Top 5 Reason Why You Need a Deadline for your Goals

We all have heard about Goal Setting and its importance. However, how often do you read about Deadlines? Deadlines in setting your targets are crucial. If you do not set realistic deadlines, you may see some progress here and there but, will surely face an uphill battle to reach your end goals. To understand deadlines you must first understand why do you need them?

What is the Purpose of Setting a Deadline for a Goal? Setting a Deadline for your goals provides you with a blueprint to move forward while keeping you focused and motivated.

Having known of this, still, most of us set vague deadlines that give us little to no result. But don’t worry! I have two quick case studies where I didn’t set a real deadline and the one where I did set a deadline. Keep reading to understand what it’s like to have a deadline vs what it’s like to not have one.

Case Study 1 – One where I did not have a Deadline

The Story – 

So I am a digital marketing expert by profession and I need to keep myself updated with the latest trends and skills that are required in this space. I use to keep myself posted with the latest trends but I lacked certain skills like Email Marketing, Content, and Search Engine Marketing. I knew that those skills were critical to getting the job but all I did was procrastinate most of the time. 

One day I did decide to start learning those skills and took some online courses to increase my knowledge. It was no surprise that I did not put my 100% focus and somedays I did do it and the other days I did not. After my graduation, I was set up for an interview that required these skills and, I could not crack it. I missed two interviews on the grounds of a Lack of Skills.

Here’s How I Felt when I did not have a Deadline – 

I spent my time procrastinating – Most of the time, I was fiddling with miscellaneous things. I knew I should have been working towards developing my skills but I just did not do it.

Felt like I had Low Self Esteem – Most of the time when we hold ourselves back, it is usually because we self-sabotage ourselves. Fear and self-doubt was the primary reason for me self-sabotaging myself. 

I made Lousy Decisions – Decisions have serious consequences. In my case, I had missed the opportunity of the job I desired because of Lousy Decisions. The decision to sit and learn the skills was not strong enough to keep me going.

Case Study 2 – One where I did have a Deadline

The Story – 

After learning the lesson the hard way. I made a firm decision that getting a job in that field would only be possible if I had those skills. So, I went back to those online courses and checked how much time would be required to complete each one of them. Upon finding, I figured that one course required 1 month and the other course was self-paced.

Keep that in mind, now I had a deadline for one course which had to be completed in a month so I strictly used my past pain to keep me motivated and completed that one-month course in mere 24 days. In the other course which was self-paced, I found out the average time people took to complete that course, and I finished that too within 20 days. During these 20 days, I also applied for another job and started scheduling interviews in advance. 

What was the result? Not only did I crack the interview in my first attempt, but I was also promoted to a senior executive within 8 months of getting the job.

Here’s How I Felt when I had a Deadline

I felt completely focused – First things first, I got rid of all the distractions. All the miscellaneous things that were once distracting me I kept all on the bay. My focus was not on short-come pleasure anymore.

I felt Motivated – I already knew that I was going to get the job if I had the skills so day in and day out. After completing one thing at a time. I saw myself getting the job I once desired. 

I made firm Decisions – Learning from the experience, I set myself a deadline for a weekly basis that I would like to complete 10 videos per week. Whilst I was motivated on the daily basis seeing my progress. It helped me make firm decisions. 

I took actions – Actions are the only way to avoid procrastination. Already motivated by my rejection, I decided to act and get the expected results.

5 Reasons Why You Need a Deadline for a Goal

From the above case studies, we can come to know that Deadlines are crucial for Goal Setting and a goal without a deadline may result in a loss of opportunities. Check out my reasons as to why you need a deadline for your goals.

1) It Prepares a Roadmap for You

Every successful organization or entrepreneur has a roadmap towards its goals. Some of them have a conscious roadmap and some have a subconscious. Setting a deadline for your goals allows us to create a Roadmap. Roadmap, then, guides us towards thinking deeper, gives us an understanding as to where we’re heading, and, keeps us on track. 

When we know where we’re heading and what is time required. We automatically tend to create a plan that we can follow and take action towards. Most of us think roadmap as a tracking tool towards our goals. This is not correct. A roadmap is the list of actions that you would take to achieve your end goals whereas a tracking tool would simply track the activities.

A perfect roadmap would – 

  • Define what you want – As in my case I wanted to get the job that I was once rejected from
  • Provide mental feedback of what you’re already doing – In my case, I didn’t have a deadline so I was able to review how I spent my time then make necessary changes and prioritize my task
  • Gives you action steps to be taken – To achieve what you desire you must have a roadmap full of action plans that you can take daily. Based on my experience, I had to sit with the course daily to get the skills required.

2) A Deadline Makes you More Responsible

If you want to transform your life from victim to victory. One secret way is to take complete responsibility for it. We all have the power of choices which gives us the power to take complete control of our lives by taking responsibilities. Moreover, taking complete responsibilities for your life puts you in a higher state of mind and body. 

From case study one, we learn that I did not take complete responsibilities for my career and hence had to lose an opportunity. However, from case study 2, we can notice that after I took complete responsibility for my actions, I was able to crack the interview I once was struggling with. 

So, what changed in both cases? One primary thing that changed was I built the right mindset to get what I wanted. Once I had the right mindset I was able to take complete responsibilities for my actions.

Here’s how you can take full responsibilities – 

  • Blame yourself not others – First things first, as you can see in my case, I held myself responsible for not learning the required skills on time.
  • Start acting rather than complaining – Rather than what went wrong, we must stay focused on what can go right. Find out how can you turn the situation around with your action rather than your words.
  • Say yes I made mistakes when you did – The first step in taking responsibility for something is to acknowledge where you are. It means acknowledging that you did make a mistake.
  • Learn from your Mistakes – We all make mistakes. Who is perfect? No one! But what is more important is to learn from our past mistakes and use them to our advantage to grow and take dedicated actions.

3) You can set priorities

Setting priorities can be challenging if you don’t know what goal you’re after. In such cases, we end up procrastinating and waste a lot of important time. While deadlines are necessary to obtain your goal, it is also crucial to understand how to set your priorities.

There is a fine line that defines what is important vs what is urgent. Urgent tasks are the work that we have to do quickly like a phone call or an email. Doing what’s a priority are the tasks that contribute to your long-term goals. 

In case study two, we see that my priorities were changed from fiddling with miscellaneous things to getting myself registered and working towards perfecting my skills. My priority was to gain as much knowledge as possible so that I could be prepared for the interview.

Here’s how you can set priorities – 

  • Identify what would bring you closer to your goal – If your goal is to launch your first product this year then your priority should be to complete research and development, Learn what your consumer wants. This would create a list of options that you would be needing your attention.
  • Figure out what is important – Once you have the list ready it is time you find out what is important and then rearrange it.
  • Assessing a certain value – After you have aligned them it is time to find out which of them would give you a quick return. 

4) It Inspires you to Take Actions

Taking actions towards your goals brings you closer to achieving them. However, most of us refrain from taking action because of end number of reasons. Setting a clear deadline for your goals creates a sense of urgency within you to get the necessary task done within a set limit. 

From case study one, we see that without deadlines I ended up wasting most of the time. However, with deadlines, I was able to get the job I desired cause I developed the necessary skills. The deadlines inspired me to take action like learning the course content within some days.

5) It Makes you Disciplined

One of the most well-known concepts in personal development is self-discipline. However, while most of us know what it is, very few know how to be disciplined. Discipline is critical towards achieving your goals, without discipline personal or professional success would just be a mystery. How does a Deadline for a goal make you discipline? 

We already know that deadlines to a goal bring us responsibilities. Once we take those responsibilities seriously, we act upon them consistently, forming a disciplined behavior. Therefore, discipline brings us stability and positive human behavior. 

Let’s take an example of case study 1 where I was not disciplined and took a vague decision. What did I get? Lousy results. Whereas, after learning from my experience, I took certain decisions and actions daily which created a habit and hence got me great results. 

Here’s how you can be disciplined – 

  • Step 1 – Self-control, There is one old saying which said that ‘out of sight, out of mind’ means to gain self-control we must keep ourselves away from all the distractions.
  • Step 2 – Don’t wait for the right time, Changing yourself or your career is not a smooth journey. It is full of uncomfortable measures that would stop you from making the right choices. However, at this stage, you must take action as and when your gut feeling tells you to.
  • Step 3 – Make mistakes but keep going, most of us when we make mistakes take a step back and hence compromise our long-term goals

Things to Consider Before Setting a Deadline for your Goal

  • Understand your Goal and do the Research

Setting a goal is not enough, understanding your goal is more important. You must be able to understand why you want to do it, attach a strong purpose behind it and figure out the actions you would be taking to reach your goals.

 Understanding all these aspects would give you a clear roadmap and reiterate your belief.

Also, What do I mean when I talk about research? You must find out that what is the average number of days or hours would be required to attain that goal. Had anyone else completed that before? How did they do it?

  • Acknowledge the resources you have and make the most of them.

Most of us don’t reach our goals not because we don’t have enough resources but we fail to be resourceful. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, manager, or someone who needs to improve their well-being, resourcefulness would set you apart from anyone else.

How to acknowledge resourcefulness? Once you understand your goals you can arm yourself with knowledge about what is it that you need to reach that goal. Check for everything that you own and how you can make optimum use of it. 

  • Here’s how you figure out the right Deadline 

To figure out the right Deadline to reach your goal three things are essential. It requires a complete understanding of your goals, knowing the resources you have and what you’ll need, and your potential. With these three things in place, you can reach any deadlines possible.

What can potentially lead to set the right deadline? Well, if you know the potential that you have to reach the top you can be confident and certain about achieving the goals. How do you find the potential? 

One way to find your potential is to look behind in your past and figure out how did you deal with a similar thing and how much time did you take to get it done.

This sets you up to set the right deadlines and improves the chances of achieving your goals.

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Hey, y'all I'm Faisal!!👋

I’m SO excited you’re here!  I’m super passionate about improving ourselves and the daily challenges we Millennials go through, gives me hope to change our lives for good!

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