Setting goals and objectives is a process which has very wide application in business, and it was certainly a part of my own business training which I had to put into practice regularly in the years that followed. Some of the better businesses and organizations will also incorporate personal goal setting into staff development, as part of the personnel (human) resources routine. But what about you as an individual? Can you use goal setting as a tool to help you achieve success?
Goal setting can, indeed, be a very useful, sometimes powerful assistant to your personal success. If you incorporate goals and objectives into your personal planning, whether short or long term, then your road to success will have a better foundation.
Success? Success at what? That is entirely up to you. If there is something in life you want to succeed at, then there will no doubt be some goals you can set to help you along the way; like stepping stones across a river when success is at the opposite bank. In reality, you can apply goal setting techniques to any part of your life, whether it is to do with work, personal relationships, where you want to live, or a personal hobby or interest. So long as you set realistic goals at each stage, then they can be a very strong personal incentive, which will prepare you for the next stage. Eventually you will be able to look back and see how far you have come, and you can wave goodbye to those stepping stones and go on to new ones on another journey to success.
If you settle down and think clearly about what you want to succeed in, and then what you need to achieve in order to get there, you will quite naturally give a structure to a plan which you will follow; a structure that will incorporate goals you will need to achieve along the way. As with business goals and plans, your personal goals need to be realistic. If you have never driven a car and decide you want to be a Formula One race driver, then it does not make a lot of sense to go directly to Ferrari HQ and say “Here I am, can I race for you in next week’s Grand Prix?”
If you are determined enough, you may become an F1 driver, but there are a few little goals to achieve first. That applies to just about anything. You need to pinpoint the key achievements along the way to success in whatever it is you wish to succeed in, set an appropriate series of goals, and then tick them off one by one.
It is important to think clearly about your personal goals, as they are just that, personal. They are not your wife’s goals, you parents’ goals, or your brother’s goals, they are yours. Keep focused on what you want to achieve, not what others would like you to achieve from their own viewpoint. Use the opportunity to incorporate lifestyle goals into your plan, such as living by the sea, having a nice house, anything that is important to you. Even happiness benefits from goal setting; you can think about everything that would make you happy, and then set goals to achieve each of those elements.
Having decided your goals, then put them together in a plan that is realistic, otherwise you may be despondent after missing a goal which was impossible anyway. Set a reasonable timescale, and then try to aim for it step by step. If your chosen area of success is a competitive one, then remember that most people will just give up. But you will not give up, will you?