One of the measures of individual success is the achievement of personal goals. Individual aspirations and desires are considered goals. Dreams and ambitions are also considered as goals. We establish personal goals out of a desire to attain what we want in life. Although they are personal goals, they may also be intended for the benefit of other people such as our family, friends, and work colleagues.
The Importance of Criteria and Process
Personal goal setting is based on a set of guidelines and steps that will effectively guide us in working for the accomplishment of our goals. In all seriousness, we need to be consciously following the set of criteria and its processes if we really intend to get those goals just as drivers follow road instructions and directions if they want to reach to their destination.
Criteria for Personal Goal Setting
Generally, goal setting is based on SMART guidelines, which represent Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding (or it could also be Realistic), and Timely or Time Bound. This set of criteria must be religiously followed in order for us to easily work on our goals and in turn, our goals will also work for us.
1. A goal must be Specific.
We need to list down specific goals because we can never be sure of achieving every single aspiration we have in mind. We have to admit that we have limitations to our human capabilities. We have dreams that we honestly cannot achieve because of factors like lack of skills, lack of resources, or beyond what we are capable of. With specific goals, we are more focused with what we will have to act upon.
2. A goal must be Measurable.
Goals can either be qualitative or quantitative. Qualitative goals can be measured by keeping track of the progress based on numbers, percentage value and other objective factors. Qualitative goals are pretty hard to measure but it is based more on the feeling of achieving the goal. Being able to monitor the progress of our goals gives us more confidence and close-to-successful feeling.
3. A goal must be Attainable.
A goal with a realistic factor of being accomplished is an attainable goal. It is with our belief that such a goal can be reached.
4. A goal must be Rewarding and Realistic.
A realistic goal is one that is based on factors like our capability to achieve it, availability of resources, and a reasonable time-frame. With attainable and realistic goals, the feeling is rewarding once those goals are accomplished.
5. A goal must be Time Bound.
A goal that is set on a specific time-frame prevents us from procrastinating. It keeps the drive and motivation high because we know that we are challenging ourselves to reach the goals within a given time.
The Process of Setting Personal Goals
Personal goal setting consists of simple steps and these are the following:
Identifying the goals and writing them down on a journal
The first step is to find out what we really want to achieve so we can focus on them. Also, we need to have a visual reminder of the goals that we have chosen to work on. Setting priorities and time-frame for each goal Once the personal goals have been identified, the next thing to do is to prioritize each goal by figuring out which goal needs a sense of urgency and finding out what we want to focus on.
Considering the obstacles in the achievement of these goals
The process of working on each goal may pose certain barriers, both internal and external. So pre-empt the situation by listing down possible obstacles of each goal so that we can prepare ahead.
Listing down the requirements needed to reach the goals
These requirements may be our skills and knowledge, resources, and even the people who may be involved in these goals. With a sufficient knowledge of what these requirements are, we can find ways to secure and obtain them during the process.
Developing an action plan for each goal
These are the “how to ‘s” in completing the goals. We can think of many different ways and techniques of acting on each goal. But always remember to base these steps on the criteria stated above.