Setting goals is the key to accomplishing a wide range of ambitions, such as learning a new skill, completing your education, or taking a new step in your life. No matter what the activity is, setting a clear and precise objective helps you to concentrate your efforts and gets you heading in the right direction. Without having a process in place to keep you focused on achieving your goals, very often goals are forgotten, time runs out to achieve them or the goal becomes irrelevant.
Research has shown that having a goal setting process can affect behaviour, increasing overall and persistent effort, leading to productivity raise and an increased individual performance. Setting goals help us develop strategies; accomplishing them can lead to satisfaction and further motivation; not accomplishing them can lead to frustration and lower motivation.
However, goal setting is not an easy task. These are the essential skills required for successful goal setting and achievement:
- Planning and organisational skills are integral to the goal achievement process.
- Self-motivation: without the desire to achieve, our attempts at goal setting are doomed to fail.
- Time management: if we do not properly consider the timescale required to attain a goal, we will inevitably fail.
- Flexibility: having the flexibility to adapt to barriers, the perseverance to sustain your efforts and to carry on in the face of adversity.
- Self-regulation: you will be your own boss and evaluator.
The good news is that, all these skills can be learned and developed. If you cannot achieve your goals, it is possible that the problem lies in one or more of these areas. If that’s the case, identify the areas and train them.