Goal setting involves establishing Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-limited (SMART) goals.
Goal setting is the most important thing. If you don’t have any goals in life you must be pretty bored. Some people sit around every day and say they are content with going back and forth to work to the same job every single day, year after year. You see nothing happen and you can always guess where they will be because they never do anything out of their routine. You might be one of these people.
Goals are a form of motivation that sets the standard for self-satisfaction with performance. Achieving the goal one has set for oneself is a measure of success, and being able to meet job challenges is a way one measures success in the workplace. It has been said that “Goal setting capitalizes on the human brain’s amazing powers: Our brains are problem-solving, goal-achieving machines.”
Preparing and planning are a thing to set goals it’s another to figure out what you are going to do to make them a reality. People who plan increase the odds for success. As always, when you experience positive results you are motivated to continue. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to prepare and plan.
Setting goals helps you grow and strong. It makes you feel good to set goals and work toward making them happen. Goal setting is healthy for your body and healthy for your mind. One of the things to consider when it comes to setting goals is that you do not want to sit around and talk about the goals you have. This will do you nothing but be discouraging.
According to motivational researches, people who write down to-do-lists are far more triumphant in achieving their intended goals than those people who just keep mental lists instead. Putting something in writing somehow makes it more powerful psychologically speaking. This may also be the basis why most cultures have such a high regard in honouring contracts.
The four mechanisms through which goal setting can affect individual performance are:
- Goals focus attention toward goal-relevant activities and away from goal-irrelevant activities.
- Goals serve as an energizer: Higher goals induce greater effort, while low goals induce lesser effort.
- Goals affect persistence; constraints with regard to resources affect work pace.
- Goals activate cognitive knowledge and strategies that help employees cope with the situation at hand.
Guide for Goal Setting
We often want to make changes in our life, but we sometimes don’t know where to start. Goal setting can help you to identify where you want to go and the steps needed to get there.
Identify your goals
Take some time to think about the things that you would either like to do or that you want to change in your life. Try to identify some short-term goals, medium-term goals and long-term goals.
Our Goals should be:
Make sure that your goals are realistic and attainable. If you set your goals too high, it will be too difficult to accomplish them and your motivation will drop.
2) Concrete and Specific
You are far more likely to accomplish your goals if you make them concrete and specific rather than vague. If goals are too vague, it will be difficult to determine what steps you need to take to accomplish them. If your goals are specific, it will be easier to know when your goals have been met.
Write down your goals! You are more likely to stay on top of your goals if you have made a list of them.
3) Break goals into smaller steps
Many goals can be broken down into smaller steps. This is especially true of medium and long-term goals. For example, if your goal is to develop some friendships at work, an initial goal may be to ask two co-workers about their weekend plans on Friday afternoon. If your goal is to find a new job, a smaller goal may be to check the classified ads in the newspapers.
4) Identify obstacles
Once you have established a realistic and concrete goal, identify any obstacles that may be standing in the way of accomplishing your goal. For example, one of the obstacles for going to the gym may be finding childcare. So, if you have set a goal of going to the gym for 30 minutes after work on Wednesday, you will have to arrange for a babysitter.
5) Schedule your goals
You are more likely to complete your goals if you are clear about what you are going to do and when you plan to do it.
6) Carry out your goals
Now that you have picked a goal, you need to start taking the necessary steps to follow through with it. However, it can be hard to get started. In addition to writing down your goal, you can write out the steps that you will need to take to complete it. You are more likely to take the steps needed to achieve your goal if you write them down first.
Guidelines for Group Goals
When assisting, your team/group to set their goals and developing the right strategies and tactics to achieve the goals, check that they are:
- Stretching: Self-motivation is greatest when we sense that our goals are enhancing our potential. Try to get the group to set goals which will ensure that everyone is stretched. But as very few teams are lucky enough to be made up of individuals who have equal potential or are at the same point in their development, there must be some room for flexibility. As the leader you should help each individual monitor his/her ‘challenge’ and ‘boredom’ thresholds, and then adopt the team’s shared goals accordingly.
- Measurable: When setting goals, encourage people to think about how they can best assess their own progress. Point out when they are setting themselves goals which are too general and not easy to measure. As a leader you can also encourage your team to measure their progress by giving your regular reports.
- Accepted: The team will be much more self-motivated if they have the reasoning behind their aims and targets explained, and have a chance to question and jointly approve them.
- Share Information: Research has proved that written goals are much more likely to be achieved, so as leader you should ensure that all goals are clearly and concisely recorded. They should be displayed where everyone in the group can see and read them.
- Timed: We all know that goals are much more inspiring if there is a challenging deadline attached to them. But autocratically imposed deadlines do not encourage self-motivation, so the time-frame should, ideally, be set in consultation with the individuals in the team or group whenever possible.
To motivate a group of people effectively, you need a certain amount of information about them.
Often times, not knowing how or where to start is frustrating. Knowledge is power. Having a clear understanding of how and where to start is empowering and it will provide the extra drive needed to hit the mark you are aiming at and follow it through.
Having enumerated all these tips and tricks to attain self-motivation, but still you seem to feel lacking that much needed drive, there is one last thing that you must try.
Whatever it is that you have been meaning to do, or wanting to achieve, JUST DO IT! Keep on aiming high and go for it! Actually getting your hands dirty best solves the problem of motivation. By “forcing” yourself to just do it, your momentum will pick up gradually as you go along and before you know it you have finished the task or have finally achieved your goal.
Goal setting is very important. When you set goals and lay them out with time frames and milestones you will be more motivated to complete them. As you reach certain milestones you will be motivated more than ever to reach the end of the project. This is a very positive way to work on projects especially if you have a hard time completing them.