Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Have you ever felt that life was just passing you by? That somehow you had zero control over how things shaped up? That inevitably is the result of zero goal setting, where life happens by default. And somehow that leads to months and even years of living life as a passive participant. If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.

Regardless of where you find yourself at this juncture in life, it is so crucial to understand the importance of goal setting and the strategies to achieving those goals. Great goal setting is SMART. This principle is followed by millions of individuals worldwide who can attest to the phenomenal changes they have witnessed in their own lives as a result of following this time-tested strategy.

Let’s break this down –

📑 Specific Goals– This should be clear and concise. Rather than setting a large goal like increased productivity, focus on how daily performance can be enhanced which is basically the 1% rule or rather the rule of compound interest. Specific goals take the pressure off of fulfilling a gigantic goal which has no clear established format and is clearly not going to take off and most likely to be forgotten purely because it has no structured guideline.

📅 It Must be Measurable Progress that can be tracked is a great motivator versus progress that is unseen. Establish a key goal, design a format and schedule specific times. For Example, It can be a weekly or a monthly check- in to measure how far you have come.

🎯 Achievable– Most individuals set a great lofty goal and decide they are going to implement it in the New Year. Unfortunately, this strategy is bound for disaster. It has no structured framework and it seems daunting, to say the least. The result is procrastination and frustration. The biggest mistake is trying to operate on someone else’s timeline and replicating their strategies. You know what you are capable of. Stick to a plan that is achievable and reward yourself for minor wins along the way.

📋 Realistic– Goals must be realistic and achievable. Not Sugar coated and wafting in the Clouds.

Time Bound Goals that are governed by a schedule are much more likely to work versus goals that have no timeline.

Now that we have established the framework, what are the benefits that you stand to enjoy as a result of following the above principles?

Let’s take a look –

😃 Goals keep you Motivated and aid in maintaining Momentum There is no greater thrill than following through on a goal and see it come to fruition. That adrenaline rush is intoxicating. It spurs an individual to try harder and win again.

Goals help you determine what you want in LifeNow that these patterns have been established, it provides an individual with greater clarity about what they want in life. How can they get there? What strategies can be improved upon and so forth. An individual also gains greater clarity on what they don’t want to pursue any longer. What systems are outdated and must be removed completely in order to focus on better projects.

🤔 Clarity in Decision Making– There is a decisiveness and confidence that is a byproduct of making strategic decisions all the time. The more an individual progresses in following through on goal setting, their abilities increasingly become more refined and streamlined.

📍 In Control of your FutureNow an individual is no longer operating on default. They are smack dab in the center of their purpose. They have a clear vision for the future, a roadmap that will get them there and a track record of successes and failures that are nothing but invaluable experience. They are in the driver’s seat of their life and have assumed complete responsibility for how they want their future to be.

🎯 If you go To Work on Your Goals, Your Goals Will Go to Work on YouYes, It Works!

If you somehow skipped reading the above, this statement by Don Lancaster brilliantly summarizes how to do Goal setting right:

“Most impossible goals can be met simply by breaking them down into bite size chunks, writing them down, believing them, and going full speed ahead as if they were routine.”

As we step into a brand-new year, let me ask you this,

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

In the next series, we will look into the Popular myths surrounding goal setting and how it prevents individuals in leading their best lives.


Sajid Ahamed is a “Certified Trainer of NLP” and organizes John Grinder approved New Code NLP and NLP Master Practitioner Certifications  Courses in India and the Middle East. He has more than 1000 hours of coaching experience and is an ICF accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC). Apart from the Trainings, he covers a  wide niche of coaching including Relationship Coaching, Parenting Coaching, Leadership Coaching.

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