For most of our awake time, we are focused on outside and seldom get time to focus on ourselves.
We set distant life goals like cracking that exam, having that coveted car, purchasing a new house, getting the promotion and what not. These goals are very admirable and have the capacity to change our lives forever.
But, just as an ocean is made of countless single drops, the long term goals are made up of small personal goals that are achieved daily and regularly.
A reputed Life Coach Ritu Singal often quotes the moral of the famous Aesop’s tale about a race between a hare and a tortoise, “slow and STEADY wins the race.” She emphasizes being steady and says, “to achieve personal goals in life, it is important to be regular, punctual, and consistent in taking small steps if you wish to cover long distances eventually.”
What are Life Goals?
Personal goals in life are the milestones that tell you are on the right path.
They help you understand life and fulfil its purpose by bringing a balance in it and taking the stress out of it.
You become self-motivated, positive and cheerful with personal goal setting and goal achievement. Here are some personal goals examples:
- I will learn a new recipe every week
- Wake up at least 30 minutes early in the morning and go out for a 30-minute walk
- I will record daily if I was angry of frustrated with someone, why, did I react to it or manage it
- I will devote 2-hrs each week to maintain my garden
Life Coach emphasizes that your goal setting should be S.M.A.R.T. as in:
- Specific – Goal must be specific and not vague
- Measurable – If you can’t measure it you cannot track your progress
- Achievable – you cannot set a goal to do space walk in a year’s time!
- Relevant – All goals must align towards your long term goals
- Time-bound – always assign a realistic time frame for goals to be achieved
Without making your personal goals in life S.M.A.R.T., you cannot expect to achieve them sooner or later. They would be as good as most New Year’s resolutions.
Simple and small goals bring you closer to success, every day, one step at a time.
You can have short-term or long term goals. They can be divided into multiple categories depending on the aspects of life they impact most visibly.
- Personal Improvement
- Professional Life
- Family Life
- Financial Life
- Social Life
Whatever the category, each goal affects all aspects of life.
Personal goals can nourish your soul, mind, body, and whole persona.
This translates into better financial opportunities and more reliable and sustainable rewards.
Personal Goals Examples to Help You Set Your Own Goals
Certified Life Coach has shared some of her own personal goals as examples with us to help our readers understand how these goals can follow the S.M.A.R.T. strategy and become an aid in achieving the larger and long term goals.
As a Life Coach meets many people with varied problems and expectations.
People in problem look at it from a static perspective and have trouble looking at it from a different point of view, they cannot look at the obvious solution.
If someone is troubled for a very long time, they might think that it is the end of life and there is no way out or no one to help them.
She provides solutions to these and many other troubles by making them aware and release of the true problem and its solutions.
The answers to all such issues emanate from the empathy shown to such people.
Just like a great sculptor once said, “the statue was already in the stone, I just removed the extra baggage and brought out the hidden masterpiece,” she acts as a catalyst bringing out the best in them.
- Practice Active Listening
Hearing is not listening and listening is different from Active Listening.
Active listening requires you to actively show to the speaker that you are not only listening but making all efforts to understand. You rephrase, nod and concur, with their points if you agree.
Or you raise doubts & questions to debate all aspects of the matter in hand.
In the process you and the speaker both gain knowledge, mutual respect and trust. Active listening requires paying attention and showing you truly value others’ opinions.
- Face Ambiguity
We make irrational decisions when faced with uncertainty and ambiguity. Uncertainty and unknown have been our biggest fears since we lived in cages.
Life Coach makes her clients to play out all the possible scenarios that can happen in a situation. You can also watch her video on “how to face a difficult situation”. She makes them write such scenarios with their likelihood of occurring. Then like a game of chess, she makes them write further future scenarios.
Once done, the participants feel more confident about the future. This confidence comes from the fact that they have now materialised and given shape to an unknown and can now see it more clearly. Especially the worst-case scenarios and prepare for the same.
- Know Yourself
She is a spiritual person actively practicing passive and active spiritual techniques to bring her mind to a state of nothingness.
In this state, she professes; she can see herself as she is, without any prejudices, masks and social conditionings.
This helps her become a better person and Life Coach than she was the last day.
Getting along with you is a requisite to getting along with others. In her workshops, she practices such spiritual techniques to help her clients see the same blissful state.
- Let Go
Our tendency to cling to our past and anxiety over the unknown future are two hooks that pull us down.
They are the biggest obstacles in our personal growth and success, as they make our judgement cloudy and irrational.
She suggests practicing the Buddhist technique of “Let Go” by literally actively letting go of something special (every week) and visualizing that you are ridding yourself of a past memory or an anxiety while doing so.
The act has to be real and physical to make a strong neural impact on our brains for a lasting influence.
- Read 20 Pages Daily
All successful people learn from the mistakes of others and don’t repeat them. They learn about those mistakes and tricks to avoid them by reading a lot and on a variety of subjects. If you don’t read, then set a goal of reading at least 10 pages daily in week 1, then 15 in week two and going up to 50 pages daily.
Nothing has ever had more influence on the human mind than the collective wisdom contained between two hardcovers. She often quotes Mark twain to her clients and friends “a person who does not read, is no better than a person who cannot read.”
- Early to Rise
Life Coach points out that most successful people start their day early.
They exercise, meditate, connect with the self, and gain energy to last a long gruelling working day of 14-18 hours.
You may not need such a long working day but getting up early and walking alone will make you look much younger than you are. And that is a good enough motivation in itself!
Add meditation and healthy breakfast, and you have a super energy combo.
Early risers are more cheerful, healthy, and productive than others.
- Walk for 30 Minutes Daily
Once you wake up early, you’ll have too much time, so use it to increase your wealth!
You know, health is wealth!
Hit the road “running” and walk, jog, do Yoga, join a gym, do anything but sit and home and sip tea or coffee.
Scientists suggest that by working out in moderation for at least 160-200 minutes per week, you can put at bay the risks for heart diseases, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even depression.
If you don’t have enough time in the morning, then make sure to walk on your calls, every time, during the day and then walk in the evening, daily.
Even at office if you don’t absolutely need to, and then keep standing. Even take and attend meetings standing to make them sharp, focused and to the point.
- Be Visible
If you are one of those who are never missed at any gathering, then it is time to speak and be visible.
To be seen and respected, you first need to be heard.
Set a goal to practice for 15 minutes talking about your opinion and ideas with impact in the meeting.
Write a sequence of concepts and ideas you will discuss ahead of each meeting and prepare a set of relevant and pertinent questions to ask after studying the agenda.
- Connect with at least 3 People this Week
Professional networking is what takes one ahead of others. It is so important for career development, that Dale Carnegie wrote a book on it!
Make a goal to connect with at least 2 people who are not already in touch for the last 4 weeks, and 1 person who is out of touch for at least 6 months.
To add spice, set a goal to connect with a new person each month and attend 2 networking events this quarter.
- Give Back
Nature and our society have given us many things to be thankful for. We owe our successes to many seen and unseen people working to make it possible for us to be here at a position of strength.
As a conscientious and an able member of it, it is now our turn to contribute for its well-being.
Set a goal to dedicate 2 to 4 hours every week for community service in any form – teaching at local school, coaching kids in sport, serving food and clothes to the homeless, caring for the homeless and stray animals.
- Paying-off Debt in 6 Months
Debt for investment like business or home is an investment that is expected to grow and benefit the debtor in the long run.
On the other hand, debt for cars, personal expenses and credit cards are consumption expenditures with no future value. They have become so easy, that people are getting into the debt trap.
Life Coach tells that many young clients of her are deep in debt, on the noose of EMIs and are living paycheck to paycheck.
It is one of the foremost reasons for stress and family discord in their lives.
So, set a goal for clearing all credit card dues in 2 months, all personal loans in next 2 months and all auto loans in the next 2 months.
Promise yourself that you will only spend on essentials till you have paid off 100% of the unsecured and short-term debt on consumption expenditure.
- Limit Screen Time
When we are at home we stare at our mobiles or indulge in TV. Even at the dining table everyone has their phones in one hand and no one relishes the food and enjoys the company.
We continuously stare at screens for the most part of our work with most of it being done online.
Doing so becomes our habit so much so that we need it while driving or in the loo! We need to see anything on our screens, even if it is filth.
She suggests limiting the screen time at home to 90 minutes and gradually reducing it up to 30 minutes.
This gives us more time with family and relieves the stress on our eyes.
With this strict limit in place, we will watch only what is absolutely necessary.
- Eat Green
“A healthy mind resides in a healthy body”, she often quotes.
Having a nourishing rich diet with fruits, vegetables, nuts, cereals and dairy will keep you fit, active and boost your immunity.
Make a goal to have raw salad as part of lunch and dinner and eat one seasonal fruit daily.
Cluttering and hoarding indicate our deep attachment, possessiveness and longing for the past as well as a tendency to put important things off.
Ritu Singal shares the story of a young client who was constantly in a state of irritation, confusion and depression. He could not see a pencil on a typical office desk or find the appointment in his diary.
This made him the butt of jokes in the workplace and further instigated his irritation. His depression got severe each time he saw his friends enjoying their success and companionship.
With the help of psychological tools, questionnaires and exercises, he learnt that he has a habit of “hoarding” things and cannot let anything out of the home, no matter how old or broken it was.
She made him realise that profess’ mind and home are as sacrosanct as a bank locker. If you don’t keep any rubbish in the bank locker, why would you collect it at home or in your mind?
The very experience of giving away to complete strangers, filled the client with love and compassion. It changed him into a cheerful and positive person. Today, after 3 years, he is a founder of a successful startup.
Clutter at the workplace is seen as a sign of laziness and lack of attention. Decluttering and letting go of hoarded items are very cathartic and intense in impact.
Every week, before beginning new, give 15 minutes to declutter your space and every weekend before leaving the office give/throw away an old item long past its use.
Goal setting, life coach insists, is an important step to decide what you want to achieve in your life by separating important from irrelevant.
It motivates yourself daily and consistently, as it gives you small accomplishment moments on achieving a short-term goal.
The self-confidence and energy will sail you through the most uncertain times to finally reach your long term goals.