How many people are handed everything in life without having to work for it? There are probably a few, but I’d imagine they are not happy people. We humans have an innate need to achieve something in life. Everyone has their own idea of what that should be, but personal satisfaction comes from achievement and work, not a life of ease.
The trick to reaching fulfilling goals lies in setting the right kinds of goal. This is especially important for those larger goals that will require a great deal of discipline to reach. Goals that are outlandish, vague, and eternal are very difficult to reach. “I want to be strong” is a nice idea, but it is so vague that it could encompass a lifetime and never be reached. “I want to be a black belt next year” does not acknowledge the amount of work and growth required to get there. “I wish I was as good as her” does not offer a metric for success. All these desires are a starting point, but need refinement to become intelligent, fulfilling goals.
Setting a poorly developed goal is a recipe for failure. All the discipline in the world will not help a young child grow tall like his father by next year. Master Jo works with students of all ages to set SMART goals. These well-developed goals are the type that students can achieve with hard work and discipline to grow their personal satisfaction and confidence. SMART goals are:
S Specific: what exactly are you trying to improve? Too vague and it is hard to focus on what the ultimate goal is.
M Measurable: how will you know you are making progress toward your goal? Is there a way to see or track progress?
A Attainable: Is this goal reasonable? If a goal cannot be achieved as planned, it should be adjusted.
R Relevant: Does this goal apply to your life or a higher goal? Is it an improvement on your current situation?
T Time-bound: When will you achieve this goal by? This should be both reasonable and attainable, as well.
Be intelligent about your goals and you will find it easier to stick to and achieve them. Don’t just work harder, work SMARTer as well.