Goal Planning Tips

Having worked in an IT Company, I think I was eternally involved in the activity of Planning and Setting up goals for the employees. It was basically done twice a year, but the process of planning, discussions and actually setting it up felt as if my primary responsibility was only goal setting for myself and others. This activity was being done to drive us towards achieving the vision of the company.

Personal Goals or Passion?

I have always questioned the need for goal planning in our personal lives. Do we really need to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound) goals and track it with an action plan?

Is it really necessary to break our visions down into smaller achievable goals?  Achieving a goal does bring you immense amount of satisfaction and your self-confidence does boost up. What happens when the goals are not achieved? We end up dejected. We scream and cry foul for a few hours or even days and again restart the process of setting up the goals. Some of us even go to the extent of not thinking about any goals.

Aren’t we supposed to enjoy life and do what we are passionate about. But that does not mean lying on a sofa and being a couch potato all through the year.

Whatever others call as goals, I would like to call it as my passion or dreams. It is ultimately the same idea. A goal is a dream with a deadline.  The way to achieve it may differ from one person to another, but the end result is about getting to the place where you have always wanted to be. A highly organised person would like to draft an action plan for each of their passion. A lesser mortal soul may not jot it down on paper but would track it mentally.

Is it really necessary to identify our dreams? We do tend to ask ourselves if we cannot just live and spend the day without worrying about dreams. The advantage of identifying your passion or goals are numerous, some of which are mentioned below.

  • Helps you to focus; We tend to get distracted by the innumerable activities that we may have and usually end up doing less or nothing at all. Having a goal in mind diverts your behaviors towards it.

“The body does indeed achieve what the mind believes in.”

  • Seeing Progress is motivating. It becomes addictive
  • You become accountable to yourself
  • Doing something for your passion reduces stress and frustration
  • Everyone has needs. The needs vary from being Physiological, Safety, Love and Belonging, Esteem and Self-actualization. To satisfy a need, a clear mental picture of what you need to do is required

Start by visualizing what you want to be at the end of 10 years. If that sounds preposterous for you, try taking smaller steps and plan your activities for a month or week.

Try to set realistic achievable goals. For instance, I may have the right to dream about being playback singer. Irrespective of the amount of hard work that I may put in, I can never become one unless you are tone deaf.

But since I am passionate about travelling and would like to go for solo long drives, I want love to learn to drive a car. So, I can definitely plan to get my driving licence in the next three months – This would indeed be a very good goal statement directed towards your passion.

Similarly, a goal statement of “I need to complete learning the python course by Oct 2018, and the digital analytics course by Dec 2018.” is always preferable to “I need to complete learning the python course and digital analytics course by the end of this year. “

Next Steps after Identifying a Goal

Now that a goal has been identified, we need to focus on what we need to do to attain it. Many a passion or dream has not been achieved due to lack of action.

Spend some time and identify the factors that you need to do to enable your dreams and act on them. Try to understand your strengths and weakness and what basically motivates you.  Research and read about success stories of other people with similar paths and envision your life.

Be Patient and Keep Striving

It is very essential to have an optimistic and persistent attitude. You may not reach your goal, or you may find that it is something which does not interest you anymore.  It does not matter as the saying goes” If you shoot for the Moon, you will at least reach the stars”.

Keep Striving. The harder you work, the luckier you would get. Remember it is indeed good to have an end to the journey, but the journey is what matters at the end.

You may like to read other articles written by this author ‘The power of assertive communication‘,9 effective tips for writing a resume’, ‘Important interview skills to land your dream job‘, ‘10 Easy Tips to Staying Motivated‘, ‘Knowing yourself will lead to true success‘.

About the author:

Sudha Divakar – A proud stay at home mom. She has worked in the IT industry for 15 years and has taken a break to take care of her priorities. She is an avid reader and enjoys watching movies with her tiny tots at home. She believes that life is full of beauty and must be lived one day at a time.


(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)

You can reach our guest bloggers by mailing us at support@hersecondinnings.com.

Her Second Innings, helps capable women professionals to find their calling in their second innings. Women looking to get back to their careers, or needing advice to pursue alternate career to become financially independent Sign up with us and complete your profile. Feel free to connect with us at support@hersecondinnings.com after completing your registration formalities, our career experts would be happy to have a conversation with you and assist you to take the assessment to gauge your current knowledge level to restart your career.


“This blog claims no credit for any images or content posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images and content on this blog belong to their respective owners. If there is an image or content on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it to appear on this site, please e-mail us with a link to said image or content and it will be promptly removed.”