What Is a Goal? - Personal Development Goals

A Goal In General

In very achievement oriented cultures (like the North American and several European cultures, for starters) goals are usually given a lofty status. In these cultures goals are important, goals are good. And who am I to disagree?

Given that you want something, goals are in fact important. Because that is what goals are all about.

Goals have to do with intention and desire.

A goal is a state of affairs you want to achieve.

It's something you desire and intend to achieve - often within a timeframe, a deadline. Viewed like that your goals are your plans for the future.

And finally, in order to achieve a goal you usually need to take some sort of action.

So, what is a goal?

Briefly put, you might define a goal as 'a desired, intended and projected (future) state of affairs that is achieved after specific steps are taken (action)'.

What Is a Goal? More Specifically
- Sample Goals Objectives

Your goals might be concrete, like things you want to do or materials possessions you want to own - or they might be less concrete, like feelings or states of being you want to experience (e.g. love, inner peace or happiness).

A goal can also be very general in nature - like a direction you want to move in. 'I choose to create a better life for myself' is an example of such a general goal.

The more you define your goal and the means you will use to achieve it, the easier it becomes to both do what it takes and to measure your success.

'I choose to create a better life for myself using personal development, self improvement and spirituality for overcoming low self esteem and letting go of unhealthy relationships' is the same goal, only much more precisely defined.

Regardless of whether the things you desire are tangible or not, setting them as pretty precisely defined goals can help you get there.

"A Goal is a Time Based Target Achievement ..."

Long, Medium and Short Term Goals

If you make it simple, goals basically come in three variants:

- short term goals, which are usually quick and easy to achieve
- medium term goals, which are usually medium fast and medium hard to achieve
- long term goals, which are usually the hardest and slowest to achieve

For example, you may set the goal of growing your business to three other states in the next three years; or to earn 50 percent more money next year; or to lose a specific amount of weight in three months; or to have better relations with your family starting tomorrow.

That last one (better relations), by the way, is very loosely defined. This does not mean that setting it as a goal is untenable, not at all. But if you keep your goal like that it does make for at simpler approach. Check one such approach out in the goal setting article: How to Set Goals Easily - Goal Setting for Kids and Smart Adults .

What Is a Goal? - It's a Focus for Your Attention and Effort ...

Setting Goals and Achieving Them

So, what's the point of setting goals?

Well, in short setting goals is a powerful way to get your attention focused in a certain direction, getting you to make the right decisions and take the right actions that will get you there.

And keeping your attention locked on the goal also has the very nice side effect of making any obstacles you encounter and setbacks you suffer on the way seem like positive challenges, or, at worst, mere bumps in the road.

The great American industrialist Henry Ford once said it very succintly: "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal."

What Is a Goal? - I Hope This Question Has Been Answered Now ...

Personal Development Goals

Personal development goals are important, as they are the goals that you will strive to achieve over the course of your life.

They aren’t professional goals that you are working towards, nor are they financial or business goals. They are simple goals for personal development, goals that will help you to become a better person in the way that you see best.

Personal goal setting is very important, as setting personal goals and goal planning will ensure that you are making progress for the rest of your life. You won’t need to study up on any goal setting theory, but some tips on setting goals can be helpful.

Why is Goal Setting Important?

Goals are necessary if you are going to make anything of yourself, and the truth is that without a goal you never really have anything to work towards.

Humans need goals, as these goals help them to know what they want to achieve, how they are going to achieve them, and what they need to do today and every day in order to reach those goals. “Without a vision, the people perish” says The Holy Bible, and the truth is that goals are needed in order to continue to make personal progress.

As you work towards your goals, you will find that you are making slow or fast steps of progress. You are able to measure your forward movement, and you will find that being able to quantify your achievements will help you to build confidence in your life.
The more confidence that you can build, the more successful you will continue being in your life.

Setting goals means that you will be able to achieve these goals, which will in turn lead to your being confident in setting more goals that you will also work towards in the future.

Some Examples of Goals to Set

But what goals should you set in your own life? Here are some personal development goals that you can set in your life, goals that will help you to work towards improving yourself in both your personal and professional life:

Discovering and Building an Identity

Everyone has their own identity, but sometimes our identity is influenced by those around us. One of the most important personal goals that you can set is the discovery of your own identity.

You think of yourself one way, and you need to determine if that is the person that you want to be. If you don’t want to be that person, you need to set about building the identity that you want to be.

The truth is that building your own identity isn’t going to be easy, but it’s important that you work on building an identity based on the things that you really find are the most important in your life. You need to work on becoming the person that you want to be, and you should set actionable goals that will help you to reach those personal development milestones.

Choosing Your Lifestyle

What is the kind of life that you want to lead?

Many people have a lifestyle that has been thrust on them by outside influences, such as by their parents, their work, and their location.
Is that the lifestyle that you want to live, or do you want to live differently from the way that you are currently living?
You may not have the perfect life, but that perfect life really is achievable.

The truth is that you can live the way you want to, but it’s all about defining steps that will help you to reach the lifestyle you want.
Will you need to get a job in a different country, or will you need to spend less hours working?
Think about what lifestyle you want, and set a goal to reach that lifestyle – along with all the little steps that you will need to take in order to achieve that goal.

Reaching Your Dreams

Everyone has dreams that they want to one day reach, but how realistic are those dreams for you? Are you really able to reach the dreams that are still in the distant future, or are they realistic and within your grasp. If you want to reach your dreams, you are going to have to start making progress towards those dreams.

Your dreams are not going to be easy, as dreams never are.

You may want to work fewer hours, travel the world, or marry a supermodel – but what are you doing that will make those dreams possible?
Every dream is possible, but you will need to take steps that will get you going in the direction of those dreams. If you can start making those steps today, you will reach your dreams one day!

These are just a few examples of personal development goals that you can set, and the truth is that there are quite literally hundreds of goals that you can decide for your life.
If you are serious about becoming the best man or woman that you can be, those goals will need to be clearly defined and laid out in a way that you can take action on them. Setting actionable goals is a challenge, but it can be done!

How to Set Actionable Goals

Here are some tips to help you set goals that you can actually act on – goals that you will be able to achieve and succeed in!

1. Be specific – If you aren’t specific, you will never really know what you want to achieve. If you say, ‘I want to get rich’, you’re never really going to know what your goal is because there is nothing specific about ‘getting rich’.
The purpose of setting actionable goals is clearly defining what you want to achieve, as well as what needs to be done. A better goal is ‘I want to earn $100,000’, while an even better goal is ‘I want to earn $100,000 in the next 10 years.’
The more specific the goal is, the easier it will be for you to break it down.

2. Give the goal limits – Remember how you said, ‘I want to earn $100,000 in the next 10 years’? Well, this is a goal that has limits, meaning that you know exactly what needs to be done in order to reach that goal. If you have 10 years for the goal, it means you need to earn $10,000 every year.
All of a sudden your goal is much clearer, and you can start taking steps that will lead you towards achieving your goals.

3. Make sure it’s realistic – You can say ‘I want to earn $100,000 in the next 10 years’, but is that even possible? Are you earning anywhere near that much, or are you barely scraping by on what you have?
Goals have to be realistic, or else you will just get discouraged that you can never accomplish anything that you set out to do. An unrealistic goal will just frustrate you, so it’s important that you look at your goals and determine ‘Can I really do this, or is it just wishful thinking?’

4. Make sure it’s set high – Your purpose in setting goals is to ensure that you are making progress in your life, especially in the area of personal development. Your goal of earning a lot of money is something that may or may not be possible, but if it is, how much are you stretching yourself?
Most of your personal development goals will be a challenge, but just how much of a challenge are you going to set for yourself? You need to set the bar high, as that will force you to stretch and grow as only humans can. If you set the bar high, you will force yourself to make sufficient progress.

5. Be sure it’s functional – There are goals that you can start working on now, or at least working towards. If you are able to work towards a goal, it is functional and should be on your list of personal development goals. If you have to wait until you get married, you turn 45, or you sell your current house, the goal may have to go on the back burning until such a time as you can start working on the goals.
Start working on the functional goals right now, and leave the other goals until later.

6. Make it quantifiable – If you have goals, make sure that you can measure your progress as you go. You can’t just expect that you will suddenly be “improved” or “developed” once you reach the end of your time period set for the goal, but you will need to monitor your progress as you make goals.

If you can monitor your progress, you can determine if your progress is adequate, if you’re going too slowly, or if you’re making more progress than you had originally thought. By quantifying your progress, you can ensure that you are going at the right rate.

7. Make it count – How important are these goals to you? Is it just a goal that you are setting because you think that it SHOULD BE important to you, a goal that someone else thinks is important, or a goal that you find really matters to you?
These goals that you set are going to challenge you, but why should you push yourself for something that you don’t find important?
The best goals are the ones that you really want to work towards, as those are the goals that really count. If you set goals that you are passionate about, you will strive towards progress no matter what.

8. Put it into action – Once you have set the goals that you want to work towards, don’t wait until you find the perfect time to start working towards that goal. It’s time to get cracking right now, and there’s absolutely no point in waiting for the future.
There is no better time than now to get started, so what are you waiting for? Get working towards your goals, and you will find that you have made more progress than you would have had you started a while down the line.

9. Keep it up – Putting goals into practice and starting to work on them is only Step 1, and the truth is that goal setting is just the beginning.
It is going to be a long and arduous process to keep up with the goals that you have set, and you are going to have to continue working towards achieving your goals as you go. It won’t work if you just start out full steam, but then you slow down as you run into more and more obstacles.
You are going to have to keep up with the progress you are making, as that is the only way that you will make it through to the end.

10. Check your progress – How much progress are you making? Are you finding that your progress is slower than you might want, or are you going faster than you had expected?
It’s important that you check on your progress, as that is the only way that you will be sure that you are really achieving all that you can and should be achieving. You can have an outside party assess your progress as well, as getting an outside perspective is the key to really getting an accurate view on what you have achieved and how much progress you have made. It can be from a friend, a professional, or from a stranger, but get that outside evaluation.

The truth is that personal development goals are going to be a lot harder to reach, as your goals will be with your personality and your abilities. It is harder to make progress with these goals, but it’s important that you continue to develop yourself in order to become the successful person that you want to be!

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