Your goals are what you intend to achieve. We all, at every point in time, have things we intend to achieve. It can be a long term goal or a short term goal. The result then depends on how well you play your game; the tactics you use in achieving the set goals.
A short or mini-term goal is what you intend to achieve within a short period, like in the next few minutes or hours or days. A long term goal on the other hand is what you intend to achieve in months or years.
Either way, a plan has to come first on how you can actualize those goals.
How then do you plan?
First, you need to think of what your goals are. Set SMART goals. Your goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
“I want to be the greatest person in the universe”. That’s a goal, quite alright, but it’s not smart. There’s nothing to show how I intend to achieve it. There are millions of people out there who intend to be the greatest in the universe. How then do you break past them and conquer? Is it by saying it aloud and not working towards it?
You need to be specific first. Greatest in what sense? Do you mean from all walks of life in a particular sector? Do you want to be the greatest in the medical field? Or in the football field? If it’s in the general sense, it is in no way specific; you still need to have a starting point, else you’ll be about and everywhere and you end up not getting what you want.
The goal should be measurable. Measurable in that it must be of significant importance. You don’t want to waste your time working on a particular goal that will add no value to your life or the world eventually.
Let your goal be one that is achievable. When you talk about being the greatest person in the universe, is it something that can be achieved on your end? While it’s not bad to strive for the best, you also need to be certain of how far you can go with it, so you don’t end up a failure to yourself. Don’t set your goals so high that you end up a loser.
Be realistic. If you make your goals S-M-A and forget the R, you’re on a long thing. “I’ll bring dinosaurs back into existence” might be a goal with good intentions, but completely unrealistic. You need to be real with yourself. Don’t tell yourself you will be a certified medical doctor in 4 years when you are barely done with high school. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set BIG goals; just be real with them. If you have to cook a pot of rice before going out, and you know it will take you about 30 minutes, don’t plan to leave the house within 15 minutes. Unless of course, you want to leave your rice undone.
Your goals should be time-bound. Do you want to be the greatest person in the universe? When?
Every goal should be time-bound; a goal should have an end and accomplishing it means you have already met the specific time attached to it.
Some big goals may have to be broken down into mini-goals. If you intend to be the best graduating student in the university, you can start by breaking it down. Set mini-goals like being excellent in your assignments, tests, and class activities. Do it yearly and it’ll eventually add up to an overall excellent result. Voila! You are there.
By making your goals SMART, you are already on your way to achieving them. But what happens when procrastination sets in and you don’t achieve them within the set time-frame?
Procrastination is simply the act of delaying to take action. Unfortunately, a lot of us fall into this at every point in time and it destroys our plans eventually.
If your goals are SMART, you should have every reason to accomplish them, especially considering that it is time-bound. The time factor should propel you to work towards getting it done before the actual time. An important factor to help you here is focus and diligence.
I think procrastination is in levels. For those who do it effortlessly, they simply lack focus and probably just lazy. The dangerous thing about procrastination is that it puts you in a tight corner and you find out that you have too many things to do all at once when you simply could have relieved yourself by doing some at their appointed time and not procrastinating.
Of course, there are times when procrastinating is inevitable, but you can always ensure you meet up with the goal, no matter what.
If you want to have a proper plan for your future and see it manifest, procrastination shouldn’t be tolerated. Do all you can to avoid it. Try it with your mini goals daily and see it reflect on your bigger goals.
Whatever thing you do, aim for the best, and be realistic. Plan your future and work towards it gradually. This will guide you on how you live your life each day; you won’t be confused on the path to walk through and it will help you choose your friends wisely. You can easily cut out friends and activities that have no impact in your life because you know what you’re aiming for and they’ll only be a total waste of time.
How are you preparing for the future? What are the steps you are taking? Do you have your goals written down clearly? Are your goals SMART? Are you gradually living the life you’ve always wished to have?