Many people go through life just drifting and accepting whatever situation they find themselves. Some have no real goals or purpose. Whereas others have attained considerable progress, even exceeding their expectations. However, many others still find themselves struggling or achieving far below their potentials. To be goal oriented, or what I may also refer to as a purpose oriented, simply means that you have a goal, purpose or direction.
What is a goal?
A Goal can be described as the object of a person’s ambition or effort, an aim or desired result. The well-known characteristics of a goal are represented in the acronym, SMART. This means: Specific, Measurable, Achievable Realistic and Time bound. These terms are self-explanatory so I will not give further details. A goal may be short term or long term. Short term goals are usually set for a few weeks or months, while long term goals are set for years. For example, a five-year goal. Long term goals can also be broken down into smaller short term goals.
Why do you need a goal or purpose?
Having a goal helps to direct your activities or efforts, because each activity will be directed towards attaining the goal, resulting in more productivity. Studies have also shown that being goal-oriented is associated with a higher life expectancy and reduced risk of early death. This is because those who have a goal are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors like healthy nutrition, regular exercise and health checks. Such people are also more capable of combating stress because they can see opportunities in every situation. Therefore, they are less likely to experience severe complications from stress-related illness. Thus, a goal-oriented life is a healthier life, a happier life, a more productive life and a more fulfilled life.
How can you become goal oriented?
To succeed in any endeavors, you need to maintain a goal-oriented lifestyle. But how can we really achieve this?
1. Choose a career that is your passion
Choosing your passion is the first step to becoming goal oriented. A career is like a lifetime partner. It is stuck with you for life. To succeed in a career there must be a good fit between you and your career. But how can you determine if your career is a good fit? You are more likely to achieve your goals if it involves utilizing your strength rather than trying to fix your weaknesses. Your strengths are the activities you perform naturally and with ease. They are the activities that fill you with joy or passion, and the activities you love to perform even without getting paid for it. You should therefore center your career around your strength and not your weaknesses. The activities or roles that utilize your strength, are more likely to give you greater motivation when you wake up every day, and the confidence to go through the day. It is that kind of motivation that leads to success and fulfillment.
2. Set out your activities
Setting goals is not enough. To accomplish those goals, you must also set out definite activities to actualize your goals. Setting out your activities may require some researching or simply running through a checklist, or a combination of both. For example, to learn a new skill you must know about the skill, training or education required. Whereas to own a new home you need to do some research on home types, location, minimum deposit requirements, mortgage opportunities etc. Be committed to your activities and remain consistent. Life is not just one boring stretch. Life consists of tiny moments, days, weeks, months and years. We can make these moments count or meaningful by making them goal oriented. Being goal oriented will make you more productive and make life more meaningful.
3. Organize and plan your activities
You are more productive when you plan and organize your activities. You do not want to start with an activity that should come last. Having a goal is like building a house. All the activities required for building a house are carefully planned from foundation to roofing and finishing. Imagine what will happen to a house if these activities are not planned. Write down your goals. Studies show that we have a higher chance of achieving our goals when we write them down. This helps to create a visual impression upon our subconscious which drives us towards action. You may not achieve a particular goal at the set time. This is an opportunity to reassess yourself, your goals and activities. You may need to make critical changes or extend the timing. For example many goals will probably not be accomplished during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the lock down. There is a common
saying that we plan to fail when we fail to plan.
4. Take action now and stop procrastinating
No matter how fantastic your goals, you will not always be enthusiastic about your activities or jobs. There are times when you may feel tired or laid back or just procrastinate. This is normal. At such time, remember Newton’s first law of motion, which states that every object remains at rest or in uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force. This means that until you act, that task or activity will never be accomplished. Whereas if you can just start, you will discover that it becomes easy to complete.
5. Seek help
If you get stuck or you are ever in doubt, you should seek help. You can get help from a variety of sources such as books, internet sources, colleagues, people around you or professionals. However, ensure you verify online sources for credibility before use. You may also need to talk to someone for guidance such as a coach or mentor.
Where can you direct your goals?
Goals can be directed towards essentially every aspect of our lives. In general, our goals can be directed towards achieving a breakthrough in our career, improving or developing ourselves, building our family and relationships, getting involved in our community and getting involved in leisure activities or hobbies.
Achieving breakthrough in your career
No matter how talented you are, or how fantastic your profession, if you are not goal oriented you cannot attain fulfillment or reach the peak of your career. We are all familiar with people who have extraordinary talents and reached a zenith in their career but could not maintain their success and suddenly plunged. Some people are also stuck in a position far beneath their true potentials. You can be great in your career. But to achieve greatness you must seek greatness. In addition to seeking greatness, you must set goals to achieve greatness.
Improving or developing yourself
No matter your career or profession, if you must succeed you need to develop yourself. Self-development could mean learning a new skill, getting a new education or new training. We are living in a constantly evolving world and there is therefore need to update ourselves to meet with the changes around us. The current pandemic of COVID-19 needs no further elaboration of how true this is. You need to research on what it will take to update yourself in order to meet with the post COVID-19 challenges. Self-improvement is crucial for achieving success.
Building your family and relationships
Our families and relationships are very important in our lives. They sometimes give us motivation or help to ease our stress. We should maintain a strong relationship with these people and be open to making new connections. A new connection today can become a family tomorrow. There is a common saying that a family is who we say it is.
Getting involved in your communities
As we pursue our goals, it is necessary to be involved in our communities. Your community is not just your neighborhood. It may be your place of work or your peers. Getting involved means touching other people’s lives. You can do this by contributing to supporting others, by volunteering or empowering others. For example, donating to charity, helping someone around you who is in need.
Getting involved in leisure activities or hobbies
Finally, rest is important in our lives. It helps to rejuvenate our body systems and gives us time to reflect on our activities or future. Reflecting helps us to evaluate our progress and determine the need for any changes. For example, you may discover you are moving too slow, or need to speed up in certain areas, or need to change certain strategies. Therefore, indulge in leisure activities that you enjoy. Exercise regularly and eat healthy.
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