A friend of mine told me and it could well be true. He said that in 1965 a professor at IIM Ahmedabad was telling his students the importance of goal setting. He asked the students to write down their long term and short term goals. Studying in the premier Institute every student was convinced that they would do well in life and all but 3% of the students diligently wrote their goals. 25 years later the same class assembled in their silver jubilee year of their passing out and when they were comparing notes about their professional achievements, family, relationship, social contribution and health, it seems the 3% of those who wrote down thir goals were the most successful in life and their net worth was way ahead of all the other students. In life too they were the more happier lot. they contributed to social causes too. By writing the goals you give life to an impression to your mind which becomes an intention and that intention is stored in the subconscious mind. By periodically reading the goals for sometime until it gets registered in the subconscious mind and moving towards that direction steadily guarantees that you achieve the goal.
In fact, i too belong similar to the 3% of the students. I was an average student with respect to academics all along from 3'rd standard to 11'th. 1'st and 2'nd standard i got 1'st rank !! when i completed 11'th a lot of people were curious to know my percentage. I said, i just have a PhD.D and when my friends could not understand the acronym, i said, that," i passed high school with difficulty!!" PUC and B.E were better and i became above average and did reasonably well. Where i did well was in my planning goals at studies, when i almost always got more marks than the inputs since i studied less and got more since i made everyday goals - this much to study, this material to study and i had the ability to write those answers well for which i had prepared well; so much so i had enough time to give company to everyone who went to Chidambaram station to send off train # 110 and also Boat Mail, went to Mami Kadai, Natarajar Kovil...
While i was in Grindwell Norton Mumbai in the resinoid plant division in the maintenance department i used to have goals of breakdown time percentage of close to zero and so planned for shutdowns at right times so that there was almost zero breakdown. No wonder, i got promoted twice within 2 years. Goals are nothing but intentions the end result toward which our efforts are directed.
When i was working with Genelec in Vizag steel plant in 1985, i did not like what i was doing in the projects division. While i was brooding about my future, sitting in my department the clock struck 3 in the afternoon. I was deep into contemplation for setting goals for the future. Jesus died at 3 Pm and it was time to change the history of the world; Christianity was born. I too thought that i have to change my history. Came out with 6 goals - to make Rs 1 Crore when i retire, to marry a girl from my native place, to have a farm, a house with a swimming pool, a tree house, 4 cars and to be one of the top interior decorators in Chennai. I was earning Rs 1,650 at that time. Believe me, i got all the goals achieved within 10 years(year1995,) of my planning and i had to re-set my axis and goals which i did. When it's possible for me it should be possible for all. I retired about 8 years back, at 50 and now i serve the Theosophical Society as the General Manager of their International Head Quarters and also am a volunteer in the Ramakrishna Mutt in Mylapore, as i had planned earlier. All this i was able to do since i knew what i wanted and walked in that direction, so could take early rerement from commercial work and dedicate it to social service without any monetary expectation but getting complete peace of mind.... It's not praising myself, but just instead of writing someone's story i wrote mine...
Goals could be anything of one's choice. It could be health, education, finance, marriage, children, retirement, vacations, social contribution, pilgrimage, travel, reading good books etc... Many people feel that they are adrift in this world. They work hard but don't seem to get anywhere worthwhile. A key reason that they feel this way is that they haven't spent enough time thinking about what they want from life, and haven't set themselves formal goals. After all, would you set out on a major journey with no real idea of your destination? Probably not!
Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality.
The process of setting goals helps us choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what we want to achieve, you know where we have to concentrate your efforts. You will also quickly spot the distractions that can, so easily, lead you astray. Top-level athletes, successful business-people and achievers in all fields all set goals. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term Motivation. It focuses our acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life.
How to Set a Goal
First consider what you want to achieve, and then commit to it. Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals that motivate you and write them down to make them feel tangible. Then plan the steps you must take to realize our goal, and cross off each one as you work through them.
A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the "SMART" usually stands for:
- S – Specific (or Significant).
- M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
- A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
- R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
- T – Time-bound (or Tractable).
Specific -- A specific goal has a greater chance of getting accomplished than a general goal. To set a Specific goal one needs to answer the following questions.
WHO -- is involved
What -- do i want to accomplish
Where -- identify a location
When -- establish a time frame
Which -- identify requirements and constraints
Why -- do i need this? what are the benefits of accomplishing a goal?
A general goal could be I need to be fit. A specific goal would be to weight training for 2 days, cardio for 3 days and 1 day in flexibility
When you measure progress we stay on track. Have the target dates at intermittent levels and you will see when you are crossing each target date.
To determine whether you are on track ask these questions, How much? How many? When do you know whether it is accomplished. A journey of 1000 miles
can be set into a time table and adhered to on a daily basis.
When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring Yourselves closer to the achievement of your goals.
You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list our goals you build our self-image. you see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.
To be realistic a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic. There are people
who have made it very big in life as a sportsman, writer, Spiritual, finance, arts, business and their only aim was to put their goals on paper and thought "Very Big" and chased it down.
Timely or Tangible
There are no ambitious goals; there are only ambitious time frames. Setting goals like, before May 25'th i will reduce 2 kg. Before June 25'th i will reduce 2 kg. By doing this we have set our subconscious mind to work in that direction of reducing 2 kg's per month. I want to have Rs 1 Crore credit in my SB account on Dec 31'st 2017 and the subconscious mind would start working to make it happen.
When our goal is tangible, we have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and hence it is attainable.
Goals are there to lead our life. If we do not know where we are going almost any road can take us there !! So, we should Have Goals, Think Big, Write your goals on paper, see it every day and to keep thinking about it all the time. Anything is possible if you know the answer to this question, "WHY do i want it?" The HOW to do would unfold itself to us.
And, finally please do not tell your goals or dreams to anybody. The goals or dreams would lose their potency and most likely it won’t work.