Too many of us assume that setting goals and working on the best route to achieving these goals is unnecessary and if we just have a larger goal in mind and work towards it that should be enough. Well, guess what! That’s hardly the case! All of us have dreams, but we imagine that if we just keep plodding along, our dreams or goals will be reached sooner or later. This rarely works in practice.

Take for instance, a man driving a car headed towards a destination he is not familiar with. Instead of stopping at regular intervals and asking for directions before proceeding further, he drives blindly and stubbornly on ahead.  The result – he ends up driving around in circles. The journey would have been faster, not to mention less frustrating, if he had the forethought to drive towards the first familiar point on his route and then, after getting directions or referring to a map, move on to the next point and so on until he reached his final destination.

In much the same way, goal setting can be described as a process of fixing a set direction to reach your point of destination, whether in your personal, professional, emotional, or spiritual lives.

Why Most Goal Setting Plans Don’t Work

Imagine, for instance, that you have a successful business plan. You go about the whole goal setting process meticulously – defining the main goal (the successful business), as well as all the smaller goals that need to be realized en route to the main goal. This is, after all, one of the techniques for goal setting. But, you still find success to be elusive in spite of following all the rules by the book. The problem is not in the way you performed the goal setting techniques, but rather your understanding of the benefits that you hoped to gain. For instance, building up a successful business would mean the following:

  • Greater financial security for you and your family.
  • All the prestige that accompanies success.
  • Ability to spoil yourself and your loved ones with all the trappings of wealth.

These are the benefits that you would get from achieving your main goal and they serve as motivation for you.  They egg you on as you go about your goal setting process. If you can’t imagine the benefits of reaching your goal or if they don’t excite you enough, then the entire process of goal setting has been an exercise in futility.

How to Enhance the Success of Your Goal Setting Techniques

Be specific about the goals you set for yourself. “I want success.” is a very generic phrase because everybody wants to be successful. However, success might mean different things to different people. To one person it might mean becoming a Fortune 500 CEO, to another it may mean being able to put food on the table for the next twenty years. There’s nothing wrong with either of these goals, but they need to be specific to the person.

For successful goal setting, have a time limit in mind for the attainment of your goals. Set realistic goals. This doesn’t mean that you should not aim for the stars. However, keep a realistic state of mind, taking into account your level of talent and capabilities, as well as, your individual situation. If you presently don’t possess the talents or qualifications to reach your goal, make sure that one of your short term goals is to acquire some of those skills so that you can reach your long term goal.

This makes your goal setting process much more effective. Don’t set goals that do not reflect your own ambitions, even if they reflect the aspirations of those around you. If a high octane corporate career doesn’t interest you, then it shouldn’t be your goal, even if everybody around you seems to be in the thick of the rat race. Find your own goals and stick to your plan.  You will be well on your way to achieving success in whatever you desire.


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