Welcome back, in my last blog I talked about getting stuck and not being able pushing through on a project to completion. One of the reasons could be your goals. So that’s what we are looking at today is your goals.
If you have been around any forward thinking business or group, the issue of goals comes up regularly. All of us have read articles, purchased books and tapes, sat through seminars or meetings where goals and goal setting where talked about. If you have been involved in projects or corporate strategy you have heard about goals, you may have helped to develop and write them. We even hear about goals from politicians as they talk about what they are going to do for you (or to you) during their term in office.
With all this noise about goals and what seems like a huge lack of results, I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to toss the whole idea about goals and say it doesn’t matter and it doesn’t work. Why, because most organizations, governments, and people have goals that if they are written on paper, they are not written on their hearts. It’s not personal, they don’t have any skin in the game, most people can’t tell you what the corporation goals are and they very rarely have bought in on these goals. I’d suggest that at best they are written down dreams or wishes.
So let’s take a few minutes and really get this goal issue nailed down. Let’s really master this important idea.
Let’s work through an example. Let’s say that you wanted to travel across the United States. Your specific goal is to travel from Central Park in New York City to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. You have some tools to help you along the way, a car and a compass. You have some basic understanding of geography, and you are able to read a compass. Could you get to Hollywood? Most of us could get from New York to the west coast IF you could find your way out of New York but chances are you would not make it to Hollywood on the first try. You would end up at the coast but not at the specific place you wanted to be.
Would you take on this challenge? Well if you had lots of time and nothing else to do it may be an interesting adventure, but my guess is you would soon want to get some other tools to help you out. A map would be handy or a GPS. You would also calculate the distance and see if you had enough money to pay for gas, food and accommodations. How about extra clothes or a camera? You may take your car into a trusted mechanic to make sure you don’t have an issue with your car. You may take things so far as to measure out distances and speeds to figure out where you will eat and sleep along the way. In other words you would spend some time on the DETAILS of your goal not just the start and end point.
How does this relate to goals? Well we can be really good about having something we are working to in the future that we call a goal, but we haven’t worked out all the details to make it happen. The sad fact is most of us spend more time and energy planning a day trip to the beach then we do the goals for our life. If we took the time to create our goals, why wouldn’t we take the time to figuring out what we would need to take to make it happen? Sad isn’t it. Are you guilty of this? I think we all can say “YES” to that question.
If you spend any time researching goals and goal setting you will come across the acronym SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based. This is all true but I also think having your goals Written, Reviewed and having some Passion are also important. So let’s go through the SMART Goal setting phases
Goals need to be Specific.
A goal of being rich is not specific whereas the goal to have a $100,000 income in 2 years is better but “I have a $10,000 a month of income by December of 2017” is more along the lines you should be thinking.
Goals need to be Measurable
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” (Peter Drucker) Measurement is important because it is the way that you figure out if you’re making progress. It will also allow you to take corrective action as time progress’s to the completion date. Are you ahead of schedule? Then you can maintain the energy that you are using but if your behind than you know it time to pick up the pace.
Goals must be Attainable
This is where reality bites into your goals. It would be impossible to compete in the Olympics sports if you’re a couch potato and you’re over 60’s. Seniors Olympics would be a possibility. It wouldn’t make sense just like a 300lb person have a goal of being a professional ballerina. Should your goals stretch you yes but if you’re afraid of heights then being a stunt pilot is going to be next to impossible. The idea is not to set yourselves up for failure before you start.
Goals must be Relevant
Your goals need to be relevant to you. Your goals have to meet your needs about what you want to get out of life. We all know someone how is in a career because their parents or friends wanted to be a doctor or teacher but they wanted to be something else like a painter or a business man. The goals have to be yours, not your parents or your spouse, but yours.
You also don’t want to have an impossible goal, like being the world’s best seller of whale oil lamps or making everyone happy, or be perfect. You’re setting yourself up for failure. Your goals should set yourself up for success
Goals must be Time-based
Goals need a deadline, a specific date where your can shot for. Otherwise they quickly become dreams on that island called someday-I’ll. That place where dreams go to die.
So that’s the bases of the SMART goal setting. And it will work but I also think that you need to have your goals Written, Reviewed and have some Passion for them.
Goals need to be Written.
“The palest ink is stronger that any memory.” (Amie Ernst) If you can remember all you goals in your head you don’t have enough. The act to writing them down gives them some extra power. They seem to take on a life of their own. They will make it harder to forget and easier to measure.
Goals must be Reviewed
You should review and read your goals DAILY and have regular scheduled goal review times to make sure you are on track. You also need the time to break down you goals into monthly, weekly and daily goals. Most of us look at our goals and we get overwhelmed at where to start. Breaking big goals down to smaller goals is also a way of staying focused. It also gives you a chance to adjust your tactics to achieve you goals
Goals must generate some Passion.
Your goals need to create an emotional response. You should be getting excited about your goals. That being said you may not feel the excitement EVERYDAY when you review them. But you should feel some emotion regularly when you read them. You have to have that emotion give you the passion to fight through when you hit the wall and things get tough.
So get a blank piece of paper and start to write down some goals. Remember to stretch. If you can achieve your goals without getting out of you comfort zone then you really have not created goals that are in line with you potential.
You are made for great things.
What should you write your goals about? Well next time we’ll talk about financial goals but in future blogs we will address personal improvement, relationships and career goals
NOTE: the numbers used are just examples. No one has a better understanding of your business and your needs than you do so make the numbers work for you and your business.
You can change your goals if you find that you can’t achieve you goal or you find that is isn’t a goal you want. For example if you have a goal to travel in Europe by hitchhiking but you get married and have 5 kids. Then the practicality of your goal may have changed. But before you do make sure you are not just settling so you can achieve them.