we spend our lives chasing, we first need to define our goals. Once that is done, it’s time to start thinking about how to accomplish them.

I spent many years of my life seeking success before I realized that success is not a goal one can set for themselves, it is a product of achieving the goal.

During the past year, while operating my Swayy, I realized how important is to set goals in every aspect of life, both personal and professional. Setting clear and measurable goals can help in understanding the steps that lead to the finish line with arms up.

How to set a goal

Setting a goal is something you need to practice in order to get it right. It takes time to understand exactly how to set a clear goal that is possible to accomplish. Goal setting is a process that will help you motivate yourself, and the more detailed and precise the goal is, the better your brain will analyze the steps in order to achieve it.

What kind of goals can one have?

Professional - “To become a team leader in six months.”
Personal - “To know how to play The Beatles on the piano by the end of the month.”

There is a technique that first asks you to set a lifetime goal, such as “I want to play music”, then break it down to small, quantified goals such as “To know how to play piano in five months”. I personally find the task of setting a lifetime goals inefficient as compared to setting smaller, more immediately achievable goals. The smaller and more manageable a task is, the easier it is to measure success, and understand what needs to be done in order to accomplish it.

Accomplish one goal, then set the bar higher

Sometimes, we have a tendency lie to ourselves. It happens all the time, usually when we do something we don’t feel like doing, or are trying to find an excuse as to why we did not succeed.

I’m an ex-smoker, so I know a thing or two about lying to myself. I used to think I could stop smoking at anytime, and that smoking wasn’t that bad for me because I didn’t do it so often. Two and a half years ago, I actually stopped smoking. Luckily for me, it wasn’t the first time I tried to quit. In previous attempts, I always gave in to the temptation of bumming a cigarette, which eventually led me to buying my own pack, and smoking on a daily basis all over again.

I knew I had to set a goal for myself, and the goal was very clear: From the minute I decided to stop smoking, I couldn’t ask for or take a cigarette from anyone, ever. I found out that setting goals like “stop smoking” is too easy for me. So easy, I actually fooled myself into thinking that I really stopped smoking although I had a cigarette from time to time.

So, this time I decided to raise the bar a little bit, and instead of setting my goal to quit smoking, my goal became to NEVER smoke a cigarette again. I prevented myself from asking others for cigarette or even buying one. I was lucky, setting the bar so high actually worked.

Know your progress, appreciate your success

Achieving a goal is a process, and like every process sometimes you take one step forwards and two steps back. Its important to know how to track and measure your progress. Some goals are “instant goals” that you can accomplished very quickly, but others depends on the progress you make along the way. Sometimes there is a long road on the way to achieving your goals.

Knowing how to be honest with yourself, and learning from the good and bad choices made along the road, are vital parts of the process of achieving your goals. Always know what went wrong, and what went right. When something goes wrong, learn from it and move on. When something goes right, however, make sure know how to enjoy it.

There’s nothing like the feeling of success, its such a thrill to know you’re on your way to achieving your goals and tasting the success you worked so hard for. Positive reinforcement is an essential part of achieving your goals, learn how to embrace it.

Be positive and have confidence in yourself, always

Can we accomplished a goal without believing that its possible? Sometimes I feel like setting a goal is a process of making you believe in yourself and in your capabilities.

I never thought I would write a blog and release it to the world, but I wanted to. This conflict led me to thinking that if I ever challenged myself to write blogs, I would find it so enjoyable that I would continue to do it even after I achieved my goal.

Goals can only be accomplished if we are “hungry” enough to achieve them. In order to be hungry, you need to really want it, and be sure that you will do anything in your power to get there. Self-confidence combined with a positive attitude is the key to quickly achieving our goals.

I would love to hear your thoughts about setting goals and achieving them, here or on Twitter.