Many people are content to operate their life like a twig in the ocean, going with the flow to see where each ‘wave’ takes them.
This was my life occasionally enjoying the occasional victories, but without having defined objectives, I couldn’t utilise them and was unable to achieve my desires.
To improve, all it took was a few simple changes to my approach.
Many years I resisted setting goals, they seemed futile – the type of things said by hungover no hopers the day after New Year, making vows they couldn’t even follow through to the end of January.
I’d mixed up goals with New Year’s resolutions.
A goal done right, is planned and disciplined, whereas a resolution tends to be a guilt filled aspirations from an individual telling themselves something they ‘ought to be doing’…
I can’t knock New Year resolutions as they were the trigger for me to have defined goals and direction, after I’d gone another year in stagnation.
My mistake was being dismissive of serious written goals, a practice which enabled me to learn what I wanted in life
As a project manager you always must justify the purpose of spending time, effort and money when initiating a project “what does success look like”
Defining this vision is important as it illustrates what you want to achieve when the project is finished – if you can’t articulate this in the brief, there is zero chance of getting funding.
When I started setting goals, I used the Internet as it’s a fantastic resource for levelling up your self-improvement game, but fell into the trap of emulating someone else’s vision of success.
Copying someone else does not make you happy as we all want different things.
I didn’t know what success meant to me.
When you proceed on the journey of self-improvement, set yourself a project focused on YOU and define:
‘What does success look like to you?’
I was reluctant to commit to a date, as I felt like a failure the timescales was exceeded before the aspiration was realised..
This is the wrong mindset, it’s irrelevant when you achieve a goal, as long as the effort is applied to achieve it.
Like all plans, dates can’t be guaranteed to work out and will need continued re-planning to adapt to forever changing circumstances.
If the date doesn’t matter, what’s the point of setting one?
The purpose of the ‘achieve date’ is not to meet the goal exactly but drive progress forward, when you apply a timescale on an objective, you are reminded how scarce time is and make a point to apply the effort to achieve it!
When you have goals without the deadline, the sense of urgency is lost, and it becomes something else put on the pile you will do ‘someday’.
Every time you have a new goal, get in the habit of recording it, assessing it and setting a date you genuinely think you can achieve it by.
A life without gain
My journey in self-improvement has been driven by my desire to achieve more.
I haven’t always known the best way to get the most from my life, but my key learning over the years:
- Always set yourself structured goals – these are needed to realise your aspirations.
- Don’t compare yourself to others or copy the path of what others view as success.
- Always implement deadlines, this will add a sense of urgency and drive you to realise your ambitions.
Good luck – aim higher, feel good and get results!
Please do let me know your thoughts below – do you have any tips on setting targets in your life to achieve your goals?