guest column:Emmanuel Zvada
Did you know that those who have accomplished great things had great aims and plans in which they passionately believed, and upon which they vigorously acted upon. You may be wondering, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is one of the most important things you can do if you want to achieve things in your personal or business life.
The challenge of not having a goal is that you can spend 2020 again running up and down and never attain anything. One way to keep the momentum going is to set yourself greater goals, plans and act upon them. And while looking back and considering what you achieved in 2019 is a good idea, it is even more important to look forward to 2020 and start thinking about what you want to achieve. Now, let’s dive and look at how important goal setting is and why you should do it now.
Why it is important to set goals?
Setting and achieving goals is one of the ways an employee can gauge his development within a company. Goal-setting can be a good motivator, but there are advantages and disadvantages. Without proper planning, setting goals can be as destructive as it can be motivating.
Goals give you direction
One of the reasons goals are so important is that they give you direction. When you have clearly set and well-defined goals, they make lots of decisions easy. By setting goals for yourself, you give yourself a target to shoot.
This sense of direction is what allows your mind to focus on a target and rather than waste energy shooting aimlessly, and it allows you to hit your target and reach your goal. It is better to have a simple, or not so important goal, than having no goal at all.
Having goals is like having a map. When things look uncertain, a goal gives us a sense that there are at least some things that we have some control over.
Goals act as a way to track progress
The goal you set will determine the method used to measure your progress. Goals are a really powerful way to track your progress and personal growth. Unless you track your progress, setting goals is a waste of effort.
By frequently sitting down and looking at how close you are to achieving your goals or how many goals you have met, you can see how important it is to track your goals.
You can set a variety of personal goals and each kind will require different methods of measuring progress so that you determine if there is any progress.
Goals keep you accountable
It is one thing to set goals, but actually accomplishing them takes commitment, energy, discipline, and hard work. Accountability is needed especially to your goals. If you want to create positive change in your life, you need to take responsibility for the decisions that you make. In the words of Stephen Covey, “Accountability breeds response-ability.” Like most things, it can be hard to stick to your goals. But if something is truly important to you, holding yourself accountable is the only way to ensure that you are on track with your goals.
One of the main purposes of goals is that they keep you accountable for your actions. If you have decided you want to do something, you should be taking the steps necessary to achieve it. If you are constantly falling short of your goals, then you know that you need to work harder and crack down on actions you are taking that are not serving your aims.
Goals help you to focus on what you really want
Actions speak louder than words. If there is one goal that you set every year and you never manage to achieve, then you need to take a step back and really assess your priorities.
There are lots of things that people assume they should want and so say they want them, but never back it up with any actions. Setting goals help you to get that which you want to get but obviously backed by action.
Go beyond resolutions
By definition, a good and effective goal states who is responsible for the outcome as well as how they are responsible for it. If you already apply this methodology to your professional goals you can also do it to the goals you personally set for yourself.
When you set your New Year’s resolutions, you automatically set yourself as responsible for those goals and now this will help you clearly define how you will compromise to meet those goals from the moment you set them.
What are smart goals?
Smart goals are goal-setting techniques that allow one to set actionable objectives that receive results. The goals are specific and should be well-defined and concentrated on a particular result. The idea is that when a goal is more focused, it will create a desire to fulfil it and see it through. Goals should be measurable, meaning one should truly understand if they are meeting a goal, there has to be quantifiable data to measure progress. Targets and milestones are essential to proper goal setting.
Goals should also be attainable. While ambitious goal-setting is a great way to motivate a team, when setting goals, you have to make sure they are not setting objectives that are near impossible to meet. They have to be realistic and relevant and make sense for the current scope of the company. Along with making sure goals are realistic, we need to ensure that the current business climate creates a relevancy for any projected objectives. In setting goals there has to be a time line, meaning all goals should be time-based. For a goal to be truly actionable, it should specify a specific amount of time that goal tracking and assessment will take place. A measurable goal will not mean as much if it is not defined within a time period.
Setting the right goals
It is important that any goals you set for your business are both achievable and impactful. Setting yourself business goals that can be achieved means you are already on the way to achieving them.
When setting goals, it is always important to remember the acronym SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.
If you honour these five principles when setting goals for your business you will ensure that you are focusing on the right targets and not wasting time on vague and unachievable goals.
Make your goals realistic, but at the same time, make it a little challenging by selecting something that is attainable but a little beyond your comfort zone.
A challenge like this will give you something to work towards as well as build and increase your strength and endurance.
Be careful, though, not to make your goal so challenging that you will become discouraged and quit. Goals on the other hand often set you up for success. Making goals that are achievable, practical and sustainable is a great way to ensure that you will be pleased with the end results.