Life is all about setting goals. Goals define us, they give us clarity of vision. Goals keep us alive.
So, what’s your goal for the year Two Thousand and Eighteen? Have you chosen a destination for yourself? Are you focussed on a single point to reach before the year ends? Are you putting the wisdom you have acquired over the years to reach that point?
Start with S3
The two things I am always willing to share with my friends and colleagues is my time and the little wisdom I have acquired during my professional journey. I have learnt that it is important to keep setting personal as well as professional goals from time to time.
In my view, goal setting can be achieved in three ways: 1. Start something; 2. Stop something; 3. Sustain something.
I call it S3.
To begin with, if you want to reach a goal, may be you need to start something – start a journey, start an activity, start a book, start a job, start thinking positive…
But, in many cases, goal setting is not about starting something, it is about stopping something from happening – stop getting angry, stop meeting somebody, stop going somewhere, stop eating something, stop behaving in a certain manner…
If your goal setting still doesn’t fall in either of the above categories, may be goal setting is about sustaining something for you – sustain a dream, sustain a team, sustain a passion, sustain a relationship, sustain a thought…
The bottomline is, if you have a goal in mind, it can be achieved only through one of the three Ss.
Think about it.
The 5Ws and clarity of goals
It is extremely important for every individual to have clarity in goal setting. Why am I setting this goal? What should I be doing to achieve this goal? By when should I be able to achieve it? Where do I see myself when the goal is achieved? And who would support me in achieving this goal?
If you have clear answers to these questions, you are well on your way to setting clear goals for yourself.
Does goal setting scare you?
I have come across a lot of people who do not set goals for themselves simply because they fear failure. My only advice to such people is to set SMART goals for themselves. Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART). Try this mantra and I promise you, goal setting will become an easy and pleasurable task for you.
It always helps to share your goals with your close friends and colleagues. Because often times, though your intentions are good, the daily struggle of life can push your specific goals to the back burner. In such situations, friends can always remind you of your goals and set you on the right path once again.
Writing down your goals helps immensely. When you write them in a notebook, you are in fact writing them on your brain. I call this Brain Writing. And I’ll explain how this works. Writing activates not just your brain but also sets in motion your hands, your muscles, your eyes, your ears and helps them all focus on a single object – your goal.
Writing down specific goals also helps you prioritise them – should I put taking my family on that foreign trip as my most important goal, or should I be focussing on buying that new luxury car, or should I put all my energies behind my job and reach a certain position within a certain time, or should I be focussed on all these and yet plan for that new house I want to buy?
The truth is, you can have a hundred goals to achieve. Writing them down helps you focus on the most important ones and sieve out the less important ones for the time being. There’s enough research on this subject to suggest that when you write down your goals, your brain starts acting like an alarm. It keeps reminding you of your goals from time to time like a snooze alarm.
In fact, if you like to keep things handy, you can transfer your thoughts from paper to an excel sheet and store them in your computer or your mobile. Keep visiting them from time to time and you’ll realise that your activities, your thought processes, everything is getting aligned to your goals.
Keep accessing your goals, keep taking small, smart steps towards realising them and you’ll keep getting closer and closer to them.
Good luck and may the New Year be the beginning of many new, achievable goals in your life.
Author: Dr. V. P. Sajeevan, CEO, ESY India