Clear Goal Setting: Vital to Enhance Personal Effectiveness
Some popular and unclear goals that people have are:
- I want to lose weight.
- I want to improve my English.
- I want to stop wasting time.
- I want to be more assertive.
These problems or goals generally remain perpetual, elusive goals. Goal attainment requires systematic planned effort, backed by solid motivation. A major problem hampering personal improvement is unclear or wrong definition of goals. Obviously if the target is unclear it cannot be achieved. Establishing clear goals is vital for enhancing personal effectiveness. In this blog I have attempted to explain as to how we can set goals and the importance of clear goal setting in enhancing personal effectiveness.
Discussion of an Example of a Popular Goal: I Want to Lose Weight
The principles of goal setting are SMART: Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. I will not get into the details of trying to explain these because this theory can be seen from various other sources. Let us analyse the practical resolution of the problem.
- If you consult a dietician then your goal can get defined as: By following a strict diet plan of measuring calories you are advised to lose 4 kg in the first month and then lose weight at a slower rate to finally lose 12 kg in six months and then continue the diet plan for life or risk gaining back the weight.
- If you consult a gym instructor and train in the gym then your goal can be defined in a very similar manner with considerable more focus on cardio exercises and protein intake, apart from diet. The goal attainment is likely to be more effective.
If you consulted me then I would tell you to forget about the weight loss goal. The goal itself is weak because same weight persons can vary greatly in the fat or muscle percentage content in their bodies. A more muscular person will be apparently slimmer than a less muscular person of the same weight. We will tackle the problem by incorporating lifestyle changes to enhance personal effectiveness to derive most lasting results. We will get our focus on cardio and strength goals. We will not measure calories intake, but incorporate practicable diet habits to meet your long term needs of energy, metabolic rate, strength and endurance. The measurable goals to be attained in a time bound manner could be like:
- Be able to run/walk 5 km in a specified time by a specified date.
- Be able to do specific number of push ups, sit ups and chin ups by a specified date.
Once you achieve the above goals you will realise that your weight loss goal (which could have been actually an appearance goal) has been achieved with greater permanence. It has also made you fitter and given you a healthier lifestyle which is inherently more motivating to follow than the other two methods discussed.
Clear Goals Vital for Enhancement of Personal Effectiveness
I have just discussed one example. This example illustrates the significance of establishing clear goals to enhance personal effectiveness. We can use similar method to establish clear goals in any field for ourselves to make their attainment more realistic and permanent and enhance our personal effectiveness.