It can be contended that the true difference between a goal and a dream is the element of reality. One can dream of attaining fame and fortune, becoming a best-selling author or getting to the top in their respective professions. However, these are bound to stay dreams unless they do not become our goals.

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arman3Arman Ahmed has completed his MS in Clinical Psychology from Government College University, Lahore. He is also an alumni of Forman Christian College and Aitchison College Lahore. His research work includes experimental studies on concepts of emotion regulation, empathy and threatened  egotism. His interests also extend to topics in the sphere of social psychology such as locus of control and superstitions.
Editor: Samreen Masud

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 All human effort is geared towards setting and achieving goals. Goal are an essential part of our lives and at the core of many basic human actions. How one progresses at work, how they manage their relationships with other and even the way in which a person utilizes his spare time is reflective of the goals that he has set for himself. By establishing clear priorities, people can accomplish all the objectives that they set out to achieve. Without the process of setting goals, life becomes a series chaotic events that we can exert very limited control over. Many visions would not have been realized or translated into accomplishments if the systematic goals were not set at a particular point of time.

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The S.M.A.R.T framework for goal setting can assist individuals in constructing achievable goals for themselves. This method of establishing goals brings structure to one’s goals and objectives. Rather than formulating imprecise resolutions. S.M.A.R.T goals can help create specific trajectories towards one’s objective. It can help in determining the milestones that a person’s need to cross on their way to achieving a goal. Additionally, it can also play a role in assessing the attainability of a particular goal. To make a goal S.M.A.R.T, it needs to fulfill the criteria of being specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. A specific goal has a greater probability of being accomplished in comparison to a general goal. People have to ask themselves what exactly it is that they want to achieve. Why they want to achieve that particular objective and what other alternatives ways of achieving the same goals.  Specific goal setting clarifies the difference that exist between “I want to get in shape” and “I want to join the gym and workout for 4 days a week.”

 People have to not only be specific about what they want but be able to measure if they have succeeded in the process.  Measurable goals means that people are able to clearly see, hear and feel what it is like after having reached one’s goal. It involves envisioning the physical manifestations of one goals, which makes it easier for them reach. This involves breaking one’s goals down into smaller elements that can be easily assessed. One has to establish a fixed criteria for measuring the progress that he has made towards the attainment of every goal that he has set. When individuals gauge their own progress, they tend to stay on track, meet their target deadlines and also experience the exhilaration that comes from having fulfilled their objectives. For instance, adhering to healthier lifestyle where one eats vegetable twice a day and fats only once a week is more tangible evidence, that a person is on track to achieving goal of becoming physically fit.

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