This is the seventh article in the empowerment series -Setting and achieving meaningful goals. In 8 Things to Judge if you are Empowered I wrote that empowered individuals did not wait for the world to give them their next break. They set aspirational goals and work hard against all odds to achieve them.
There are many articles on the internet about goals setting, mission statements and how to guides of goal achievement. In a nutshell it is all about setting realistic aspirational goals, breaking these goals down to smaller goals and staying accountable for your goals. These aspirational goals emerge from knowing yourself and what motivates you.
As you have seen in my previous articles, I wish to use this article to help you look introspectively. Self awareness is the key to unlocking how you operate and the basis for any changes you would like to make to yourself. Empowered individuals are constantly asking themselves what they would do differently and following this through with corrective actions.
Let’s look at some common approaches that individuals use to set goals. Ask yourself these questions to understand your modus operandi.
A trusted mentor/friend or relative defines your goals
Some of us have the luxury of having supportive individuals like mentors in our life. Think about the decisions you have made in the last couple years.
How did you come up with these decisions?
Did you have any help in deciding?
What was your input?
What were their input?
How have these decisions worked out for you?
What if anything would you do differently?
Responsibilities prevent goal setting
We are not islands by ourselves. We are part of families, communities and countries. Sometimes we have responsibilities or incidents to navigate. E.g. Dependant family or a sudden illness. In these circumstances, we may have to put our goals on the back burner while we ensure that these responsibilities or incidents are taken care of.
Are there others you need to think of when making a decision?
How important are these individuals in your life?
Is there a personal issue that holds you back from setting goals?
How do you feel about this situation?
Is there anything these individuals can do to help you with your goals?
Is there anyone else who could help you with your goals?
Is there anything that you could do differently?
Goals just happened
Some of us have opportunities come our way. A mate may have introduced you to a new job. You may decide to go travelling or kickboxing as that is what your mates are doing. Again think about the decisions you have made in the last couple years.
What decisions or goals were influenced by your peers or others?
How much research do you do before you decide on a decision?
Do you consider different options before you decide?
How happy are you with your decisions?
What would you have done differently?
Took the easy option
Most times in life, we have several options at any given point in time. Some choose the easy option while others choose the harder one. A good example of an easy option would be staying at home with your parents while studying at university and not working. A harder option could be going to a well known university in another city and working part time as you have to cover the living costs.
Again think about the decisions you have made over the last few years
Were there any other options you could have taken?
What helped you decide on the options you took?
What if anything would you do differently?
What held you back from selecting an option?
Set aspirational goals
Setting aspirational goals is not as easy as one would think. Separating out your aspirational goals from your lower level needs is essential. For instance, a reasonable salary for the job you do is a basic need and getting promoted by the end of the next year is an aspirational goal.
Think about your current situation.
Do you have goals?
Are they aspirational?
Are they realistic?
What is the time frame?
Have you written them down?
Are you excited by them?
Have you broken these big goals into smaller achievable goals?
How often do you review your progress?
Do you visualize your goals?
If you are passionate about your goals, you will be thinking constantly about them. You will be on the lookout to see if there are opportunities to take you further on your journey. You will constantly scan the environment and do a lot of research to learn more and do more to get to your goal. It becomes your life.
I hope this article and the questions have helped you know yourself better in the goal setting and decision making arena. Be the master of your own destiny. Create those aspirational goals and pursue them with determination and passion. Don’t let your future happen to you. Create your future.
At Stridez we strongly believe in empowerment. At Sridez, our first release enables young graduates to approach getting their first job with this empowered mindset. If you are a young graduate, register now with Stridez.com.au and take your future into your own hands.