Setting goals has been proven as an effective way to manage and measure your success. But there are times when you might set lofty goals that are out of reach or impossible to achieve. This can cause frustration and a lack of focus, which discourages you from moving forward with your performance.
To ensure you’re on a path to success, you need to realize which goals are actually important to getting you where you want to go. Having goals that align with your endgame can ensure you reach the pinnacle of success that you’ve set for yourself.
According to 13 members of Forbes Coaches Council, individuals should ask themselves questions to identify the goal that will get them headed in the best direction. Here’s what they recommend:
1. What’s The Purpose?
To ensure you’re creating goals that are genuinely right for you, ask yourself, “What is the purpose behind my goal? Is it a goal I want to pursue or feel like I have to pursue?” If you feel that you have to pursue the goal, then get rid of it. If it’s a goal you want to pursue, continue to remind yourself why it’s important to you. What value in your life is this goal honoring? – Rosie Guagliardo, InnerBrilliance Coaching
2. What Does A Successful Outcome Look And Feel Like?
Start with the end in mind and imagine you have already reached your desired outcome fully and completely. What are the major milestones that helped you get there? By asking these questions, you can identify the big rocks that will lead to your ultimate outcome rather than get stuck in the quicksand of minutiae. – Michela Quilici, MQ Consulting and Business Training Inc.
3. What Would My Life Look Like If I Achieved My Goals?
This one question will lead to additional questions as you try to get clarity about where you really want to go. Do the goals align with your values? Is the goal something you really want, or are you trying to live someone else’s dream? The more questions you ask yourself, the closer you will get to an answer. – Daisy Wright, The Wright Career Solution
4. What’s My Greatest Superpower?
The art of the self-question is one of the most incredible superpowers we have. Unfortunately, many of us don’t use this power consciously. Heading in the best direction requires you to understand what’s best for you. “Who am I?” (emphasis on the “I”) is one powerful way to illuminate this. Spend a lot of time exploring this question, and choosing the right goals and directions will be easy. – Derrick Bass, Clarity Provoked
5. Why Is This My Goal?
Why will this goal change your life, business, dreams and finances? If you ask why about everything you’re doing in your life, you will better gauge what is really going to help you succeed. Once you know why you’re doing something, you’ll be able to be less vague. If you’re vague in your goals, you’ll be vague in your results. This will make you feel as though you’ve failed. – Stephynie Malik, ChiqueSpeak
6. What Do I Ultimately Want To Achieve?
The key is to identify your end goal and focus on actionable steps to meet that goal. Once you’ve fleshed out what you truly want for your life, career, business, etc., you can then uncover the building blocks for the most successful outcome. Every step you take now and in the future should align with the bigger picture. – Lakrisha Davis, Lakrisha Davis & Co.
7. What’s My Ideal Job Description?
When working with burned-out doctors, the first step is to change their focus by 180 degrees. They are laser-focused on what they don’t like in their job and are actively running away from these pain points. Success in stopping burnout and putting them back in a career with purpose requires building their ideal job description and then making sure they’re always moving in that direction. – Dike Drummond MD, The Happy MD LLC
8. What Are My Values?
Investing time and resources in knowing your values is critical. Once you’re clear on your values, make your calendar match. Spend time on things that are truly important in moving toward your goals, and learn to ignore distractions. This ensures that when you achieve success, it will be fulfilling to you. – Jean Ali Muhlbauer, People at Work
9. What Drives Me?
Understanding yourself is the first step toward identifying the right goals for you. Until you know what drives you, it’s hard to drive yourself in the best direction. First, clearly define where you want to go. Then, ask yourself why you want this, what you will achieve and what challenges you will face along the way. Define and tackle the steps needed to obtain your ultimate goal. – Erin Urban, UPPSolutions LLC
10. What Do Others Say About My Goals?
Even leaders who are self-aware will benefit from asking someone else for help with identifying their next goal. Pick a trusted colleague who knows you well and will give fair, candid insight. Be specific when asking them for advice by saying, “What is one thing I should start, stop or change that will enable me to be more effective in my career?” By going outside of yourself, you expand your resources so you can head in the best direction. – Loren Margolis, Training & Leadership Success LLC
11. Where Do I Want To Land?
When setting goals, it’s important to understand the long game. Where do you want to end up? Many times we set goals based on 5- or 10-year goals instead of charting a course for the next 20 or 30 years, including retirement or your second career. What skills and experiences do you need to build to not only be successful in your current career but also to find success afterward? – LaKesha Womack, Womack Consulting Group
12. Is My Goal SMART?
Is it specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound? If it’s not, then go back to the drawing board. – Kimberly Buchanan, The Buchanan Group – Professional Coaching for Professional Women
13. What’s The Big Picture?
Ideally, goals are in support of a higher purpose, so it’s time for some soul-searching. What is your reason for being on this earth? What and who matter to you more than anything or anyone else? Imagine it’s many years in the future, and you are reflecting on the arc of your life. What do you want to see? Whatever the answer, start setting goals now that will get you there. – Gary Bradt, Bradt Leadership Inc.
This article was originally published on Forbes.com