My friend recently asked me, “What’s your goal for the weekend?” It made me pause because I felt using the word “goal” was a bit off, so I immediately responded, “What do you mean by “goal” for the weekend? Why not “plan” for the weekend?” We both cracked into a laugh, but clearly, my friend knows me too well. The word goal was a bit too serious or perhaps scary, but why is it so? Why do many of us want to wear suits and ties and feel comfortable discussing goals? Why do we clear our throats and start acting like we are in deep thought when talking about goals? We’ve made the goal-setting process so sacred to the point that our brains hurt just thinking about it. The definition of the word goal in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is the end toward which effort is directed. As simple as that.
When efforts are made towards achieving something, that which is achieved is a goal. Suppose my goal was to go on a weekend get-away and I actively made efforts towards achieving that goal, for example, finishing all my work tasks by Friday afternoon, delegating work that would otherwise need me, booking a place, inviting friends, and then succeed going on that weekend get-away, then I’ve achieved my goal. Goals don’t always have to be landing on the moon as we make them be. Goals begin with the daily wins we achieve. Before jumping into “whom do I want to be in the next five or ten years, how about whom do I want to be today?” Many of us have heard of SMART Goals, SMART being Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It is easier to plan SMART goals for the day than SMART goals for the year. The daily or weekly SMART goals give us practice for making monthly or yearly SMART goals. Redirecting focus into making SMART short-term goals should not replace the exercise for long-term vision planning. If your goal is bungee jumping on your 80th birthday, go for it, plan it, and work towards it, but don’t lose the focus of today.
At Lyawere, every 8 am morning, we meet as a team and discuss our daily goals. This gives us direction and focuses on winning the day. Goal setting increases our motivation and organisational commitment (Latham, 2004). Additionally, goals affect the intensity of our actions and our emotions. The more complex and valued a goal, the more intense our efforts will be to attain it, and the more success we experience following achievement (Latham & Locke, 2006).
Each of us has the ability to adapt and meet our individual goals. By making goals, we raise the bar for our potential and challenge ourselves to accomplish things we previously only imagined possible.
Have you used any goal-setting strategies to guide you toward success? How will you convert your goal-setting into goal-achieving? Tell us in the comments section below.
By Hawa – TLL (Today Lyawere Learns)
Reflection March, 2023