A Page From Experience – 5 things to Remember while Setting Goals

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During my engineering days, I once had an opportunity to attend a motivational seminar on the “Importance of Goals”.  By the end of the seminar I started to believe that I am the master of my fate.  That night, I promised to start a journey, a journey to carve out my own fate.  Next day, with all the positivity I was set to start the journey.

Soon I realized that I had a very vague idea of my goal, unlike to what the speaker in the seminar had suggested.  Though, I realized that engineering was not to my liking, I was unsure about my PG. The only thing which I knew was that I had to improve on my English.

A long passage of time has passed since then; I have done my MBA and I have achieved few significant possessions – the blessings and the love of people. But even today, my goal is as vague as ever.  On the hindsight, I have realized that  that with every passing experience, my goals kept on evolving.  I know what I am saying is against the conventional wisdom but this is the fact which I have experienced. And here, I am sharing my experience about the goals.

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  • Ever evolving need not mean unstable:

Life, Civilizations and Human Being, they all are ever evolving.  And so are goals. Evolution is not the sign of weakness or instability.  I believe it is perfectly all right to have only a vague sense of the goal.

If I look back, I had first decided to pursue MBA from abroad, then UPSC and then finally MBA from India.   My goals kept on evolving.  After MBA, I joined an MNC, then I started training people and now my new found goal is to be a writer in addition to a trainer.

  • How to deal with the vagueness of the goal?

Take Small Steps. The easiest way to deal with the vagueness is putting a small bit of effort everyday without fail.  Besides ensuring daily progression, small steps are also a good measure against the over commitment to one thing.

Though I was not very clear about my goal, I wanted to improve my English, which was a common testing area for most of the exams and jobs.  I started reading newspaper editorials daily. I also spent some time daily on building my word power.

  • Small Steps towards the goal should be  specific, quantifiable, realistic and challenging:

I have found many passionate people with the drive towards the goals, failing to make any significant headway, primarily because they set macroscopic goals which are difficult to measure.  So the aim should be to set small, measurable and challenging but realistic goals.   Setting such goals will at least help you to know the reasons of your success or failure, as the case may be.

Initially, I had set the goals of reading editorial daily and finishing a fixed number of sessions from the word power book.  Later when I enjoyed reading I set the daily target of finishing ‘N’ number of pages everyday of any book/novel.  I kept on changing the value of ‘N’ so as to find enough challenge.  Even for my writing,now  I have set a small goal of writing one blog every week.

  • Enjoy each small step:

Enjoying the process is another important aspect. Unrealistic or dissimulating targets make the process dull. Nobody knows the exact thing which will give him happiness, so the best thing is to keep on exploring new ways.  An amount of innovation in the process certainly brings the freshness, if not happiness.

For my English, I used to read letters to editor section of any random issue of the magazines and by reading the letters, I tried to build the entire previous issue of the same magazine.   I also remember writing the letters to the editor.  Once I did get my letter published in the letters section. To improve the retention of words, I used to associate them with some person or experience.  I also tried to mimic the accent of English News reporters.   For my current goal of writing,  I try to write on various aspects like, current affairs, book review and self experiences.  I don’t know if I am creative but I certainly like what I am doing.

  •  You define your goals, your goals do not define you:

This is by far the most important lesson on goals that I have learnt. Yes, one should look to stretch the limit but not at the cost of the peace of the mind.  Big and the unrealistic goals do not define one’s personality. Many have this belief that talking big is a sign of being ambitious.  It is one thing to set unrealistic goals and other thing to achieve them.  Walking the Small Talk is much better than Talking the Big Talk and Killing even the smaller dreams.  So, set the goals which suit your personality and temperament, that way you will be much happier in life.

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7 Comments

  1. I was eager to read this article !!
    A big thanks for writing this.
    First of all, a word about your writing.
    Its crisp, lucid and and makes for a good read.
    The reader can effortless go through your words while at the same time ponder deeply on the things you say.

    On goal setting:
    Well said, that we define our goals and its not the other way round. And its better if we set goals according to our temperament and personality.

    And yes I truly agree that we need to take small steps towards our goals, steps that are consistently executed everyday.

    A question comes to my mind:

    For eg.
    I wanna do a task, everyday, but I am not doing it.
    What does it mean?
    Does it mean I am lazy and not giving that task the right priority?

    Or does it mean that I should forget about it ?

    Doesn’t it mean that if really wanted to do it, I’d be already doing it?!

    • Ankit, it is very natural to be bit hesitant in initially about something… Generally we dont like doing something either because it is not something we want or even if want it, we are unable to get through the initial period of inertia… In either case give yourself time of 20-25 days, do the activity daily for 20 days… after that period if still u do not like to do it then it is not what you want…. I can also think of a fact – The pleasure should come once the task is done, befor we start it is natural to feel bit burdened…. So, if you enjoy the accomplishment of your daily task, the next day also you should do it by overcoming the inertia..

  2. Pingback: A Page from Experience – From an employee to self employed | Enlightened Sid

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