Personal growth is something that everyone aspires to. Whether it is personal or professional growth there are different ways that you can ensure that you achieve your final place of growth, known as an end goal.
Creating goals may seem like a scary task but in this guide, we give you the information that you need to achieve all that you hope to by giving you the skills and knowledge needed to create a plan that will ensure your growth is attainable for you.
Goal setting is a very important part of any business or personal development plan. It’s the first step to achieving your goals, and it can be used to help you get where you want to go in life.
But what are goals? And how do they work? The word goal comes from the Latin ‘golum’ which means target or aim.
So when we set a goal for ourselves, we are aiming at something. We might not always know exactly what that thing is, but we have an idea of the kind of person we want to become.
So if we say we want to lose weight then our goal would be to reduce our body mass index (BMI) by a certain amount over a period of time. This could mean losing 2 stone, 10 pounds, or 20 kilos. Each goal is unique to the person creating it.
If we want to improve our health, we may decide on a more specific goal such as getting fit enough to run a marathon. Or perhaps we want to learn Spanish so that we can travel to South America.
Whatever our goal is, it should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The Smart Method can be used to create any type of goal and allows you to ensure that your goals are achievable and that you are not setting yourself up for failure.
So, what does SMART mean? Below we outline each step related to this goal-setting method.
Setting goals is one of the most challenging things you’ll ever face in life. It takes courage to put yourself out there and tell people what you really want to achieve.
However, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be difficult. There are three types of goals that you can use to help you reach your ultimate destination.
Performance goals focus on doing certain activities well. They usually involve skills like running fast, playing tennis or dancing.
Outcome goals focus on achieving particular results. They often relate to money, possessions, and relationships.
Process goals focus on developing habits. They include things like eating healthier, exercising regularly, planning ahead, and saving money.
We look at these goals in more detail below, giving you the information you need to achieve all of your performance, outcome, and process goals that you set for yourself or your company.
If you want to get fitter, faster, stronger, smarter, or whatever your goal may be, then a performance goal would be best suited to you.
A performance goal is a statement of intent, and it tells yourself what you plan to do and why you want to do it. You can choose to share your performance goals with others, but this can also be a private plan.
To set a performance goal, first, decide what you want to achieve and why. Then write this down as clearly as possible. Next, break down the task into smaller parts, look at these smaller parts as steps to your end goal. Think about each step individually and work out which ones you can control.
Finally, write down how you’ll know when you’ve reached each smaller goal during this process. The above method is a perfect illustration of how the SMART method, mentioned above, can help you to create a plan to achieve your goals.
Achieving a performance goal means performing the actions required by the goal. For example, if you want to run faster, you’ll need to train harder and longer than usual.
You may also need to change your diet so that you eat less junk food and more fruit and vegetables. If you face setbacks you can still measure progress towards your goal, just be aware that it may take a longer period of time.
Keep track of your efforts throughout the entire process so that you can see your progress visually on paper when you may struggle to see it otherwise.
An outcome goal is a statement of what you hope to achieve. It’s not necessarily something tangible but could be anything from getting a promotion to having a baby.
These goals are usually propelling you from your current position in life or in your career to a new stage or opportunity.
To create an outcome goal, start with the end result. Ask yourself what you want to achieve. Then ask yourself what you need to do to achieve it. Work backward and consider what does the action lead to?
What happens next? Where do you go from here? How will you measure your success? Once you’ve answered these questions, write them down.
It’s perfectly fine to set goals that require other people to help you. However, remember that they won’t always be able to give you everything you need. So don’t expect too much from them. Instead, try to find ways to work together.
To achieve your outcome goals it is important to follow your plan as you have it set out. Often outcome goals have very specific end goals and as a result, you cannot skip steps in your plan as it will result in failure.
As long as you follow your plan and maintain focus and a positive frame of mind you will succeed. Remember that you can only achieve one thing at a time.
So pick the simplest step to complete first to set you on your journey on a positive note.
Process goals are statements of what needs to happen to reach a particular objective. They tell us how we should behave to achieve our goals. Process goals usually involve learning new skills or changing habits.
They are typically described using verbs such as ‘practice’ ‘study’, ‘read’, ‘listen’ and ‘think’. This process requires emotional, mental, and physical input as you form new habits when achieving a process goal.
To develop a process goal, start by thinking about what you want to accomplish. Think about what you need to learn or do in order to get there.
Make a list of all the steps involved, no matter how tiny or unimportant something may seem you should include it all as these miniature steps can be easy to achieve and give you a boost at different times during your journey. Then choose one step at a time, starting small and building up gradually.
It is important to remember that no matter how big or small your goal seems, you can always break it down further.
As we mentioned before, goals are a hugely personal thing and your goals should be focused on how they can benefit you and our growth which will enable you to adapt your timescale when necessary.
Achieving a process goal means following the instructions that you have outlined for yourself when creating your plan. You need to be committed to doing the actions that are required that will enable you to complete each step in the process.
For example, if the goal is to study for exams, then you’d need to read books, listen to lectures and answer exam questions. You may also need to practice answering multiple-choice questions.
If your goal seems impossible, then you might need to take things slowly. But if you really want to achieve your goal, then you’ll have no choice but to take action. Don’t worry about being overwhelmed, simply pick out one thing you can do each day, and do it.
Keep going until you’ve done everything on your list. Each tick against an action on your list is pushing you a step closer to achieving your end goal.
Setting goals is never easy but by taking our advice on board your goals can be attainable with some forward-thinking and focus.
It takes courage and determination to follow through when you know that you could easily give up, but once you’ve started, you’ll soon discover that watching yourself grow towards your end goal will be enough to push you on when you experience setbacks or consider giving up. Good luck!