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Attaining Success–Importance of Goal Setting

Updated on November 12, 2012

Direction is very important in one's life. The importance of goal setting, decision making, planning and having a vision cannot be over emphasized. We all want to move forward in life so as to live a comfortable life. We don't want to be failures and being a loser is something that most people find difficult to welcome. It is unpleasant experience in one's life. Do we really have people who are losers in life? If yes, what makes a person to be a loser?

I heard someone say these words, "I sometimes feel so lost in life. Like I know what I want to do with my life, but I am not sure how to obtain it. At times, I feel like I don't know what I want in life then again I sometimes feel like I know what I want. This seems like a paradox to me."

We should accept that all of us have a purpose in life. It is only that some people haven't realized their purpose and this makes them to lack direction. Success is a term that is subjective. Being successful differs from one person to another as a result of having different goals to achieve. Success comes as a result of working at a goal and achieving it. Some people find it easy to attain their goals while others find it to be a complex activity.

The attainment of success has made some people to be depressed. They become too depressed to an extent of despairing in life and turning themselves into a vegetable or even doing something that is very stupid beyond our comprehension as human beings.

Life can be unfair and cruel at times, or what justification do you have for those people who keep on failing in everything they try to achieve? It is not easy for us at times to understand the unpleasant situations that people get themselves in to until we find ourselves in the same situations.

1Thessalonians 4:11, "to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, 12 so that you may behave properly towards outsiders and be dependent on no one."

We should always do things that will make us to move one step forward in life instead of losing hope due to unpleasant situations that we find ourselves in. There is a big difference when we mind our own business and take a step to work instead of interfering with other people's business, complaining now and again or even giving up. We should not just work for the sake of keeping ourselves busy but we should work with an aim. Using our physical and mental efforts in a way that is aimless will lead us to nowhere. It is for this reason that we should always set a goal so that we channel our mental and physical effort to work toward attaining it.

What happens if we have a plan without a goal? We will not know what we want from the plan because it will be aimless. Plans without goals miscarry. Lucius Seneca, "Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind." There are goals to be achieved whenever we plan. Therefore, I will not be wrong to say that it's from goals we are able to plan from. By the way, how do you perceive life without any goal to achieve?

The Process of Goal Setting

Personal goals are of many types but we will discuss in general about goal setting. It is the kind of goal you have set that will determine the direction where your life moves to. We will not achieve what we want in life if we do not set goals.

SMART is acronym that guides us in goal setting. It is a summary of how we should set our goals. Below is what S.M.A.R.T stands for:


1.) Specific: If your goal is vague it will be impossible to achieve it. Define clearly what you want to achieve. You should know the exact results you want to achieve. This will ensure you direct your effort towards attaining it. Building a house that has five bedrooms is an example of a specific goal.

2.) Measurable: You should be able to tell if you have attained the goal through the standard of measurement you have established. Your goal should be measurable either in terms of units or money, e.g. saving five hundred thousand dollars.

3.) Achievable: It should be possible to achieve the goal in regard with the resources available and the period given to achieve it.

4.) Relevant: The projection of the outcome of the goal should be relevant in consideration to factors such as weaknesses, strengths, education, skills etc.

5.) Time Targeted: Establish time to start working at the goal and the deadline of achieving it. For example, I will start saving two thousand dollars this year starting from March to December.

Goal setting is the process of setting up specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time targeted goal and also laying down a plan on how the goal is going to be achieved. The plan will determine the tasks of the goal to be done, how these tasks will be done, when they will be done and who will do these tasks.

The first step of the process of goal setting is to identify your dream (what you want to achieve in your life). The second step is to break down what you want to achieve in your life into short term goal and long term goal. Give a priority of the goal you want to achieve first before you move to a goal that is of other areas of your life. The attainment of short term goal will lead you to attain the long term goal.

Peter Drucker, "We greatly overestimate what we can accomplish in one year. But we greatly underestimate what we can accomplish in five years."

The attainment of a goal is a process and as such it involves the execution of many tasks. These tasks are split into short term goal and long term goal. The short term goal and long term goal will enable you and me to be where we want to be in life. This is where we actually plan the whole goal we want to achieve. The plan of the goal should be written i.e. in black and white.

The third process is working according to the plan formulated in order to achieve the goal.

Importance of Goal Setting

1.) Purpose and Direction: Having a purpose and direction in life comes as a result of setting goals to achieve. By deciding what you want to do with your life and taking a crucial step of setting goals that will lead you to attain that purpose, then your efforts will be directed in executing tasks of that goal. This will avoid you from performing tasks that are unproductive. William Moulton Marston, "Realize what you really want. It stops you from chasing butterflies and puts you to work digging gold."

2.) Vision: It is through goal setting that you'll have a vision of the kind of future you want. If you do not have any goal to achieve you'll not have a clear vision of the future you want.

3.) Motivation: Goal setting will motivate you to work effectively and efficiently since you are already aware of the success you'll achieve from the goal.

4.) Planning: It is goal setting that will make you to formulate a plan. There can be no plan if you don't have a clear goal to achieve.

5.) Controlling: Goal setting will enable you to control the activities you'll be performing and those of your employees. This is because all tasks of the goal will be listed on the plan and this will guide you and employees on what tasks are to be performed during a particular day and time.

6.) Confidence: Goal setting will help you to raise your self-confidence. This happens when you have accomplished some tasks of the goal. You will reflect what you have already achieved and this will make you to realize that you're competent and capable of accomplishing the goal according to the formulated plan.

7.) Exploring Ability: Goal setting will enable you to explore your abilities and those of your employees. When you set high goals to achieve you'll be exploring what your mind is capable of. Employees will also explore their abilities since they'll come up with new ideas.

Your Attitude Counts a Lot

Remember that your attitude plays a big role when you're setting your goal and also working towards achieving it. If you have an attitude that is negative, it will be an obstacle that will hold you back from attaining your goal. It will kill your self esteem, morale and motivation since it will make you to belief that it is impossible for you to attain the goal.

You should have a positive attitude if at all you want to attain your goal. Always maintain a positive attitude of accepting that it is possible for you to achieve your goal. This will make you to be enthusiastic, persistence and consistent in performing the tasks of the goal regardless of you encountering some setbacks while pursuing your goal.


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