Goals, “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.”
This definition was given by Webster’s dictionary. I would take this one step further and say that a goal is not only an “aim or desired result” but rather a destination or absolute result. A goal is not put in place for you to post on your kitchen fridge, with no finite time attached to it. A goal is something that is time sensitive and a plan of action is crucial in reaching that end result. Most people develop goals dependent on a spur of the moment feeling or need to relinquish something they have always wanted to achieve. The problem with most goals is there is very rarely any execution. Goals must be developed properly and executed.
Why goal setting is necessary.
Without goals we are chasing something that has not been defined. Let’s take a cheetah for example. A cheetah has incredible speed and agility but can hunt down an animal more agile then itself, why is this possible? Cheetahs “match and may even anticipate the escape tactics of different prey when hunting, rather than just relying on its speed and agility as previously thought. Cheetahs have clear different chase strategies depending on prey species.” With that being said, Cheetahs are capable of processing a target goal and developing a plan of action to successfully achieve that end result, a meal. As humans, we must also do the same thing, we must anticipate our next move in making our goals attainable.
Attainability is critical. Many of us, myself included, develop goals based on a need to achieve something we desire. We put 100% emotion into these goals, thinking that if I can only get to this result I will be satisfied. In most cases, goals based strictly on emotion are unattainable. We must think logically when developing both short term and long term goals. This may consist of you reaching out to a professional for assistance in being able to determine what goals are reasonable within a timely manner and which ones may take more time then what we, as the individual developing the goal, may anticipate. The best way to develop attainable goals is by creating both short-term and long-term goals.
Developing Short Term Goals
Short-term goals are critical for your ability to see progress steadily. Human nature tells us to quit when we do not see the progress we have laid out for ourselves. If we were to just create long-term goals or unattainable goals, we would quit due to the lack of success. We want to continue to move forward while seeing the success we have put in place for ourselves to achieve.
Looking toward your long-term goals.
Although long-term goals are not ideal by themselves they are essential when trying to plan the end result. The long-term goal is the end result! As long as you have developed the smaller attainable goals in the interim, there is no reason why you will not achieve the ultimate goal of putting on 20lbs of muscle, loosing 100lbs of fat or successfully lifting a 315lb bench press. Therefore, whatever you want to achieve in the long run needs to have a built in plan of action and smaller goals to coincide with the end goal.