Goals are based on my needs
How does one determine the right goal? Our goals should be determined by our needs. So we have to do a need analysis of what we would like to have and what we would like to avoid.
Is it important to have specific and measurable goals? It they keep on changing, what is the purpose of having a goal?
The answer to the first one is yes, we need to have goals, that too, written goals (one study shows that written goals are more likely to be achieved). If we do not have any yardstick of measurement, how do we know we are progressing and therefore when we are likely to reach the goal?
But even more basic than that, what should be my goal? How do I determine the right goal?
Our goals should be determined by our needs. So we have to do a needs analysis of what we would like to have and what we would like to avoid.
Once I have my needs (what I want and what I don’t want) defined, I have to do two things:
Now I can find out what I have to do and when, and this determines my goals. We have to remember that to achieve something, we may have to sacrifice something else, and the important/urgent matrix above will help us realize our priority.
Another aspect of needs analysis is to determine whether these are your goals or the goals of your influencers or loved ones. Sometime, we want to do something but our parents want us to do something else. The question is whether I sacrifice my happiness for my parents’ happiness?
For example, I remember the time I got admission in one of the leading B-schools of India.
So if I am seeking a goal in terms of what type of job I should look for, I should look for a job that gives me a lot of approval, or allows me to do peer comparison and which does not lower my self-esteem. Sales would be a bit of an issue as a job, because it has a lot of rejection built in. However, advisory services based on my competency would be good, because a client would be grateful for my services.
I can now set up a time frame for creating a competency that can be appreciated by clients and to find a job that allows me to use this competency.
Since these needs keep changing, our goals will keep changing.
Suppose there are two conflicting goals?
If I have done my needs analysis in terms of all the type of needs I have and the priority of each need, and have determined who in my life is important and considered their needs, then each goal can be analyzed based on how well it satisfies these criteria.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Prof. Chandra Kant, is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and currently, a senior professor at Indus Business Academy, a leading B-School in India. He teaches, change management, business leadership and Self Management.