LTL DISCUSSION: top 5 tips for goal-setters
Your goals are nothing more than wishes if you don’t make a plan. Goal-setting is not about naming your objective; it’s about describing how you get there. If you want to learn a language, write a research paper, build a garage or get a promotion – you need a plan.
Setting clear and realistic goals will help you achieve your dreams.
Top 5 Tips for Goal-setters:
Number One: Know what you want
Before goal-setters can make specific plans, they need a clear understanding of what kind of outcome they are looking for. Something like “I want to be a team manager” or “I want to be able to use Spanish on my next holiday” is a good start. It is something to aim for, and something that is not necessarily easy to achieve, but do-able nonetheless.
Number Two: Be ambitious
It might seem like a good idea to set easy goals so you can feel good checking them off your to-do list. But it’s not. Maybe you can start off with easy goals as a way of establishing routine, but successful goal-setters become frustrated if the targets are too easy to reach. Boredom kills motivation.
Number Three: Make a plan
The big picture in Number One is a description of what you want. The plan is your step by step road map of how to get there. Goal-setters like ‘action-plans’ with clear instructions (E.g. ‘find out what skills are most valued in team managers and compare to my current skill set to find the gaps’, or ‘look for the best online Spanish course for holidaymakers’). A good first step will motivate you to make the next move in your plan (‘learn relevant management skills’, or ‘start Lesson One on the Spanish course you’ve chosen’).
Number Four: Be accountable
Tell other people that you are up-skilling, and find a confidant who is willing to listen to your progress reports. But, more importantly, be accountable to yourself. Keep a log of things you need to do and how much time you have spent actually DOING them. I kept a study log for a graduate programme I took, and I was surprised how little time I spent studying (actually studying). The log helped me realise I needed to put in more reading and writing time if I wanted to do well.
Number Five: Learn from mistakes
Failure is a part of the learning process. When we go to the fairground and play in the shooting galleries we don’t get disappointed and give up after the first row of moving ducks passes by without us even hitting one; we just have a laugh about it, adjust our aim and try again. Reaching your goals should be fun, Enjoy the journey!