Personal Development Goals

Personal Development Goals – Steve Pavlina on Goal Setting.

As part of his personal development discussions, Steve Pavlina has shared some useful tips and guidelines on how to effectively set goals. In his study on personal development, Steve found that one major obstacle that hinders people from achieving their goals is that they don’t know how to set goals properly in the first place.

A New Way of Setting Personal Development Goals

One usual problem when people set goals is that they immediately take in the time commitment and worry about how long it will take them to achieve their goals. Thinking about the long-term time commitment that your goals require, according to Steve, is demotivating, and is also a sign that the person does not understand the nature of time.

Steve also recognized that most people want to set goals, but that they don’t have enough discipline to toil for years to enjoy a better future.

But he says that there is a way around this problem; one has to understand time better. While most people consider time as similar to money, Steve says that time is not a resource that can be spent.

Time, in fact, spends itself, and people cannot control it.

The reality is, people really only have the present moment, so in setting goals, they have to focus on that. Many people set goals so they can control the future, but the future is impossible to control. Thus, to set goals, it is important to think about what you can do to improve your current situation. According to Steve, if a goal does not improve your current situation, it is a senseless goal. His advice is to ‘set goals that yield a positive effect on your life whenever you think about them, long before the final outcome is actually achieved’.

Steve gives a few example.

If you start a business, your goal is to have everything eventually go smoothly so you can sit back and enjoy your success. But most people have the tendency to think about the time it would take before they got to that point, the risks they’ll have to face, how much work it would take, and several other discouraging and demotivating thoughts. Steve says that when you start thinking about such things, you are going forward to the future, which has not even happened yet. Thus, worrying about these things is just silly.

Instead, Steve suggests this scenario: Starting a business with the goal of finally having everything running smoothly is not wrong.

But you have to make sure to stay in the present. You have to focus on what your business is doing for you at the moment. Think about whether having a business inspires you and gives you hope. Think about how your business is providing a solution to current problems. Consider how your business is improving your life at the present moment.

If a specific goal does not provide any current benefits, Steve suggests dropping the goal and taking up a different one.

Thinking about how goals affect your current situation will have a motivating effect on you.

You will find yourself naturally driven to take action. And if your goal is improving your current situation, then it does not matter how long it takes before everything is going perfectly. You won’t just enjoy your future; the whole experience is, in itself, enjoyable.

Steve Pavlina Goal Setting vs. SMART Goal Setting

Now here comes the most controversial part of Steve’s goal-setting advice. For most people, the core advice in goal setting is to set SMART goals, or goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Action-oriented
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

This model, according to Steve, is based on a misunderstanding of time. Steve suggests that, instead of thinking of goals as time-bound projects, you should consider each goal based on how they affect your current situation.

Additional Advice and Warnings

In his goal setting discussions, Steve also gives several additional advice, such as how to stay on course, how to have the right mindset, and so on. He also sheds light on the common excuses that people use to keep from setting the right goals and acting on them.

Steve warns that it is natural for some people to have some resistance to this way of thinking about goals.

But he does guarantee that this present-oriented way of goal setting is a more effective way of ensuring long-term happiness, which does not happen only in the future but begins right this very moment.