Being able to meet your goals takes willpower and perseverance. But, most important than anything, it requires you to have a clear image of what you are really expecting from your personal and professional life.
In this article, we will discuss how to set your goals and the steps you should take to follow your life plan and meet your goals.
Straightforward advice for achieving your lifetime goals
Some people seem very sure of what they want to do with their lives, but not everybody is like that. In fact, most young adults still have no idea where they should be heading once they finish their studies.
For five years, psychology Professor William Damon of Stanford University surveyed 1,200 young people with ages between 12 and 26. According to his book, ““The Path to Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Calling in Life”, only one-fifth of participants found a meaningful purpose to their lives over the period of the study.
Be that as it may, even when you know what you want to do in your life, it is still very hard to persevere and meet your goals on such a long term. So, here’s my advice:
Describe your life goals
You might not know everything you want to do for the rest of your life, but ask yourself questions. What do you dream of? Imagine the 80-year old version of yourself. What would you like to see when looking back at your life? Have you been a good parent, a good friend, a good leader, a good employee? What have you left behind? How do you want people to remember you?
Start writing a draft of your biggest dreams, no matter how unattainable they might seem at the moment. Believe it or not, nothing is impossible and you can never know what tomorrow may brings – these two clichés are true. With perseverance, tomorrow might be the day you actually meet your goals.
Make a plan
How are you going to achieve everything you wish for? Write down some ideas. Is your life goal to be a successful leader running one of the top companies in your industry? That’s great, now you need to put pen to paper and write down the main things that will take you closer to fulfilling your dream.
Of course, you are not supposed to know everything about running a successful company yet, so just write down the things that you think you would be required to do in order to achieve your dreams. The same goes for being a good parent. What does that mean to you? What do you think you would need to do in order to become a good parent? One example here could be helping your children make a good life for themselves or help them become a successful member of the society.
Enrich your plan with actionable steps
It’s time to detail your plan. Take each goal and think of factual, palpable things you could do in order to get there.
Going back to the example with the company, part of your plan should include being a good leader. So, think of ways that can help you become a better leader – things like participating in trainings, building meaningful relationship with your team, being a better communicator, etc.
Grow your business faster with better team communication!
To achieve your parenting plans, this is where you can decide to put your kid through college, or to open a trust fund for them. These should all be palpable things that could be done in reality.
This is exactly as simple as it sounds. You’ve established your lifetime goals, you’ve made a plan, you know what you need to do in order to make it happen. So all you’re left to do is actually take the required action that will enable you to meet your goals. Hire a lawyer and incorporate a company. Go to the bank and open that trust fund that will help your kid have a carefree life. Don’t wait for tomorrow, take action right now and make your dreams come true!
Practical ways to meet your goals at work
Oftentimes, personal and professional goals intertwine. We spend most of our lives working, so career is a big part of our existence. So far we’ve talked about meeting your lifetime goals. Now, let’s see what you can do on a daily basis to achieve your professional goals:
Set and align your long-term goals with your lifetime goals
OK, so you know that you want to be the leader of a successful company and that you should be a good boss, grow meaningful relationships with your employees, participate in trainings, so on and so forth. But these are all general and a bit abstract.
When it comes to career goals, you need to be more specific. So, zoom in a little bit and set your long-term career goals. Maybe you want your company to win an award; maybe you want it to develop a smart android that serves people’s tea in every house on Earth. These are the kind of long-term goals that you need to set. Of course, they should eventually align with your lifetime goals.
Set and align short-term goals with your long-term goals
Zoom in even more and focus on your immediate goals. What are the projects you are working on right now and what are you gaining from them? Are they taking you closer to meeting your long-term goals? If not, set other short-term goals that will subscribe to your general agenda.
Plan your days ahead
When you’re following a life plan, every single day is important. Everything you do today may affect the outcome of your life. So, make a daily schedule and stick to it. You need to persevere and resist temptations. Don’t rest on your laurels when everything is working fine. On the contrary, push even harder and you will accomplish more.
Divide your tasks into smaller pieces
I admit that all these can seem a bit overwhelming. The thought that your whole life should follow a given course might make you anxious. This is why it is important to clear things out, prioritize and take it one step at a time.
It’s important to always keep your eyes on the big picture without obsessing about it. Otherwise, you’re not left with enough time and energy to actually live your life , yet it’s hard to move on with your life if you only concentrate on this.
Break your long-term plans into short-term goals. Then, make sure each short-term goal fits into daily schedule, which should also translate into small tasks.
Our human brain has several defense systems that tell it to avoid the things that make us uncomfortable. By dividing each project into smaller tasks, and investing short time-frames of uninterrupted work in each task (for example, using the Pomodoro Technique), it becomes a lot easier to maintain your focus and do the work without feeling overwhelmed.
Embrace teamwork and cooperation
Let’s not forget that you are not going through life all alone. As a leader, you will have to work with your team in order to achieve the success you are aiming for. But working with a team has its own challenges, and meeting team goals requires a slightly different strategy.
Here are some recommendations that should help you meet your goals more easily:
- Engage everybody in the goal-setting process. People work better when they understand exactly why they need to do the work they are doing. “Because that’s what the manager demanded it” is not really a motivational quote. Make it clear why a certain project is important for the success of the company, especially if you have reasons to believe people will put up resistance. Get everybody on board before you actually start working.
- Plan together. Each member of your team is probably a specialist in their field. However, as human beings, they also have some private interests that you may or may not be aware of. This is why it’s also better to allow your team to participate in the task-sharing process instead of assigning tasks without considering their opinions
- Constantly measure your progress. Are you moving closer to meeting your goals every single day? One of the easiest ways to keep track of people’s progress and gain input is using a team communication solution. For example, a instant collaboration platform likeHubgets will allow you to communicate in real time, share files, discuss tasks and projects in private and team wide chats, while enabling you to keep track of the progress of your team.
- Hold people accountable and help them grow through feedback. Any good leader knows that giving feedback is one of their main responsibilities. It’s the best way to let people know whether you are satisfied with the direction they are taking or not, while providing valuable advice that will help them improve their work and meet their own goals as well as the company’s.
Track your progress
A good idea would be to keep a timeline of your goals. Every now and then, take the pulse of your progress. Are you in the place where you expected to be? If you have fallen behind, maybe it’s time to step up the game and make some changes in the way you are handling your short-time goals. If you are already ahead, give yourself a well-deserved prize. Get a vacation and enjoy the results of your hard work.
Don’t let failure keep you down
At some point, everybody fails. Failure is so common that it actually has become a natural part of the process. Very few people achieved success without failing. You might not be a part of the lucky few, but don’t beat yourself up for it. Read my next piece about how to use failure to your advantage.
And remember, having tangible goals is the first step on your way to success. Now get out there and make your dreams come true! Use the comments section to let us how you’ve dealt with your personal and professional goals so far. We’re curious to learn what strategies you’ve used to meet your goals.