Many medicos feel confused when starting their preparation of PG entrance exams. Many have the feeling that, they work hard, but they don’t seem to get anywhere worthwhile. A key reason that they feel this way is that they haven’t spent enough time thinking about what they want from life, and haven’t set themselves formal goals. After all, would you set out on a major journey with no real idea of your destination? Probably not!
Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking for motivating yourself to turn your vision of future into reality. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts.
Why Set Goals?
Most of the successful people and achievers in all fields, all set goals. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. As a PG aspirant, your main Goal would be to achieve a good rank in entrance exams.
Starting to Set Goals:
You set your goals by following steps:
- Ist – “BIG PICTURE” – Setting Lifetime Goals, what you want to do with your life (What level do you want to reach in your career, or what do you want to achieve? may be become a good cardiologist or an orthopaedic surgeon), and identify want to finally achieve.
- 2nd – you break these down into the smaller and smaller targets that you must hit to reach your lifetime goals (for eq, performing good in periodic tests, completing particular subject in specific time frame). The best way to do this is to make a time table and a To do list for the month, week or a day. (TIP: Setting up overenthusiastic time table is not a good idea. The time table should contain all the activities like studies, question solving and entertainment in a balanced way so that it remain easy to keep following up the plan)
- Finally, once you have your plan, you start working on it to achieve these goals.
As you do this, make sure that the goals that you have set are ones that you genuinely want to achieve, not ones that your parents, family, or employers might want.
SMART Goals: A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic. While there are plenty of variants (some of which we’ve included in parenthesis), SMART usually stands for:
- S – Specific (or Significant).
- M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
- A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
- R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
- T – Time-bound (or Trackable).
For example, instead of having “to sail around the world” as a goal, it’s more powerful to use the SMART goal “To have completed my trip around the world by December 31, 2015.” Obviously, this will only be attainable if a lot of preparation has been completed beforehand!
Some useful tips for Setting Your Goals:
- State each goal in a positive way – Express your goals positively – “Use your time well” is a much better goal than “Do not waste time”
- Precision: Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you’ll know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.
- Priorities – Do brainstorming and set priorities. Make your plan and to do lists keeping in mind your priorities.
- Keep written record of goals and to do lists – This crystallizes them and gives them more force.
- Keep operational goals small – Keep the low-level goals that you’re working towards small and achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward.
- Set performance goals, not outcome goals – You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. It can be quite dispiriting to fail to achieve a goal for reasons beyond your control!
- Realistic goals – It’s important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people (for example, batchmates, parents, media, or society) can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions.
- Under ambitious Goals: When you’ve achieved a goal, take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. If the goal was a significant one, enjoy appropriately may be take a break and party. All of this helps you build the self-confidence you deserve. In case you achieved the goal too easily, review again and see if you have set the goal too easy. Setting too easy goals is also harmful, as the time for preparation is limited, and by very easy goals it may become impossible in the end to finish your Final Goal.
So Set your Goals and achieve your Success.