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Personal Goal Setting

April 16, 2024 - April 16, 2024   

Why is personal goal setting so important in personal time management? From the tome management perspective, your life is a sequence of big and small choices and decisions. It is those choices that you really manage, not the flow of time.

Personal goal setting is the wisdom that comes out of a lot of practical experience and psychology research to help your direct your conscious and subconscious decisions towards success, building up your motivation to achieve your personal or business goals.


An effective expression of important goal setting guidelines is that you should set SMART goals. What the SMART goal setting guidelines actually mean is that your goals should be:

Neglect one of those guidelines and the odds that your goals are achieved drop many times. Why?

The key force that either drives you towards your goals or holds you back is your subconscious mind. Those goal setting guidelines are the necessary criteria for your subconscious mind to accept your goals and start working for you. Otherwise it will work hard to keep you in the comfort zone of your present conditions and old habits.


With a specific goal you can clearly see what it is you want to achieve, and you have specific standards for that achievement. In making goals specific it is important you actually write them, which is crucial in all goal setting guidelines

The more specific is you goal, the more realistic is your success, and the shorter is path to.

When you work on making your goal specific, you program your subconscious mind to work for you. The, your feelings and thoughts will lead you to your goal instead of pointing at the obstacles. To make your goals specific you also need to work out the other components of the SMART goal setting guideline below.


For a goal to be measurable you need a way to measure the progress and some specific criteria that will tell you when you can stop and the goal is achieved. Felling the progress is very important for you to stay motivated and enjoy the process of achieving the goal.


An attainable goal is a goal for which you see a realistic path to achievement, and reasonable odds that you get there. This does not mean that the lower you aim the more likely you reach success. It is well known that goals that work best have a challenge in them. They are chosen as ambitious as possible, but still reachable. Then they will give you more motivation and sense of achievement.


A goal is rewarding when you have a clear reason why you want to reach that goal. This is one more place where it is important that the goal is really yours. Have your specific reasons and expected reward in writing. If possible, even with some visual pictures.

Imagine how you are going to feel when the goal is finally reached. This will ensure that the goal is really worth achieving. Then, every time you get stuck and don’t feel motivated enough, read your reasons and look at the pictures. This is a known and very powerful practical technique of how to get through difficult moments and not quit.


The fifth requirement of the SMART goal setting guidelines is that your goal should have a specific time limit. This is also very important for your subconscious mind. Besides, time is the price you pay for the reward from achieving a goal. Setting the deadline will protect you from paying higher price than the goal is worth. This is also your protection from procrastination and perfectionism.


In many situations people use words goals and objectives as interchangeable. Yet, in the context of goal setting, the difference between goals and objectives has an important practical meaning.

After you set your important goals you move to setting objectives. Objectives are also goals, but they are down the hierarchy. They are sub goals set with the only purpose to serve your goals.

To achieve your goals, which conditions should provide, which resources should you collect, which skills should you develop, what knowledge should you acquire? Is there anything significant you should achieve before you can reach your goals? Formulate the answers to these questions as your objectives, in writing.

Note that objectives are also more than just activities. They still contain some challenge in them. Activities are things that you just do.

So, while a particular goal is important to you on its own, objectives and activities are important too, but not on their own. If an objective or activity does not work to help achieving your goals, change or replace that objective so that it does.

To achieve success, you need both persistence and flexibility. When you face difficulties and unexpected problems, use all your persistence and determination to stick to your goals. But always stay flexible with your objectives and activities. If the way you do things now does not work, try another way. Keep trying until you find the one that works.

Don’t change the ends, change the means. And never forget the difference between ends and means, between goals and objectives.


A written to do list is a simple technique that can increase your productivity by 20 percent or more, if you don’t use is already. It also has extra benefits of clearing you mind and saving energy and stress.

Try to spend 5-10 minutes each day on planning you activities with a daily to do list. Start your day with it. Even better, every evening write a plan for the next day, listing your daily things to do. It is important that you actually write your tasks.

Some people are more comfortable doing it on paper, while others prefer using a computer. Try and see what works better for you.

After you’ve listed all your task, review your to do list and decide on the priority of each task. Give higher priority to the tasks that get you closer to your goals.

A proven simple technique is an ABC rating of your priorities. Mark the tasks on your to do list with “A’s” if they are critical for your goals and simply must be done that day (or else you face serious consequences).

“B’s”. are less urgent but still important tasks that you should start right after you are done with “A’s”. “C’s” are “nice to do” things that you could do if you have any time left after “A’s” and “B’s”.

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