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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
by Ipinnaiye Opeyemi Isaiah, Nigeria May 6, 2006
Child & Youth Rights   Opinions


“All the work I have done has paid off, I have got my medal and I hope it is the start of many things to come.” These were the words of England triple jumper Philips Idowu after he won the commonwealth gold in Melbourne.

He had a disappointed outing in the 2004 Olympics in Athens where he failed to register a valid jump, but in 2006 he became a gold medalist.

What struck me most about this athlete were his commitment, dedication and hard work to achieving his goals inspite of the challenges he encountered.

A life without goals can be compared to a herd of cows without a herdsman. It is obvious that the herd of cows will lack direction on where to graze and become a nuisance to the community.

Goals can be defined as things we want to achieve in life, towards which we direct our efforts. It can also be described as our day-by-day Blueprint that provides achievable targets for incremental improvement. There are two different types of goals which are long term and short term goals. Long term goals are goals to be achieved over a longer period while short term goals are to be achieved in a short period.

Goal setting is an activity that enables us to plan. This technique is used by students, top level athletes, successful business people and achievers in all fields.

As young people we need to set goals for ourselves, this will serve as a spring board in achieving greatness and success in life. Goal setting helps in planning, monitoring and evaluation of one’s achievement.

It helps you choose what you want to be, where you want to go in life, who you want to be associated with and what you want to be remembered for.

When setting your goals it is important you put into cognizance some factors like your potentials, interest, aptitudes, disposition and circumstances. These factors play vital roles in attainment of goals you set. For example a young person whose ambition is to become a Medical Doctor should have interest in a science orientated subject because it will help in the attainment of the goals.

You need to set “SMART” goals, these are goals that are specific: measurable, attainable, rewarding and time- bound. When goals are specific, it helps you become focused while trying to attain your goals. Specific goals give a clearer picture of your aims, a sense of purpose and efforts directed towards achievement of the goals.

Goals we set should be measurable; it serves as a control mechanism to know if we are deviating from our goals. It also helps to rate our performance. Setting measurable goals gives room for improvement. For example a Musician who had a goal of selling platinum records but ended up selling five hundred thousand copies, knows he has to work harder on his next album to achieve the goal of selling a million copies .

Some goals have been difficult to attain because they are incredible ones, setting incredible goals and non attainment of it might make one feel like a failure, so you need to set goals that are attainable and feasible.
It is important that goals we set for ourselves are rewarding and time-bound. If your goals are rewarding it builds your self esteem and gives you the drive in achieving your goals. The time frame set for your goals can not be overemphasized, whether you set long term goals or short term goals, it must be time bound.

SMART goals are result oriented, so once you have set your goals run through the SMART analysis. We should learn to be dynamic because sometimes our goals might not work in your favor not because one is not committed or hard working but a circumstance beyond one’s control affects the goals. It makes a whole lot of sense if there are back up plans for our goals. I have seen young people who have wasted time because their goals were not working in their favor. A good illustration is that of a young man who had to spend three years at home because his goal to attend a particular University could not be attained. He had excellent scores in all the University entrance examinations he attempted to gain admission to that University but he was always denied admission. In that circumstance, it is advisable to try admission in other equally reputable Universities.
Having back up plans is not a yard stick for you to set weak goals, setting weak goals will make your achievement be unnoticed because it will always be compared with every other achievement.
If you have not set goals for yourself remember like the analogy at the beginning of this article, your life can be compared with the herd of cows without herdsman - no direction, no sense of purpose and being a nuisance because you might want to disturb those that have goals and possibly derail them from attaining their goals.
Remember it is not too late, pick up a paper and write down your goals, begin to plan on how to achieve your goals and someday you will speak like that triple jumper “All the work I have done has paid off.”



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Ipinnaiye Opeyemi Isaiah

My name is Opeyemi Ipinnaiye. I am a 24 year old graduate of Business Administration from the Universitry of Ado-ekiti in 2002. Presently I work as the program support officer of Voluntary Service Overseas

Goal Setting
ANNELINE | Jun 27th, 2006
Everything you said is, oh so true, congrats.

Getting right
Arogundade, Tayo | Jun 30th, 2006
Golal setting does a lot of things to life it is one of the real living spring of life it allowas you to know where you are coming from,where you are and where you are going. It is like playing football with a goal post and without it is like playing footbal without a goal post. So in everthing a person does setting a goal is very much important. Tayo.

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