Goals help us stay focused on what is needed to be done in order to get where we want and live our life in accordance with our innermost needs.
Successful people define the key to success as a continuing goal setting. In this context, a goal is defined as a state in which we are content, as we have what we want. This success is result of living a life by our own standards.
The research into life quality satisfaction has revealed that the art of setting precise clear goals is at the root of personal efficiency and satisfaction. One’s ability to achieve results they have set, to influence important life events and realize their own goals is called self-efficiency in psychology. What is wonderful is the fact that both science and practice have shown that self-efficiency can be learnt!
Planning the future as a life strategy is a mechanism, which secures the feeling of control and readiness for forthcoming tasks. Planning of future here does not entail the detailed actions and steps but a vision, visualization of results, self-motivation and monitoring of the outcomes of our own behavior.
Our goals help us turn towards the future. A metaphor which I read in a book  that no one drives the car by constantly looking into the rear-view mirror, perhaps best shows how important it is to look ahead when managing your own life. Having a goal (a destination) defines the path, looking ahead raises our motivation, gives us the vision.
People who intend to manage their life create situations, which will help them realize their goals, and are therefore more satisfied and happier. In addition, since this is a skill, which is learned, this is also a potential, which protects us from being “a victim of the circumstances”.
In order to act as a drive a goal should be:
- OUR OWN goal
- ACHIEVABLE in reality
- CLEARLY defined
- Specified in terms of TIME
- MEASURABLE and SPECIFIC, so that it can indicate how close we are to the goal and so that we can know when it has been reached.
If a goal is not important, it will not be stored in our long-term memory. Hence, we will forget about our resources available for its realization. We will forget it easily and stray from our way.
A clearly defined, specific and measurable goal instructs our brain which “program to switch on” in order to map and prepare all the necessary resources and actions. The more precise we are when defining our wishes, the clearer is the instruction for our brain about what to look for, which information to get, which opportunities to notice, which increases the likelihood of faster achievement of the goal.
If you know how to clearly define what you want to achieve in life, where, how and with who, you create a framework which in turn enables you to create the path.
In addition, it is important to treat the potential failure as a feedback. If we understand and accept that failure is a kind of a feedback, we unload the burden of negative feelings related to the notion of failure. The fact that we still have not achieved what we want is a useful information. It teaches us a lot and helps us revise and change our path. We choose alternative ways, correct our behavior, develop and acquire new necessary skills and knowledge.
When we know where we want to arrive, it is easier to define the road we will take. Once the road has been decided on, we have created the framework, which helps us define the necessary resources. If we still have not arrived at our destination, it is a sign that we should do something different. By changing our actions, discovering new options, we make our journey more interesting. And we end up enjoying the journey itself!
If you are on this path, it can be useful to answer yourself to this questions: 21 Questions to Extraordinary Goal Setting.
 Brankica Ljamić Ivanović. Koliko si spreman da platiš? (2011). Sinhronia: Beograd.