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How To Set Goals And Actually Achieve Them!

. Friday, 23 March 2018 .
I have always been a very goal-oriented person; in both a short-term and long-term context. I know some people don't like to set goals as it can be frustrating if you don't reach those goals, but for me it's always worked as a great motivator. I find it helpful to be 'SMART' in my approach to goals. For anyone who hasn't come across this concept before, let me explain.

'S' stands for specific, meaning that you are truly able to define what your goal is, what you want to accomplish and what it will look like when that does happen. So for example, you could set yourself the goal of being a good person, but what does that really mean? That might mean donating to charity once a month, or doing a good deed for someone else every week. Try to avoid ambiguity and instead have your goal clearly defined.

'M' stands for measurable, meaning that you should be able to track your progress. You need to be able to identify when you have achieved the goal. This also allows you to recognise the small successes along the way to completing your goal, which helps to keep you motivated.

'A' stands for attainable, meaning that your goal needs to be something you can realistically achieve. For example, your goal might be to become a doctor or a lawyer, but if you absolutely hate formal education and don't want to sit any exams then realistically this isn't a goal you will be able to achieve. The same as having a goal to get an A in an exam when you've been getting Cs in all your mocks. While its good to aim high, if a goal is unattainable, it can be really demotivating rather than being motivating. The best goals are ones that challenge you, but aren't beyond the realm of possibility.

'R' stands for relevant. Is this goal worth-while and is it going to meet the need you want it to? Does the goal fit in with the rest of your goals, both short-term and long-term? Goals work best when they are small parts working towards a bigger picture, so it is always good to think about why you want to achieve something and how you'll benefit from it.

'T' stands for time based. Now this is the one element of SMART goals that I like to be flexible with. Sometimes a time constraint can be motivating and other times it can just lead you to be frustrated and want to give up on the whole thing. So I like to keep my timings as an estimate. This way I have a rough idea of what I'm working towards, but I'm not going to be devastated if it isn't quite done within that time frame. For example I wanted to complete my a-levels within two years, which is how long it usually takes people. But, in my case, that just wasn't meant to be. For numerous reasons I ended up failing my first year of a-levels and had to retake the whole year. I was gutted that I wasn't initially successful, but ultimately I ended up completing my goal, it just took me a little longer than I would have liked. If you want to hear a bit more about this, I made a whole video about it.

My Goals

My goals are pretty varied, but I thought it would be good for me to have them documented somewhere as a reminder to myself of what I want to achieve. I have quite a wide variety of goals across many different aspects of my life, but these are some of the main things I would like to achieve in my lifetime. 
  1. Qualify as a mental health nurse. I will hopefully be achieving this one in around 4 months time. Ideally I would love to graduate with a 1st, but ultimately that isn't my priority. I just want to graduate and be able to work in a career that I absolutely love. Training to be a nurse has certainly been a struggle for me as the course is definitely challenging, you can read more about that here if you are interested, but every second will be worth it. 
  2. Do a round the world trip. This is something I'm hoping to do in about 3 years time, after I've had time to gain a decent amount of experience as a nurse and save up enough money to fund the trip! Ideally I'd love to travel full-time for about 2 years, but who knows what will happen when I hit the road! I have no real desire to see every country in the world, but it would be amazing if I were able to see as much of our beautiful planet as possible.
  3. Write a book. I have always been a big bookworm for as long as I can remember. Even if I have to self-publish and only 3 people actually read the thing, it has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to have my name on a book. It would definitely be fiction and likely something in the crime/thriller genre as those are my favourite kinds of books to read. I don't really have a time-frame for completing this but I would most likely start writing it as a hobby while i'm doing my round the world trip. So I would aim to publish it after that, but I don't really know how long it take to write and publish a book!
  4. Make a documentary. This is a bit of a weird one I know, but I have always been a huge fan of documentaries because I love to learn about a wide range a topics. I admire so many documentary makers but particularly Stacey Dooley, who's new book I recently reviewed, as she covers some incredible topics. So I would one day love to film a documentary, even if I do everything myself and just publish it on YouTube. It would most likely be around the topic of mental health as that is something I'm extremely passionate about, but I haven't really thought more into it than that. The most likely time for this to happen will be while I'm doing my round the world trip. It would be a dream come true to base myself in a country for a couple of months, thoroughly research what I want to cover, plan everything then film, edit and publish it myself. 
  5. Get a PhD. I have always been fascinated by research and the fact that someone can take an idea or a concept and turn it into a reality. As I've already mentioned, I'm training to be a nurse, so I would love for my research to focus on improving the lives of those who experience mental health problems. At the moment I am particularly interested in the affect of trauma on people's mental health and how nurses can better support people in this regard, but who knows where my interests will lie after a few years in the field. Again I don't really have a specific time frame for when I want this to happen, but I would love to be taking serious steps towards making this a possibility before I am 30. Which is still 8 years away so i'm not too worried about it right now! 
What goals would you like to achieve?
I have always been a very goal-oriented person; in both a short-term and long-term context. I know some people don't like to set goals as it can be frustrating if you don't reach those goals, but for me it's always worked as a great motivator. I find it helpful to be 'SMART' in my approach to goals. For anyone who hasn't come across this concept before, let me explain.

'S' stands for specific, meaning that you are truly able to define what your goal is, what you want to accomplish and what it will look like when that does happen. So for example, you could set yourself the goal of being a good person, but what does that really mean? That might mean donating to charity once a month, or doing a good deed for someone else every week. Try to avoid ambiguity and instead have your goal clearly defined.

'M' stands for measurable, meaning that you should be able to track your progress. You need to be able to identify when you have achieved the goal. This also allows you to recognise the small successes along the way to completing your goal, which helps to keep you motivated.

'A' stands for attainable, meaning that your goal needs to be something you can realistically achieve. For example, your goal might be to become a doctor or a lawyer, but if you absolutely hate formal education and don't want to sit any exams then realistically this isn't a goal you will be able to achieve. The same as having a goal to get an A in an exam when you've been getting Cs in all your mocks. While its good to aim high, if a goal is unattainable, it can be really demotivating rather than being motivating. The best goals are ones that challenge you, but aren't beyond the realm of possibility.

'R' stands for relevant. Is this goal worth-while and is it going to meet the need you want it to? Does the goal fit in with the rest of your goals, both short-term and long-term? Goals work best when they are small parts working towards a bigger picture, so it is always good to think about why you want to achieve something and how you'll benefit from it.

'T' stands for time based. Now this is the one element of SMART goals that I like to be flexible with. Sometimes a time constraint can be motivating and other times it can just lead you to be frustrated and want to give up on the whole thing. So I like to keep my timings as an estimate. This way I have a rough idea of what I'm working towards, but I'm not going to be devastated if it isn't quite done within that time frame. For example I wanted to complete my a-levels within two years, which is how long it usually takes people. But, in my case, that just wasn't meant to be. For numerous reasons I ended up failing my first year of a-levels and had to retake the whole year. I was gutted that I wasn't initially successful, but ultimately I ended up completing my goal, it just took me a little longer than I would have liked. If you want to hear a bit more about this, I made a whole video about it.

My Goals

My goals are pretty varied, but I thought it would be good for me to have them documented somewhere as a reminder to myself of what I want to achieve. I have quite a wide variety of goals across many different aspects of my life, but these are some of the main things I would like to achieve in my lifetime. 
  1. Qualify as a mental health nurse. I will hopefully be achieving this one in around 4 months time. Ideally I would love to graduate with a 1st, but ultimately that isn't my priority. I just want to graduate and be able to work in a career that I absolutely love. Training to be a nurse has certainly been a struggle for me as the course is definitely challenging, you can read more about that here if you are interested, but every second will be worth it. 
  2. Do a round the world trip. This is something I'm hoping to do in about 3 years time, after I've had time to gain a decent amount of experience as a nurse and save up enough money to fund the trip! Ideally I'd love to travel full-time for about 2 years, but who knows what will happen when I hit the road! I have no real desire to see every country in the world, but it would be amazing if I were able to see as much of our beautiful planet as possible.
  3. Write a book. I have always been a big bookworm for as long as I can remember. Even if I have to self-publish and only 3 people actually read the thing, it has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to have my name on a book. It would definitely be fiction and likely something in the crime/thriller genre as those are my favourite kinds of books to read. I don't really have a time-frame for completing this but I would most likely start writing it as a hobby while i'm doing my round the world trip. So I would aim to publish it after that, but I don't really know how long it take to write and publish a book!
  4. Make a documentary. This is a bit of a weird one I know, but I have always been a huge fan of documentaries because I love to learn about a wide range a topics. I admire so many documentary makers but particularly Stacey Dooley, who's new book I recently reviewed, as she covers some incredible topics. So I would one day love to film a documentary, even if I do everything myself and just publish it on YouTube. It would most likely be around the topic of mental health as that is something I'm extremely passionate about, but I haven't really thought more into it than that. The most likely time for this to happen will be while I'm doing my round the world trip. It would be a dream come true to base myself in a country for a couple of months, thoroughly research what I want to cover, plan everything then film, edit and publish it myself. 
  5. Get a PhD. I have always been fascinated by research and the fact that someone can take an idea or a concept and turn it into a reality. As I've already mentioned, I'm training to be a nurse, so I would love for my research to focus on improving the lives of those who experience mental health problems. At the moment I am particularly interested in the affect of trauma on people's mental health and how nurses can better support people in this regard, but who knows where my interests will lie after a few years in the field. Again I don't really have a specific time frame for when I want this to happen, but I would love to be taking serious steps towards making this a possibility before I am 30. Which is still 8 years away so i'm not too worried about it right now! 
What goals would you like to achieve?

2 comments

  1. I loved reading your goals and think that this post is super helpful! I'm also really goal orientated and aren't happy unless I have goals to work towards and plans in place for the (short and long term) future!- https://sophiehearts.net x

    ReplyDelete

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