Hello Readers, where did 2018 go? Oh my! It went faster than I thought it would. So many of us had set 2018 goals at the beginning of that year. When the year got to an end, we took stock of those goals. I am very sure that true happiness was derived when our goals were achieved.
Great Kudos to those that achieved their goals, to others who achieved some, well done. I fall in this set too… Lol. There are some that didn’t achieve their goals. Well, the truth is 2019 is a new year and you can work towards those goals. Now, to those who didn’t even set a goal, urrghhh! The fact that you… yes YOU… are reading this article is a BIG SIGN that you want to evaluate yourself and set those goals. So, thumbs up to you.
Come with me, as I discuss several important factors to consider in effective goal setting. Honestly, these factors are pertinent to me but I think we could benefit from them. Read them, study them and let me know in the comment section if you feel it is helpful.
1. Set Realistic Goals: Ensure that unrealistic goals are weeded out. The adage “cut your coat according to your size” is the summary of this point. This is not procrastination or lack of a “can do” attitude. Your goals should be within the availability of what is attainable for you. Goals are easily achieved when they are realistic. This will make you not see yourself as a failure. When you set unrealistic goals, you struggle to achieve them because they are way beyond you or your resources. I have learned through experience to set goals that are realistic. Has it helped me? Of course!

2. Set Specific Goals: Most people set goals that are imprecise, which is not right. Being specific with goals enables you to easily determine when they have been achieved. Ambiguous goals lead to confusion because you won’t be able to determine the right steps to take in other to achieve them. For example; I plan to save more this year. This is not specific. The question here is; How much do you plan to save each month? The right way of setting this goal is; I plan to put in #5000 of my savings in my savings account each month. This will give you a measurable target of what you should be saving, and any month you fail to stick with this, you already know there is a drift in your goal. Specific goals are means of checks and balances in goal setting and should be adhered to.

3. Prioritize Your Goals: After properly identifying your goals, ensuring they are realistic and specific, it is important to “build up a scale of preference” in other to know which one comes first and next. This is called PRIORITIZING. The truth is, you cannot achieve all the goals at once. A Chinese adage says “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Break your goals into smaller steps and go for the one that comes first. This makes the goal setting task not to be difficult. When you take the first goal in accordance with the priority, it helps reduce anxiety. Also, you are able to evaluate how far you have gone, which will guide you on the next step(s) to take. This does not mean being slow, but there is wisdom in focus and avoiding divided attention.

4. Identify Obstacles: This entails thinking out of the box. You have to properly scrutinize your goals and consider other factors that are capable of hindering the achievement. So many years ago, my mum had a goal of getting a diploma in Catering and Hotel Management. She knew that school run and babysitting would affect this goal, so she got a baby sitter who would stay with us while she goes to school. Towards the end, her goal was achieved and she made good grades.

5. Take Action: After setting your goals properly, it is important to “DO IT”. Now let’s do a little reverse. Remember those words that say you have to be motivated before you start something. This is my take on those words. I feel in Goal Setting; you need to Take Action first. When you do this, you will start feeling motivated to do more. It is similar to building a house; when you start laying the foundation and putting the first brick, you will have the motivation to complete it. So, no matter what your goal is, just do it! Start from somewhere, don’t hesitate.

6. Flexibility: When you are too rigid, you might not be able to achieve some goals. It is important to be flexible. Flexibility does not mean not sticking to your goals, it means being open-minded to come up with an alternative plan when the already set plans have been distorted. For Example; Monday evenings have already been set aside for running, unfortunately, it rained, obviously, you cannot go for a run under the rain, but an indoor exercise can be used as an alternative. Sometimes things can get in a way of accomplishing your goals, so always be open-minded to an alternative plan for the expected result.
By setting goals, developing plans, working to fulfil them and evaluating the process, you will be more likely to succeed in achieving those goals. Goal setting aids in creating the life you want. I hope that this article will bring us to a good start this year, enable us to set and achieve our goals.
Feel free to leave your comments below.