Knowing how to set your personal goals will help you clarify what you want in life. When you set clear personal goals you will understand exactly what you want, how much you want and when you want it.
Once you learn how to set your personal goals you will be able to focus your efforts and your resources to help you achieve them. You will be able to stop wasting energy on what someone else wants and you’re more likely to get what you want. When you aim for a clear target you also have a benchmark, so you can measure the difference between your goal and your performance.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of goals is in today’s world. We’re in a very competitive, increasingly globalised, always on and always connected world. Information overload is becoming a serious problem, which leads us to the even deeper issue of divided attention; where do we focus our time and resources?
The answer is to focus on your personal goals.
Many motivation and goal setting theories exist, however, there is a simple checklist that has served me well when setting my own goals. It is commonly referred to as the SMART formula, which is an acronym for the following:
Specific: Goals should be precise, so you will know exactly when you hit them.
Measurable: You should be able to check your performance against the goals you set, so you can find out if a particular approach has been successful. If it has not; you can try a new approach.
Attainable: You need to set goals that you can realistically achieve in the time frame given. Constantly missing your targets, whether they are set by you or someone else, will cause your motivation to decline.
Relevant: Goals should be relevant to your life and your motivations.
Time specific: There must be a time when you evaluate your goals and your performance. This is the time to collect your personal reward if you achieve your goals or change your course if you were not successful.
Once you have set your goals you can write them or type them. I recommend printing your goals and keeping a copy handy, so you can remind yourself often why you are working.
Remember to set goals for the things that really matter in your life, not just career or monetary goals. I have set my own money goals and I encourage you to do the same but often you will see money is not what drives you; your true motivation is what you intend to do with your money.