Setting goals is an essential factor to achieve success. This is because there is no set direction unless you define clearly what it is you’re trying to work towards. Research tells us that by writing these goals down, you’re 50% more likely to achieve success than people who don’t (Goalband).

Set yourself goals; they provide focus, allow you to allocate your time effectively and they will boost your motivation. There are a few things to keep in mind when setting goals, to give yourself the best chance of achieving them.

Be specific

Make sure that the goals you set clearly state what you want to achieve, for example: ‘Complete my assignment.’ The results of this goal can be visualised and, therefore, you can carry out the necessary steps and preparation to ensure that you achieve it. Visualisation is key at this step because without it, you will have no motivation to begin the task.

Make sure the goal is measurable

Try to quantify the results of the goal: ‘Complete one assignment,’ by knowing that you want to complete at least one piece of work you’ll be able to measure your success upon the completion of the assignment. Having an idea of how much you need to accomplish will also refine your focus on the goal.

Ensure the goal is achievable

Any goal you set yourself has to have to be achievable: ‘Complete one assignment in 1 day’ might not be; it doesn’t account for unforeseen circumstances and you’ll also find you’ll spend more time panicking as opposed to working.

In comparison, ‘Complete one assignment this week’ can be set at the beginning of the week and everything you do can be planned towards completing that goal in a sensible timeframe.

Be realistic

When setting a goal you need consider whether or not it is a realistic expectation, telling yourself to complete all of your assignments in one week is unrealistic; there wouldn’t be enough time, and again you would spend the majority of the time panicking. Keeping your goals realistic ensures that you can achieve them and then move on to the next goal. Completion of your aims will also boost your motivation for the next task.

Outline a time frame

Your goal needs a deadline: ‘Complete one assignment by the 21st January’ gives you an exact date and, therefore, a time frame - this could be one or two weeks. In doing this, you will be less likely to postpone the goal as you’ll feel obliged to do it within the time frame. Leaving the target date open can lead to decreased motivation and a low success rate.

In following these steps to setting your goals, you will find that they will be more likely to motivate you and, therefore, lead to a higher success rate. You’ll find that things you want to achieve will gradually become more realistic and you’ll find yourself progressing in yourself and your future career.

How to write a 5 year plan

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