Something that we touch up on every single day is to talk about goals. Evey one has goals. Or rather, everyone loves to talks about their goals. At least if not talk, we like to think about goals. Setting goals is the thing of a new year’s eve. But of the number of goals that were set, how many of them have seen daylight. Those number of business plans you had in your head, some of which made into a word document, which of them ended up being a visible goal.

Importance of having goals

Having a goal is as important as eating. We tend to think that we have a goal, but if you think about it, how many of them are really goals? Most of them are just dreams and wishes. Every time you see a super car whiz by your side, you say “Ooh, I wish I had that” but that itself is self assurance that you are never going to have it in your life. Everything starts with a plan. You cannot wake up thinking something is just gonna work out and my bank balance is going to overflow. There is something that is required from your end as well.

Having a goal written down, mind you - written down, will tell you the exact direction that needs to be taken instead of wandering around without a direction. This gives you a clear idea of the amount of work that is required to reach your goals. While you are working and perfecting your craft to reach your goal, this also helps in evaluating if you are headed to the right direction. It will let you stop and reflect.

Why big goals?

So, why do you need to have a big goal? Why do you have to dream beyond what you think is within your reach. Because by setting a goal you are actually setting a ceiling to what you can achieve in life. You are mentally prepared thinking “this is the biggest I can ever achieve”. You end up making nothing more than what you think is “enough”. So to avoid this “ceiling”, make your goals bigger. If you dream of a million dollars, you might end up making a hundred thousand.

Do not look at your current circumstances and think that it’s difficult to make anything out of life. What you are today is a result of what you have done yesterday or the day before. But what you are tomorrow will be a result of what you do today. So, if not yet done, this is the time to set a high standard goal. So if it means less time watching YouTube and more of working on your craft, then do it right away!

Being specific with goals

While setting goals, it is easy to set a general goal. Something along the lines of “I want to lose weight”. This is a very general goal. It does not say how much weight you are targeting to lose. Rather you should say something like “I want to be 150 pounds by end of three months”, that is a very specific goal. You know where your target is, you know where you stand and that instantly tells you how much effort you need to put in. In this case you know weekly how much weight you are supposed to lose to reach that goal.

Generic: “I want more money”

Specific: “I want to make a million dollars in 2 years”

Breaking down the goals

Any goal seems like a big task to accomplish, but breaking it down to few miniature tasks. This helps in taking small steps to achieve a bigger goal. As you finish each task, it also gives you a sense of accomplishment. It motivates you to finish the next small chunk of work. So every time you take a small step, you are a bit closer to your goal. This way, it doesn’t feel like a huge effort to get things done.

Accountable partners

Procrastination is something we all are familiar with. Sometimes, you need an accountable partner to help keep a reality check on how much you are working towards your goal. Having someone to hold you accountable helps because you have someone else looking over and it is not just a commitment to yourself anymore. You start feeling responsible for your actions.

Deliberate practice

For becoming good in anything, you need to put in the hours and practice. Deliberate practice is the only way you can get things done. You have to force yourself to master your art by working on what you learn. Book and tutorials can only tell you how to do things. This means nothing until you actually do it. So make it a habit to really put in effort.

One way of doing this is by doing side projects. They help in sharpening your skills. Try building something. Nothing can replace the lessons you learn through experience.

Say No

You might need to do small sacrifices in order to become better in your skills. You might have to say no to certain things. Maybe a little less TV everyday and over weekends. Saying no to certain things is the only thing that makes time. But this can be hard, people will tend to feel offended when you say no to them. But in trying to make people happy by saying yes, you might be in turn disappointing yourself by not being able to do something for yourself. You do not owe anyone an explanation for saying no. After the initial backlash, your “yes” will have more weight.

The time that you get by saying no can be used to improve your craft. How much do you care about your “yes”? Think about it and decide when to say no. Your future self will thank you!

Investing back in yourself

And finally, you have to invest back in yourself. As you grow in your business or skill, invest back in yourself to aid in your self improvement. Keep yourself motivated by investing in yourself. This can be just signing up for that React.js classes that you had been planning to learn from a long time. Or it can be buying some new podcasting gear to improve the audio quality on your podcasts.

You control your steps to reach your goals. How you do it is entirely up to you. It needs self-discipline and commitment and motivation.