A School For Tomorrow
THE PATHWAY TO EXCELLENCE | WORK | PLANNING

GOAL-SETTING

We need to adopt an effective approach towards our goal setting – how we create meaningful plans to define what we want to achieve in our lives.

Without clear direction and targets, we can find ourselves moving through life uninspired, unenthused, and aimless. We can lack specificity in what we want to achieve, and may have no idea how to do it. Setting goals is the way that we give ourselves clear targets, focus, and purpose for getting up each day and keep on keeping on. Goal setting is fundamental in motivating ourselves to improve our abilities, performance, and humanity on an everyday basis. 


We need to know what we want. A goal that has no basis of understanding about what is important to us is likely to leave us unsatisfied and disappointed, even if we succeed in achieving it. When our purpose and progress aren’t invested in the goal, its achievement is likely to be an empty victory for us. Knowing what we want is not only integral to feeling fulfilled when we succeed, but essential in the work that takes place before we can get there.


Once we know what we value, irrespective of whether it is tangible or intangible, we then need to identify the goal or goals that will actually get us there. They need to be specific, realistic, and manageable if we are going to achieve them. This doesn’t mean that we should not shoot for the moon – it means we need to have the patience and resilience to understand the importance of small steps in a long journey. For this reason we also need to distinguish between long-term and short-term goals. We need to imagine our life as a canvas on which we wish to create a masterpiece. If our long-term goals are the key elements that appear in our painting, then our short-term goals are the individual brush strokes that make them up. Each is required for a meaningful final product.

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success. 
Pablo Picasso
What do we need to do to get there? We have discussed developing the necessary goals, but what about getting started? We should begin by taking stock of what needs to be done to get there. What kinds of practices and actions do we need to undertake in order to achieve the outcome that we have identified? What will stop us from getting there? How can we plan for potential or even inevitable roadblocks? This comprehensive process of assessing and projecting what the path might look like will equip us with the understanding and confidence of our ability to traverse it, even if the pathway ends up being quite different to what we had first imagined.

Our self-control, time management, and focus must remain consistent as we work through the process, and we must remember that none of us are perfect at this. Even with perfect planning and commitment, there are times when our goals will be inhibited by things out of our control. Looking to our support network for assistance and advice on how to navigate these times can be helpful in anticipating such circumstances and identifying more options for goal-setting to take into account these contingencies.

We need to remain focused on the big picture that underlies the work we want to do and the work that came before it. This vision and its underlying higher purpose are responsible for directing and driving us through the detailed and often difficult work that will be required to get to where we want to be. It will inspire us to keep going when we want to stop. It will encourage us to find solutions when we find ourselves challenged. It will remind us of why we started and of the importance of getting the job done.

We can contemplate our Goal-Setting by considering the following questions:
    • Do I know that I need to develop and practice core 21C competencies in order to thrive along my career journey?
    • Do I know where and how to research sources that gives me knowledge about and insight into the career areas that interest me?
    • Do I know how to find and to connect to those who can help me evaluate and make good decisions about my career interests, pathway and goals?
    • Do I avoid rigid thinking in my career planning, knowing that I may need to adjust and adapt to changing circumstances and opportunities?
    • Are my thinking and planning grounded in my sense of purpose that informs the numerous choices that will comprise my career journey?

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