Goal Setting

Goal Setting to achieve success in life

Do you want to be successful and achieve your dreams in life? Well I know undoubted your answer is a big YES. I am more than happy to hear this. Everyone wants to be successful in life. But unfortunately everyone does not reach there. So what’s that which make the difference? It’s beginning which make the difference. The success is end result which comes along with when you achieve the goals. This journey towards success must begin rightly at the first step. And that first step towards the destination is – Goal Setting. It marks your first point toward success. Goal setting is the initiation of successful goal achievement. After all, would you set out on a foremost journey with no real idea of your destination (goals)? Probably not!

Do you set goals?

Okay, now tell me; do you set goals for yourself? What are your goals for the next 6 months or 1 year? How about down the lane 3 years from now? 5 years? 10 years? Where do you want to reach in life? What are your aspirations in life? If you do not have answers for these questions, you must understand what is goal setting and the reasons why it’s important to achieve success in life.

What is goal setting?

Goal-setting is the process of establishing clear and usable targets, or objectives. It’s defining where you want to be in future from your present. Goal setting gives direction for further progress.

Goal Setting Theory

The goal setting theory of motivation is widely regarded among the top management theories. It was coined by Dr. Edwin A. Locke in 1960. The theory emphasizes the important relationship between goals and performance. Goal Setting Theory explains the mechanisms by which goals influence behavior. According to Goal setting theory of motivation – specific and challenging goals along with appropriate feedback contribute to higher and better task performance. Goal setting theory advocates goals should be set based on 5 principles

  1. Clarity: Clear goals are measurable and unambiguous. Vague goals like – I will lose my weight do not make any sense.
  2. Challenge: Challenging goals boost your enthusiasm and give better satisfaction on achievement. Too easy goals do not motivate enough and sometimes not at all achieved due to people take achievement granted.
  3. Commitment: It’s important to create commitment towards achieving goals. Goal commitment is the degree of determination a person uses to achieve an accepted goal. It’s based on importance and self-efficacy.
  4. Feedback: Feedback on a goal is important to be aware of progression or regression. Feedback helps individual to monitor his or her own progress and make adjustment accordingly.
  5. Task Complexity: Goals are proven to be an effective motivation tactic if task complexity or difficulty is taken into consideration.  Goals should be set high enough to encourage high performance but low enough to be attainable. Goals must stretch and test your cognitive skills for results achievement.

SMART Goal Setting: How to set goals?

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that you can use to guide your goal setting. Your goals must have these five characteristics – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.



This characteristic of goal ensures it is specific and distinct. It defines as much of goal as possible. It contains no ambiguous or vague language. What, where, how, which are questions must have the clear answers. It brings in the clarity and understanding about goals. It covers the point 1 – Clarity of Goal setting theory.


A measurement gives feedback and let you know the progress and status of goal. It helps to understand how much is completed and how much is remaining. Goals must encompass how much, how many, FROM and TO of a goal. It covers the point 4 – Feedback of Goal setting theory. Measurement helps self feedback or self appraisal.


Make sure that goals are attainable or achievable. That means it’s possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only get demoralized and erode your self-confidence. Setting realistic yet challenging goals will provide you the balance you need to motivate yourself. Goals that require you to “raise the bar” will bring great personal satisfaction. It covers the point 5 – Task Complexity and point 2 – Challenging of Goal setting theory.


Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take. By keeping goals aligned with this, you’ll develop the focus you need to get ahead and do what you want. Irrelevant and inconsistent goals will not diminish your interest and motivation but also bring in dissatisfaction in life. It covers the point 3 – Commitment of Goal-setting theory. Relevant goals will increase buy in and commitment.

Time bound

“Someday” is the same as never. Your goals can’t be vague and open-ended. They just won’t happen.  You must set time bound goals. Goals must have a deadline or time frame. When you work with a time frame or deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement may come much quicker.

Goal Setting

Reasons why goal setting is important

Here are the reason why goal-setting is important in life to achieve success.

Builds self confidence

Self-confidence is one of the critical factors in everything you accomplish in your life. When you are full of confidence you are ready to try almost everything. Setting goals and achieving them helps individuals improve their self-confidence and self-esteem. When you know what you are striving toward, you have more meaning and purpose which ultimately increases your self-confidence with each action step that you take toward those goals.

Increases productivity

Goal setting is critical to increase the performance and productivity. A number of researches and studies have been done to understand the significant impact goal setting can have. According to a research goal setting improves worker performance by 12 to 15% compared to the situation where no goals were defined. As mentioned above according to goal setting theory of motivation also goals contribute to higher and better task performance.

Goal setting significantly improve productivity and performance through greater accountability, focus, progress monitoring and time management.

Enhances focus

Goals setting gives you defined objectives and targets. These give you the direction where you need to move ahead. This sense of direction is what allows your mind to focus on a target. Imagine you are on a ship in a deep sea and don’t have compass. Your ship will move on but you do not know where you are going. The journey becomes meaningless with no direction where you are moving ahead. You may find the shore some day but not the one where you wanted to go. So goal setting gives you clear direction and enhances your focus.

Goal Setting Focus bulls-eye

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” ~ Bill Copeland

Goal setting motivates you

The fundamental of any motivation or inspiration lies in the end result. That end result is goal. Goals are foundations of all the motivation or inspiration you have ever felt in your entire life. By goal setting you give yourself a bull’s eye to aim for. It boosts your enthusiasm and nurtures your motivation. So goal setting is important to stay motivated.

Tracking your progress and personal growth

Goals are extremely powerful way to track your progress and personal growth. When you set SMART goals, you will always have a fixed target or benchmark to compare with your current status. This enables you are to measure and track your progress. Knowing your progress you can prioritize tasks and make adjustments in your plan, time schedules, and resources.

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” ~ Confucius

Clearly setting goals is of utmost importance for achieving success and dreams in life. So what are you waiting for ?? Define your goals if you have not yet. It will make your life more meaningful and purposeful. I hope you enjoyed this post. Please share your experiences and views in the comment section below. I and the other readers will love to learn from your experiences.

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