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The Art of Accomplishing Goals

Sana Mohammed Wednesday, November 22, 2023
The Art of Accomplishing Goals

The Goal, by definition, means an aim or a desired result. We all have goals of different forms in our lives, such as academic goals, career goals, personal development goals, physical goals, talent goals, the list goes on. Also, some goals may be long term goals and some may be short term goals based on the duration and effort it takes for one to reach the destination. In fact, voluntarily or involuntarily we have set many goals in our lives. Our endeavors and hope to achieve such goals is a key driving force that keeps the life moving forward with excitement. To borrow the words of renowned American Clinical Psychologist, Fitzhugh Dodson, “without goals and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” Thus, goals are our destinations without which the life is meaningless.

Setting the goals, setting the pathway through an appropriate plan, implementing the plan and thereby achieving the goals, together is an art that requires meticulous efforts. Let us analyze primary essentials of each process which is key in successfully achieving the goals.

Setting the Goals

As mentioned in the introductory part of this Article, goals by nature are of different types. Regardless of the nature of goals, the first and primary task is to ‘Set the Goal’. By way of an example, a student wishes to get admission into any Engineering branch within any reputed University. Here, his goal is too general as it lacks specificity, and therefore we cannot say that he has effectively set the goal. For an operative goal setting, he has to be specific in his goal. Therefore, first thing he has to do is to take a closer look, evaluate and identify through asking questions to himself what ultimately he wants and love to do in life. Such closer evaluation will help him to land on specifically the branch of engineering studies he want to pursue. This should be followed by another evaluation and identification of the best University that will provide such course. Now, he can set his goal as “Get Admission for AB Engineering Course in CD University”. Thus, two primary essentials of setting goals are Evaluate & Identify (in short E&I process) our realistic requirement as the goal.

Once such specific goal is chosen, it has to be written in specifically and expressly in a Master Book which book will serve as the controlling document during the entire journey towards achieving the goal. Most important is to carve the goal within the mind, as deep as possible, so that the thought get cemented within and be with us always as an integral part of him. This helps in involuntarily getting our actions coordinated towards one destination – the goal.

Setting the Pathway

Setting the goal is only the first step towards a long journey which is relatively an easy task in comparison with the other essentials in the journey. The larger part of the success is in planning the pathway towards the goal. As Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” So, plan and prepare the pathway well.

The first task to land on a good plan is by identifying realistically the available time frame for achieving the goal that has been set. The timelines are backbones of all plans without which goals remain just as dreams. Always remember to have a comfortable time frame. Imposing a tight schedule may get to exhaustion, ultimately leading to abandoning of goals.

Once a time frame is identified, now it is time to make a pathway towards the goal. The best way for this is to understand our goal well in detail and all the associated matters. Once the picture is clear, split the goals into smaller intermediate sub-goals with time lines, anticipated obstacles, strategies, etc. Write the time bound sub-goals and other details in the Master Book. In the example we have looked at above, through a close study of the admission process, required parameters, nature of admission exams, previous question histories, weightage, etc., effective sub-goals can be prepared with intermediate milestones. Collecting study materials, discussing with successful students, subject matter experts, etc., can be few out of many sub-goals that can be worked out. Once a plan is set as above, we are good to go into the implementation stage. With a good plan, we are almost half way towards our goal!!

Implementing the Goal Plan:

During the implantation stage, remaining focused is the main challenge. One way to maintain the focus is by periodically reviewing the goal plan, marking the progress within the Master Book, identifying the shortfalls and if required adapting the plan to meet new challenges. One popular technique to maintain the dedication is by rewarding ourselves for achieving sub-goals. The rewards can be like watching a movie, spending time with friends, visiting favorite restaurant, etc.!! Another technique is to think often about the benefits we will get once the goal is achieved which serves as a motivational factor. Simple but strong techniques like these keep our dedication alive. Always remember, ultimately hard work brings rewards!

A Personal Example from My Life:

It was my childhood dream to learn a martial art for self-discipline, healthy physique and for self-defense. Realizing that to accomplish my dream, I need to further push it by setting it as a time bound specific ‘goal’ with a detailed plan, I discussed the matter with my parents, teachers and other elders. With their valuable help, I decided to choose ‘Karate’ as the martial art that I would learn and accordingly, set my goal specifically as secure ‘Karate Black Belt’ in 5 years’ time. A detailed plan was made sub-dividing my goals, such as institute I will enroll, time I will dedicate for learning, work-out plans at home and most important different time frames for achieving various sub-belts and levels before the black belt level itself. The plan was refined many times in discussion with trainers in this martial art. Finally, all was set and I started my journey towards my goal in the year 2014 when I was 7 years old. It was a long journey but a consistent and dedicated approach and able support from my well-wishers, especially the trainers, helped to move forward gradually with my plan. Each sub-milestones, such as other belt levels of yellow, orange, etc., were achieved during the journey. Finally, in 2018, I was awarded the black belt – a dream come true! I strongly believe that it was the proactive ‘goal and the plan’ setting that helped me to make the journey comfortable towards the goal.

Recap:

The art of accomplishing goals successfully depends on (1) Setting the Goal through Evaluation & Identification, (2) Setting the Pathway through time bound Plans (3) Implementing the Plans with dedication. To quote the words of Earl Nightingale, an American writer, “People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.” Let us set and plan our goals ably so that no dreams remain as dreams for ever with us.

Sana Mohammed
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