Goal-Setting and Skills Required to Achieve Them

successful goal setting

When we were younger, adults often asked us what we want to be when we grow up. It’s easy to answer that question when you are an innocent kid. However, as we grow older and experienced the reality of life, oftentimes our perception change and so are our goals. At some point, we also experienced that feeling of being lost, of not knowing where to go and what to do. 

Why is goal-setting important?

That’s the importance of goal setting. A goal is defined as an idea of the future or desired result that a person plans and commits to achieve. It gives us direction and purpose in life, and “plays a fundamental role in the development of skills in various facets of life,” personal or career-wise.  Having goals makes us feel alive. In the words of Edwin Locke, “Every person’s life depends on the process of choosing goals to pursue; if you remain passive you are not going to thrive as a human being.”

Skills required in goal setting

Having goals without acting on it is simply not enough. It’s like owning a car but you don’t know how to drive, in the end, you still end up commuting. It’s useless. Just remember, achieving your goals is not easy. There will come a time when you question yourself if you want to go for it or not. In the article “What is Goal Setting and How to Do it Well” by Elaine Houston, she listed the following skills needed in pursuing our goals.


Collins dictionary defined planning as the process of deciding in detail how to do something before you start to do it. If you want to be a successful business owner, you have to plan every single detail of your business- niche, location, building, documents, etc. You can’t just throw money here and there.

Low-quality planning negatively affects performance in relation to goals (Smith, Locke, & Barry, 1990)


In the process of achieving goals, your number one enemy is yourself. A lot of times you will be tested, it’s up to you if you want to continue the journey or not. If you are motivated enough, no matter the setback, you always bounce back with a fresh idea, develop new techniques, and skills to succeed (Locke, 2001).

Time Management

We must have heard the importance of time management a million times already. Time management plays such a vital role in our lives, goal setting included. In every process needed in accomplishing your goal, you must consider the timescale needed to complete it.


No matter how intensive you plan things out, there will always be unforeseen circumstances that will throw you off the track. Some things you cannot change, thus being flexible to adapt to situations will help you in pursuit of your dreams.


Self-regulation “involves controlling one’s behaviour, emotions, and thoughts in the pursuit of long-term goals.” To make it short, we should remember that in whatever we do, thinking before acting is crucial. 

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