Advice 04 Jan
Living Your Best Life: How to Set Achievable Goals
By Juttima Chinnasri
I don't know about you, but I personally love setting goals! I have always started with the end results that I want to achieve then work backwards. For example, after losing my legs in 2018, I had to re-evaluate all my prior goals. I had to sit down, ask myself, and be really honest with myself whether certain goals were still achievable.
One of the newest & biggest goals I had was to be independent again. (I think many amputees or people with disabilities can relate with me on this one). Once I decided on the end objective, I started breaking it down into smaller goals. For instance, to be independent, I need to be able to drive, walk unaided and so on. Then I broke it down even further into smaller goals; you get the idea.
With each goal, you want to aim for it to be S.M.A.R.T. I'm not sure if you've heard of this before, but it refers to goals that are:
Using my small goal of walking unaided as an example, and if I were to set this goal when I was using crutches, my goal would look something like
"I want to be able to walk outside on non-grass & flat surface for at least 10 minutes by the end of December 2019".
You can see that I was particular about where exactly I wanted to walk. I could measure how long I wanted to walk for. It was an achievable goal as I didn't set it for me to walk up/down hills or walk for hours when I was just progressing from using crutches. This goal is also very relevant to my life and aligned with my bigger aim of being independent. It also gave me a rough time frame of when I expected to achieve this. I wanted to add a little note on the time, though, that when it comes to progress & recovery, we can't really compare our journey to other people's, so be mindful of that and don't get upset if you might have to give it a little more time.
Three things I want you to keep in mind when setting goals:
- Not all goals will be accomplished, and they can change. Why? Because let's be realistic, life is full of unexpected events, and we, as humans, grow! What you want in the next six months could be different to what you want in the next two years. So, you need to be somewhat flexible and hence why we should evaluate our goals regularly so we can adjust, make new plans and set new goals.
- What works well for me might now work for you. The only way to know is to try and find your sweet spot.
- You can control only what you can control. There’re many factors that contribute to achieving something. So don't be so hard on yourself! ☺
This goal-setting method works with every area of your life, whether finance, career, relationship, or health. Goals will save you time because you won't get distracted and spend time & energy on things that don't align with your visions. Therefore, you have more time to do something that you want! The most important thing when setting goals is you need to know the reason 'WHY' you want to achieve those goals. You can't just set goals that are not aligned with your intention. If they don't mean much to you, then you most likely won't follow through. Those goals are just going to sit on your lists forever, and if you don't have any goals, you are going to keep floating because you have no direction.
It's like what Gary Vaynerchuck said (I think it’s him, correct me if I am wrong), "Your dreams don't have to be big; they have to be yours". I believe the same things in terms of goals. So I would say, "Your goals don't have to be big; they just have to be yours".