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When setting goals, there are three things to consider.

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When setting a goal, there are three things to consider. I believe it is reasonable to assume that everyone has some form of aspirations, whether they are realistic or a little irrational. Our feelings of joy and anticipation take over when we eventually narrow our goals down to one or two that we really want to work for.

Reality then sets in.

I’m not sure what precisely occurs in our minds to make us doubt our capacity to accomplish new goals and pursue our aspirations, but something always seems to stand in the way. Perhaps it’s because we’ve failed in the past and are worried it will happen again. Whatever the cause, it adds a little bit of anxiety to the goal-setting process.

I am unable to sit here and give you step-by-step instructions on how to set and achieve your goals, but I can give you three questions to consider as you do so. These inquiries are meant to get you thinking about what you actually want and whether your objective needs to be adjusted to better suit your needs.

Is the Objective Measurable?

For a moment, try to remember what you said to your teacher about what you wanted to be when you grew up. I want you to think back to elementary school.

I declared that I would either become a teacher or an artist (clearly neither of those ended up working out for me).

When I was a child, I wanted to be one of these two types of people, but did I have a precise strategy or benchmark to follow?

No.

Instead, I had an image of what I believed would be something I would like. Instead of setting more manageable objectives to help me accomplish these bigger ones (such completing high school, enrolling in college, and earning my degree), I just wrote the goal down on paper and forgot about it for the rest of the academic year.

I realize that I was young and that I certainly didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, but don’t we all have these kinds of aspirations as we get older?

By the time I’m 50, I’ll be millionaire.
One day, I’m going to publish a book.
I want to return to school.
All of these are admirable objectives, but they cannot be measured.

You might wonder why having a measurable goal is so crucial. One benefit is that it gives you detailed instructions rather than a generalized view. So, if my objective were to create a book someday, I could make it more concrete by including a deadline:

Within the next 12 months, I plan to write a book.

Simple, yes? I can develop more specific goals to help me achieve my main objective once I’ve established a time range. For instance, I might set a goal for myself to write 50 of the 100 total pages by the end of the first six months.

When you can measure anything, you can set priorities more effectively and determine what has to be done when.
Are You Setting Aims That Can Be Attained?

I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but the truth is that not all of our ambitions will be within our grasp. Why? because some circumstances are beyond our control.

For instance, I might have decided to go see my relatives once a month this year in the Midwest. Unfortunately, neither my family will always be in town nor does my job provide enough paid time off for it to happen.

I want to make sure you are working toward objectives that are realistic and attainable because I want to see you achieve all of your goals and ambitions. The last thing you want to experience is a sense of failure for not accomplishing a goal that was never feasible to begin with.

3. Will the Objective Advance You?

Why waste time on something that won’t advance you in the world when achieving your goals requires work? Sure, you might want to accomplish a few minor things here and there, but should those really be defined objectives that you want to accomplish?

Several illustrations of objectives that could aid your progress include:

When you next get evaluated at work, get a raise. Enroll in a budgeting course to learn how to save costs. Attend a sustainability conference to learn how to live a greener lifestyle. Keep in mind that you only have so much time to live; make it count!

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