Introduction – Identification of Goals
Human life is purposive phenomenon. The multiple purposes identify various goals and objectives of individuals, so that, human beings make goals & objectives and chase them relentlessly till success is not achieved or failure is not encountered. A normal individual must form some aims and pursues them till actualization. Human life is thus a conscious struggle towards multiple aims, both material as well as immaterial. An effective aim is attainable and shapes successful human life.
Generally, human goals have four categories – personal, educational, professional, and social. Personal ends are based on one’s dreams towards life style and living standards. Personal goals are unique and evolving. An important personal goal is financial freedom. Financial freedom makes someone independent from all types of exploitations of interactive life. A successful individual makes feasible financial goals and revisits them, now and then. It is noteworthy that financial freedom provides sound basis to multiple human goals, while absence of financial freedom makes all goals simply unattainable. Financial subjugation is mother of all subjugations.
Instinctively, human beings are knowledge-seekers. The formal effort towards knowledge development requires a set of educational goals. Educational targets are clear-cut however evolving. The external environ plays a decisive role in shaping/developing educational targets. More specifically, the educational targets are shaped by parents, educators, and successful individuals. Effective educational goals mean successful education career. Effective educational goals improve academic results of students.
Professional living is essential phase / aspect of human life. Economic resources are vitally needed for comfortable life. Professional objectives get strength from our approach towards life comforts. The pleasure driven professional objective leads towards deplorable life. On the contrary, the intellect-driven professional objective means better or esteemed life. A successful professional is pragmatic towards goal setting. Effective professional objectives lead towards better career. It is noticeable, professionalism, a vital feature of a developed society, is embedded at all levels of collective life on account of successful professionals.
Divinely, human beings are social creäture. They cannot live in isolation. They need interactions in their daily chores of life. The interactive life has multiple dimensions such as blood kinship, geographical neighborhood, and ideological brotherhood. An effective interactive life demands some social ambitions. A person may pursue various social works as ideals in his/her life. The prominent social ideals are various communal works such as community hospital, blood donation network, an NGO and literacy program. The poetic vision and humanistic tendency are invisible forces behind multiple social ideals.
Human life is a dynamic reality. It is evolved, steadily and gradually. Initially, one’s life activities are limited on certain physical needs/comforts, overtime; it expands her area of effect through concerned human nature. The diverse human concerns enlarge one’s span of thinking/acting towards life options. Life options are countless, they present themselves as realizable possibilities, so that, they make alpha and omega of human life. The divinely ingrained concerned human nature selects and chases the available life choices permanently. Consequently, goals of varied types shape specific life patterns of individuals and determine/expand their area of effect. An effective goal is naturally dynamic and creates dynamism in one’s life.
Taxonomy of Goals
Goals are realized within definite time framework, so that, temporal dimension is inevitable aspect of effective goals setting. In addition, inclusion of time factor during task completion process gives impetus to varied goal realization strategies. Temporally, human goals have four categories – short-term, medium-term, long-term, and eternal. Short-term goals take a year or less, medium-term goals are realized within 1 to 5 years, long-term goals take more than five years for realization, and eternal goals are permanent and continually evolving / expanding life goals. For example, in business life, a project completion is short-term goal, formation of project team for various projects is medium run goal, a business setup is long run goal, and finally a networking of socio-economic circle for successful and well-performing business is permanent goal of a businessman. In educational life, annual result is short run learning goal, a certificate (such as secondary school certificate, high school certificate, and professional diploma) is medium run learning goal, and a final degree program (such as graduation or post graduation or doctoral program) is long run learning goal. Finally, the compatibility or synchronization of educational career with life career is permanent goal of every learner. In self-improvement effort, habit development is short run target, behavior improvement is medium run target, mindset refinement is long run target, and self-construction is ultimate target of every individual. Time limit is thus essential element in realizing multiple goals.
Goals are our visions/dreams, so that, they are expressed in positive language with cheerful tone. Effective goals can be grouped into two categories – individual and institutional. At individual level, an effective goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). Smart individuals make SMART goals. At institutional level, an effective goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound, Encouraging, Rewarding, and Team-driven (SMARTEST). An effective team is sum total of SMART individuals and shapes synergistic environ for goal realization.
Contents of Goals
An effective goal has two contents, viz., welfare content and pecuniary content. The welfare aspect is vital portion of an effective goal. The very absence of welfare aspect, intentionally or unintentionally, makes all life goals unstable or short-lived. The welfare content is linked with Divine Scheme of Creation, while the material content is linked with perishing life comforts. The qualitative superiority and quantitative inevitability of welfare content is cosmic reality. Dominant welfare content means a humanistic struggle, while the dominant worldly content means personal struggle.
Goals vs. Objectives
Generally, the terms goals and objectives are used interchangeably. However, there is subtle difference between goals and objectives. Goals are the broad results that a person is committed to achieve, while the objectives are the steps that a person needs to arrive at his/her goals. For goals, we use words (e.g., institution wants to capture maximum market), for objectives, we use numbers (such as, institution wants to capture 25% market). Goals make the individual/institution more effective, while objectives make the individual/institution more efficient. Jointly they shape an efficient-effective individual/institution.
Goal Realization Plan / Strategy
The whole exercise of effective goal setting is to facilitate / realize success. Generally goals are realized if an individual,
- Starts from Possible, (Pragmatism)
- Establishes Personal Commitment with Goals, (Effective Inspiration)
- Rises above Fear of Failure/Feelings of Regret, (High Morale)
- Overcomes Procrastination, Slovenliness, etc., (Self Discipline)
- Set a Deadline or Duration for Task Completion, (Time Efficiency)
- Relates Goals With Tasks and Durations, (Wisdom) &
- Avoids Perfectionism/Distractions, (Leadership)