Setting Goals 5 – How To Set Goals – Choosing Your Goal

Setting Goals 5 – How To Set Goals – Choosing Your Goal

In previous posts we’ve introduced the idea of goals, defined them, discussed why they work and talked about how you can only really have one goal. With all this to bear in mind, how do you go about choosing your goal? How do you narrow down all your interests, desires, hopes and ambitions to settle on one target that you will pursue at the expense of all the others?

 

Choosing Your Goal – The Most Important Thing in the World to You

Obviously only you can truly decide what your goal should be, but here is what I think is the most crucial consideration: Your goal should be just about the most important thing in the world to you, or at least a very close second behind family and loved ones.

As we’ve already said, your goal should be a big thing. It will require a lot of effort and sacrifice, and probably take years to achieve. If it’s not really important to you you’re unlikely to see it through.

 

Consistent With Your Values

Your goal should also be consistent with your personal values. For example I spent 7 years working in the finance sector with aspirations to be a company director before I realised that making money for a company did not excite or even interest me. It was moderately diverting as an intellectual exercise, but it wasn’t something I could get passionate about. So I changed.

Beware of external pressure as to what your goals ‘should’ be. Lots of people may have opinions about what is best for you – parents, friends, partners, colleagues, well intentioned meddlers of all kinds. However, only you can truly know what really matters to you. If you try to pursue a goal for the sake of someone else rather than because you truly want it for yourself then it will be an uphill struggle. It doesn’t mean you won’t achieve it. With enough willpower you probably can. But it will be hard, and probably not very fulfilling on the way or when you get there.

 

Enjoy The Process, Not Just The Result

Finally, your goal should be something you enjoy the process of working towards, as well as the idea of the end result. If you don’t like being cold and wet then don’t aim to be a professional footballer (in Britain at least), no matter how much you want the 7-figure salary. If you don’t like repeating short musical phrases over and over again don’t aim to be a musician, no matter how much you want rock-star fame or notoriety!

To be honest, I think that it’s more important to enjoy the process of working towards your goal than achieving it. The working, striving, trying, that’s what it’s all about. That’s the tough part and if you’re hating it while you do it then you’re in for a pretty hard time. On the other hand, if you love the work, the activity, the effort, then you’re going to jump out of bed every morning enthusiastic and energised to get started. That will make everything easier.

It’s a tired old cliche that the journey is more important than the destination, but it applies in this case. No matter how much you want to get to the promised land, if it involves 2 years climbing through hostile mountains and you hate heights, maybe pick a different destination.

 

Remember, as I keep saying, if your priorities change then you can change your goal. That’s fine. What you learn along the way will be valuable. It’s not all about the end result, there’s plenty to be gained from the process and development along the way.

Next time: A step by step guide on how to set your goal.

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  1. How to Set Goals - Step By Step - […] already) and explained why you can only really have one or two. Then I gave some tips on how…

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