Author Zig Ziglar was often quoted as saying, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”
Setting goals is easy, reaching them takes dedication!
I believe, in most cases, its not in the reaching of the goals that’s important, its the journey there, and who you become along the way. Which makes it even more important to have goals and visions.
There are many ways to set goals, and all of them can be the right way, the thing is to find a way that works for you. One of the most common models is the SMART model. This is the framework I use, which is a slight deviation and detailed below.
SMART is an acronym for Simple/specific, Measurable, Attractive/attainable, Realistic/relevant and Time/time-bound.
Keep the goals simple and focused, rather than wordy and vague.
They must identify exactly what you want to accomplish – the more specific the better.
Bad: Write a book
Good: Write an e-book on the 5 principle of success.
Make sure the achievement of this goal is measurable ie ask the question “How will you know you’ve achieved this goal?”, “what will be different once this is accomplished?”.
Bad: “Earn more than last year”
Good: “Earn $6000 more this year than last year”
The goal must be appealing, not just for the short term, but for the long term also. Start with an action verb (quit, run, finish etc)
Bad: Write more books.
Good: Write 2 books a year.
The goal needs to be achievable. A good goal needs to stretch you, push your comfort zone or just outside it.
Bad: Qualify for the Swimming Olympic team
Good: Increase the number of lengths swam in half and hour by 4.
Timed or time-bound.
Associate a date with you goal. A goal without a date is a dream. Know when it will be achieved.
Bad: Lose 10Kg
Good: Lose 10Kg by 31st December 2016
Two more to add to make the model Smarter:
If you’re in a team make it team bound.
Ethical is just that, no harm to anyone!
Revisit you’re goal on a regular basis and review it, is it still attainable or have the goal posts (pun intended) moved? Record the results so when you look back you can see how far you’re come, this is a great gratitude check.
Some pointers on the goals themselves.
- To start with, don’t overwhelm yourself with too many goals, I’d suggest 3 main goals you want to achieve this year and along side, 3 goals you’d like to achieve.
Write down your goals, there is huge power in writing them down. Then create an action plan to accomplish them.
Review them frequently. Reviewing them keeps them in the front of your mind and keeps them active. Keep asking yourself, what’s the next thing/step I need to take to achieve this goal? Take your daily inspiration from them. I read and/or review mine each week.
Share on a need to know basis. There is a compelling case that sharing goals makes them less likely to happen. Share with those who are committed to helping you achieve your goals (Mentor, coach, business partner). David Sivers in his 2010 TED talk explains why
A vision is letting your imagination go wild, let go of everything that you think is or is not possible, just let go, and imagine you and those around you (your family, or future family) or whatever living a life of your dreams, dare to dream, that this could be possible, be excited, and write it down in detail. Write down your ideal average day. This is where your goals will lead you to… enjoy!