Over 95% of the population do not understand goal setting and the positive impact in can have of their personal achievement yet they say they do not require motivation
Let us be clear all successful people set CLEAR, SPECIFIC GOALS and that is the foundation of goal setting whether you use the acronym SMART or any other it all boils down to this. Many people set vague or confused goals and wonder why they never come to fruition, in fact I would go as far as to say that unsuccessful people either do not set goals or they may set unspecific goals…. “I wart to be happy”….”I want to be rich”.
Some people find that an acronym helps them when setting goals, the most famous is SMART which stands for Specific; Measurable; Attainable; Realistic and Timely
Looking at each section in part can we build a foundation for successful goal setting?
SPECIFIC: In order to develop a specific goal I am sorry you cannot do so on a whim in an instant, it does require that awful word WORK! I suggest you find some time when you can sit down in a quiet place and write down everything that comes into your mind that you may want, at this stage I do not care if it is an Aston Martin or a 60 foot cabin cruiser that you write down whatever comes into your mind goes onto the paper. Only when you have exhausted your mind, if you are like me you will now have over 100 items, do you go through and cross out according to SMART that is the ones that at this stage are not attainable or realistic. Keep going until you are down to two or three left then taking each in turn write out the goal in as great a detail as possible see yourself attaining the goal and write out details of the impact it will make on your life. You will probably find that only one of the goals you write out in detail meet the criteria of the SMART process – this is your major definite purpose your specific goal.
MEASURABLE:- It does not matter what sort of goal you have targeted as your specific goal it must be measurable. Now that you know where you are going (which puts you in the top 5% of the population) you need to be able to measure your progress as these steps will be your motivation.Example my goal last year was to drive from the UK (my home) to Xativa in Spain, 1580 miles. I knew when I was leaving, I knew when I wanted to get there so it was an easy step to calculate the number of miles I had to cover each day.
If you goal is not easily measurable simply ask yourself “How will I know when it is accomplished” and take that as your final step and work back to where you are now so that you have a map to measure your progress. Everything is measurable.
ATTAINABLE:- This is where many people have a lack of understanding in goal setting. If your goal is very easy to attain motivation levels will never be such that you will even attain this simple goal. A goal needs to stretch you out of your comfort zone but still remain attainable in your mind. Even if it means learning new skills if you believe you can do it you will do it. As Napoleon Hill said “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe that he will achieve”.
Goal setting is not just thinking about what you really want to achieve in your life. If you keep your goals in your head you will never be fully committed to them and if you fall be the wayside you will have a dozen excuses ready to comfort yourself.Setting goals is more than a motivational quote, in order to experience self improvement you need to write down exactly what you want to achieve. You need to write it down in great detail, what impact will it have on your life, can you visualise your life having achieved your goal.If you can write out your goal in the greatest detail you are 75% of the way to achieving it even before you take the first step and you are in the top 3% of successful people in the Western World.
REALISTIC: What do I mean when I say realistic, after all I have just said it should be attainable – is there a difference? – YES A goal can be both high and realistic, you are the only one that can decide what to you is realistic. As I said above that so many make the mistake of thinking they are setting goals that are easily attained or fanciful, importantly a goal must be realistic, that is not to say that it cannot be challenging. For if your goal is challenging you will develop on way to personal achievement.
If you truly believe that you can attain your goal then it is a realistic goal, if it calls for changes in your life you will ensure that those changes will take place because you will receive motivation from moving ever close to the achievement of the goal by making those changes.
Timely: It is no good setting out a goal unless you also set out when you want to achieve it by, this could be classed as a goal within a goal for it must be specific; measurable; attainable and realistic.
One goal I hear over and over is “I want to be a millionaire by next week.” You can visualise to your heart’s content and see yourself pushing barrows full of money away from a bank and it will still not happen unless you win the lottery and that is not realistic and as it is outside your influence cannot be a goal it is a dream.
However when you set a time frame do not set it too far into the future, if it has to be a long way off it could be a dream not a goal.
Now feel it >>>> If your goal does not turn you on >>> Question it – it is probably not a goal.