Why Goal Setting is Important and How To Do it Right

Author: Sarah Dai 

Edited by: Jina Aryaan

 

With the new year upon us, it seems like everyone around is rushing, yet again, to set New Years resolutions. A lot of times, it is insanely unreachable, unrealistic goals, like “working out every day for 2 hours”, or “giving up junk food completely”, or “start going to bed at 10:00”. We start the year with high hopes that we can achieve them but within a few days in, those hopes start to slip dramatically and the ambition in you fades until you are right back where you started last year. Well, this year, fear not! I am here to convince you that goal-setting is actually beneficial and can succeed, as long as you follow these simple tips.

#1: Be Specific

Often times, the reason people give up so easily on their goals is because it is too vague and they don’t have a plan on how to actually achieve it. Include things like time frames, specific quantities––anything that will make it clearer for YOU.

Bad: Eat clean

Good: Cut out processed sugar from diet

See the difference? The first goal simply gives a very broad idea of what it is this person wants to achieve but there are no directions on how to get there. In the second example, it explains how it can obtain this healthy eating habit. By doing this, the individual will know how to approach the goal, which in the long run, will make it easier for them to maintain it.

#2: Make Specific & Attainable Goals

When inspiration or desperation hits ya, it seems so easy to set extremely high goals because it looks so impressive on paper and in your mind. However, the more far-fetched it is, the faster you will most likely give up on it. If you are someone who is extremely shy and quiet, forcing yourself to join 5 different clubs and meet 2 new people a day would be intimidating to say the very least. It might scare you off completely right from day 1! It would be a much wiser choice to start slow and gradually build up. Which brings me to my next point…

#3: Start Small & Work Your Way Up

Remember, your goals are not set in stone. You can alter or improve it any time you would like. That is why it is sometimes better to set incremental objectives for yourself until you reach your ultimate goal at the end. For example:

Ultimate goal: Get better at writing

Goal#1: read a book each month that is recommended by teacher

Goal #2: write one mock “in-class essays” per week and get teacher to edit it

Goal #3: expand vocabulary by learning 5 new words each week

#4: ACTION

This ties in with all the previous tips: make sure your goals have specific requirements on what action you should take along with what it is that you want to achieve. This not only clarifies it for yourself and makes it easier to follow through with, but it also provides a more detailed sense of direction and ambition to your goal.

Bad: Workout more

Good: exercise 3-4 days a week, alternating between circuit training and Pilates, to become more fit and strong (Specific? Check! Possible to achieve? Check! Room for growth in the future? Check check check!)

Whether you are setting New Years resolutions, or simply just small monthly targets for yourself, follow these tips and you will see that you can achieve these goals and continue to better and improve yourself. Go get ‘em!!

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