Setting goals based only on desires and impulses is not a wise thing to do. It is acting like a child – seeing something shiny you want to possess. But everything in real life requires effort and time. Soon there will be something new and shinier on the horizon and one might end up craving it before accomplishing the previous goals. So, even if you achieve some of the goals planned that way, the satisfaction one gets, does not match the perceived desire.
Here are five tips to consider when planning your aims:
- Explore Your Own Needs. Motivation is the key to success. You have to be clear about what you truly want and what makes you happy. Doing so, you will have the strongest possible motivation level along the way. If a goal is a bit over your capabilities don’t be afraid to push your own boundaries. Consider the short, medium and long term impact a particular goal would have on your life. These questions are not easy to answer. Take time to formulate goals and clear things up.
- Consider Authority Bias. We are influenced by people we look up to and our goals are affected by that. We call these people authoritative. Starting in the childhood and later on in our adult life – there are always authorities and models we try to line up with. We might do that subconsciously not even realizing it. Inspect and analyze your desires, goals and capabilities. One does not need to be wealthy or famous to live full and satisfying life. It is possible to get inspiration from people you admire while still being aware of your unique qualities and limitations.
- Avoid the Sunk-Cost Fallacy. The trap is related to projects which don’t go very well. But, the time and resources invested are significant and we feel we must finish the project and have a final result. Otherwise, the resources invested are wasted. That is not always the case. You can change your mind. The time spent, all the learning and experience obtained have a value. All that is part of the process, all contributes to your growth. One must be both aware of the bigger picture, but live with the concrete decisions on each and every step. Aim for happiness and satisfaction as the end result of each goal. Thus, you would be enjoying the journey towards your goals.
- Goals Versus Strategies. There is a difference between what you want and how you could get it. Goals do not solve problems. Goals are the benchmarks to measure progress or end result milestones. Reaching to a goal requires a strategy. The strategy towards a goal is still a higher level concept which must be worked out and broken to smaller and more attainable goals. Finally it all comes down to small units of work – tasks which could be predictably carried out and scheduled within expected time.
- Self Belief and Determination. Setting unattainable goals is detrimental to your motivation in the long run. The point is to make a difference if there are serious obstacles or you just make excuses and are afraid to work them out. Having self belief and trusting your instincts will ensure you pick the right goal and choose the right steps towards it. Stop comparing yourself to others and keep your eyes on the target.