Goal setting is just a process of thinking and planning your preferred future, a way of inspiring and motivating yourself to turn your dreams into reality with the help of an action plan.
Most of the people around us are not clear about their goals. Believe me; even if one has got an IQ of 180 he hasn't the clarity about his goals. People usually take up something, correct themselves along their path, and eventually they fall in love with something and want to delve deeper in that particular thing.
Goals are not set and static. Goals are discovered along the way while you're taking action in any field. They are not black or white, actually they are grey.
But there are some techniques like the one suggested by the management guru Peter Drucker that would help you set your goal.
This technique is called SMART, a mnemonic for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
Let's talk about each of them individually.
#Specific: your goal needs to be specific. It should answer the following question - what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve this goal, who all will be involved, what could be the factors which might stop you or help you to move forward.
For instance, suppose you want to be rich, how rich? These are some of the questions which need to be answered while defining your goal.
#Measurable: you should be able to measure the progress of your goal then only you will be able to know if you are moving in the right direction.
#Achievable: you need to answer yourself whether you have the resources or skills required for the goal you have set for yourself. What could be the probable reason which might stop you from pursuing this goal?
#Relevant: this stresses on the importance of choosing the goal that matters. If you did your class 12th in commerce, then you went to a commerce college to pursue B.com and now if you are setting up a goal of being an astronaut, it seems irrelevant here. Your goal need to match your other resources and should be applicable to your current socio-economic conditions.
#Time-Bound: it stresses on the importance of assigning a time frame to your goal. It would help you to keep track of your progress. Moreover it would impart a sense of urgency to your goal and would help you to stay more focused.
Give a man a bow and arrow and ask him to "SHOOT" and his first response would be, "at what?" When there is no target there is no purpose of shooting.
On the other hand if you give the archer a target and challenge him to hit the target, everything changes. Now you have given him something to aim at, something to challenge his skills against, something to measure his progress with and above all you have given him a purpose.
This is exactly what a goal does to a person's life, it changes the whole perspective.