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How to Become A More Goal-Oriented Person

What is a goal-oriented person?

A goal-oriented person is someone that continually strives for learning, growth and achievement. It’s someone who has a clear vision of what they want and proactively acts to make it a reality.

Anyone that sets and achieves goals is considered a goal-oriented person. Therefore, while it may be considered a natural personality trait for some, it’s also a skill that can be learnt.

Related: Why You Need A Growth Mindset To Achieve Your Goals

Why is it important to be goal oriented?

Being goal-oriented is particularly important if you want growth and advancement in life.

If you’re not content with where you currently are now, then you need to create a vision for the future and take the steps to achieve it. You will therefore have to become ‘goal-oriented’ to be able to achieve this.

Of course, you may be completely happy with where you are right now and you don’t feel the need to strive for any particular goals, and that is fine too. Sometimes there are stages of life where we have no desire, capacity or need to be setting and achieving big, lofty goals.

How To Be Goal-Oriented

Today, we’re going over a few of the easiest ways to become a goal-oriented person.

Getting specific with our goals and tweaking our schedules to achieve them is the key to hitting milestones we’ve only dreamed of in the past.

  1. Commit Your Measurable Goals to Writing

One of the simplest ways to become more goal-oriented is to commit your goals to writing.

Multiple research studies have found that individuals who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. One study explored by the Harvard Business Review found that only 17% of participants who passively agreed to attend a volunteer project actually showed up. In contrast, 49% of individuals who promised to attend in an active way, such as through physical writing, actually showed up.

There are many reasons why writing goals down can help you achieve them. The act of writing requires a concrete thought, which can force you to define vague goals into more measurable ones.

Additionally, many find it more satisfying to write down goals alongside steps or milestones toward achieving them.

Try writing down a few goals today and you just might trick yourself into writing down a wonderful accountability plan, too!

  1. Plan and Track Your Time

Sometimes it can be hard to determine if we’re working hard or hardly working.

What happens if you’re working hard, but only for extremely small spurts of the day? You may not even realize how often you are getting distracted.

For the next few days or weeks, track how you spend your time. You can do this only during work hours, but tracking all of your hours is ideal. Next, after you have a few days of data, compare the percentage of time you’ve spent on each activity. Does this surprise you?

Did you think you were working for longer hours than you have been? Or have you been working for shorter hours and realizing you could probably squeeze a few more in? Are you spending an egregious amount of time preparing food that could instead be cooked in bulk?

Becoming more aware of how your time is already being spent is the first step to efficiently optimizing your time moving forward. After all, there’s no way to achieve a goal if there is zero time allocated for it!

Related: Does the Pomodoro Technique Actually Work?

  1. Confide In and Work with an Accountability Buddy

Humans weren’t meant to go it alone. That’s why we feel a need to socialize and reach out to friends. So why would pursuing goals alone be more effective than working together? 

Consider sharing your goals with a friend or a spouse and having an accountability partner. Simply sharing your goals will cement your goals as something tangible, as you’ll want to share your successes and roadblocks on the way to success.

If you also have time-specific breakdowns of your goals, you can plan to meet up with your accountability buddy every few weeks to conduct check-ins.

When choosing a family member or friend to be an accountability buddy, take into consideration your relationship with them and your common interests (or lack thereof). You won’t want to ask someone to be an accountability partner if they have no faith in the area you’re trying to pursue!

Pick someone who believes in you and your passion, even if they are not experts in your field. Positivity and trust are essential.

  1. Track Your Successes and Failures

How will you determine if your goal has been achieved?

If you’ve set a realistic, time-specific, and measurable goal, it can be defined as completed or uncompleted. However, you’ll need to regularly check-in to see if you are on track to achieving your goal or not.

This is where tracking your successes and failures comes in. After every day, week, or month (preferably, after all of these) make a short note in your journal or digital notebook about your progress so far. Note any milestones hit, but also any failures, too.

For example, if your goal was to produce 20 videos, but you’re new to video editing, some days or even weeks may have a note for “video uncompleted, trying to learn how to adjust audio levels.” 

Sure, it would be more preferable to have a note that reads “3 videos completed!” but failure is a simple step along the way to success. Read more on how to reframe failure as a learning experience in our post, 26 Powerful Quotes About Fear of Failure.

Over time, your journal should track both successes and failures. Having a record of both of these will help to motivate you forward, focus you on areas of improvement, and define when goals are achieved.

How do you stay goal oriented?

We stay goal oriented when we are constantly willing to learn and grow.

Not all seasons of life are conducive to striving for massive goals, however, a great way to stay goal oriented is to actively remain aware of your vision for life. When we keep that ‘why’,  at the front of our minds, we are more inspired to take action on and then achieve those big, exciting goals and dreams.

Is it bad to be goal oriented?

Like everything, there are healthy and unhealthy ways of doing things. You can usually work this out by considering how it’s impacting on your life.

Does the process of setting and achieving goals still excite you, or is it stressing you out?

Consider stepping back or talking to a friend or professional if you’re burning yourself out, if your goals are demotivating you instead of motivating you and if you find yourself unable to ‘live in the moment’ while you pursue your goals.

How do I write a goal plan?

Goal plans should be exciting to write and develop. From brainstorming what you want to achieve to planning how you are going to achieve it, it’s a fun process that can inspire you to take action. If you’re looking for a robust goal planning template, then check out the 12 Week Goal Planner.

Goal-Oriented Living 

Being a goal-oriented person doesn’t mean that you can have zero days off, or that you have to cut out sleep. It means that you must become more purposeful and aware of what you do, and tweak how you do so to stay on track.

It can be hard to have big goals and dreams. Sometimes, our goals are so large it can be hard to stop overthinking and get started on achieving them.

Thankfully, according to a study by the American Psychology Association, being committed to your goals has a positive effect regardless of your task difficulty. This means that all goals and dreams are made more possible by hard work and dedication.

After all, you do miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.