Set goals and reach further

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Someone said that “If you do not know where you are going, you are never lost” but I would rather say “If you do not know where you are going, the chance of ending up where you really want to be is slim.” People tend to discuss goals around new years eve but unfortunately most of them do not evolve to anything else than just a small talk. It is a shame that so many people have not realized the power of goals and sees it as something painful and unnecessary when they really should see it as something inspiring and powerful.

The simple reason why people fail with their goals is that they are doing it wrong.

One way of formulating a goal is to use the SMART-model.
S – Specific: WHAT are you going to do, WHY is this important and HOW are you going to do it?
M – Measurable: Make sure you can measure it so you know when you are on the right track.
A – attainable: The goal should be attainable but can not be too easy either. It should be a challange so you get proud when you succeed.
R – Realistic: The goal need to be do-able so when you have come up with a goal, the next step is to make a plan.
T – Timely: Define a date when the goal should be completed. This gives a sense of urgency and a clear target.

I think the most common errors people do when setting goals are:

  • They are too vague when formulating them e.g. “I should go to the gym more often”.
  • The goal is not measured, except maybe at the end of the next year when they say “Ah, it did not work this time either”. What’s get measured, gets done so do it regularly, at least once every quarter. and verify progress, learn and align your actions.
  • They keep their goals “in their heads”. If you do not print down your goals they are just a dream. There is nothing wrong in dreaming but do not see them as goals because they most probably only stay as a dream.
  • They do not make the goal attractive enough and do not specify why they should complete the goal. The “Why” is critical in order to get the inspiration and energy that is essential to reach the goal.

Ok, and what if you still do not reach a goal. SO WHAT??? The meaning of goals is what the pursuit of the goal makes of you rather than the goal itself. How have you improved your or someone elses’ condition by working towards this goal? It is better to complete 2 out of 10 set goals and have some progress on the others than to not set any goals since then there is no chance of completing them.

You can see the practice of setting goals in the same way as training your muscles at the gym, start easy and set heavier and heavier goals as you get stronger in completing them.


  1. Motivate people – an impossible mission? | Håkan Ramberg - pingback on August 14, 2011 at 14:05

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