Chapter 3

Setting Personal Goals That Fuel Your Purpose

Setting goals is an important foundation for awakening your true purpose and finding success. This is because goals help us to concentrate our actions and energy on the end result while measuring our progress concerning the goals that we’ve set.

However, many people acknowledge that a gap exists between setting goals and being able to develop and communicate important goals that produce sustained action while generating transformational results.

It has been proven that there are clear links between motivation, performance, and goal setting. Along with imposing goals on yourself, you should also use goal setting as a tool to create a sense of direction and purpose. The environment of goal setting is crucial because it provides that conditions necessary to be effective in all your pursuits.

The Importance of Goals in Living a Purposeful Life

Goals reflect your purpose and point you toward the expected quality, quantity or rate of performance. As a process, setting goals always creates discrepancies because of the gap between our current situation and the desired future state. Additionally, the process of setting goals affects our overall level of motivation, our belief system and our capabilities to perform.

The discrepancy that is created by goal setting should be interpreted as a constructive discontent that will motivate us toward persistent and sustainable goal-relevant behaviour. Three conditions need to be met if the process of setting goals is going to be motivating.

You need to have a commitment to your part in the process. This means that you need to have a “whatever it takes” attitude in achieving your goals. If you have a lack of commitment, you will have a lack of motivation.

You also need to set specific and unambiguous goals. This will make it easier to access your progress and adjust accordingly. Finally, you need to have goal-directed behavior and happiness.

A goal-oriented action is a key element in the goal-setting theory. If you do not have goal-directed action, it will be impossible for you to achieve your purpose.

Harnessing the Power of Setting Goals

There are powerful tools that you can use to put goal setting to work. These tools take into consideration human dynamics as they help us to generate goals that will lead us to purposeful and effective behaviour.

Self-Efficacy

The concept of self-efficacy is extremely important to setting and achieving goals. Efficacy is the belief that you hold about your ability to perform a certain task. These beliefs will affect the manner in which we set goals, as well as the choices that we make about the activities we engage in. Efficacy can also refer to the measure of how much effort we are willing to expand and the length of time we will persist in the face of challenges or failure.

Setting short-term, sub-goals will raise your self-efficacy as compared to a situation where only long-term goals exist. Your goals should be challenging, clear, and they should consist of a target and a timeframe. The level of self-confidence should commensurate with the level of goal difficulty.

Task Complexity

When you set goals for complex tasks, you want to ensure that you include short-term goals because they provide you with immediate guideline and incentives for better performance. Long-term goals alone can be too far removed and difficult for you to connect with. Goal setting requires subject-specific knowledge, realistic expectations, and appropriate strategies on how to accomplish the task.

Goal Commitment

When you are committed to your goals, the relationship between your performance and the goal increases. As the goals become more difficult, the level of commitment has to be raised to inject the effort that is required to attain those goals. The two main categories of factors that are needed in enhancing your goal commitment are prioritisation and self-belief.

You have to believe that you will attain the goals you’ve set as well as making achieving your goals a priority. To succeed in achieving your goals, you have to link them to the bigger picture.

Feedback

For goal setting to be effective, it has to be paired with the appropriate feedback. Timely feedback will provide you with the necessary information about whether your picture of reality is properly aligned with what you need to achieve your goals. When you receive ongoing feedback, it indicates that you are paying attention to the progress you are making in achieving the goals you’ve set.

Satisfaction

Satisfaction in your life tends to increase when you exceed your goals. As you increase your number of successes, your overall satisfaction also grows. To incorporate satisfaction when setting your goals, you need to set challenging goals that improve your interest. This will help you discover the pleasurable aspects of accomplishing your tasks.


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