As every year ends, we start setting our goals for the new year. Usually we set goals as an end point or an outcome, for example: “save $25,000”, “to pass the licensure exam”, or “to lose 25 kilograms”. Here’s why these outcome-goals aren’t a good way to create your goals: it’s because we care more about the outcome than the actions that we need to do in order to reach them.
“Everyone wants the prize, but no one wants to pay the price.”
We care more about getting that $25,000 more than budgeting our expenses and savings every month. We care more about getting that license more than spending most of your licensure review days solving hundreds of problems. We care more about losing that 25 kg than working out everyday. While it makes sense, it’s one of the reasons why we are not able to meet our new years goals.
So what can we do about it?
Set challenging, yet realistic goals
Set big goals but make sure they are realistic. If you plan to save up $25,000 this year, but only managed to save $1,000, or maybe lose 25kg in January, then you might be setting goals that are too unrealistic. Check your performance last year, and make a more achievable goal. Make it challenging enough to reach, but not too easy to achieve.
Make specific plans
Your plans are what’s going to make you reach your goals with direction. When creating your plans, be as detailed as possible. What are the actions you need to do, when and how should you do them? Create a schedule and timeline which you are going to look at every now and then. If someone asks you how you are going to reach your goal, don’t be content with “I’m not sure, i’ll find a way”, make a plan and follow it instead.
Focus on your journey, not the goals
Throughout the whole year, follow your plans exactly as you planned them. There may be some bumps and problems along the way, but as much as possible, don’t deviate on your plan. If you absolutely need to deviate, try to compensate with a back up plan, so you won’t ruin your previous track.
Focus on taking the actions you named in your plans rather than focusing on the end goal and thinking how the hell are you going to get there.
Motivation is the best way to get your goals done. Whatever your motivation is–to have a good savings account, to look hot and sexy, or to be an engineer– keep those in mind when trying to reach your goals. It will be useful especially during those times where you want to give up. When you are on the verge of giving up, remember why you started in the first place.
Hopefully, these tips will help you reach one or all of your goals this year. Stay on track, do your best in everything you do, and reach your goals engineers!