I messed up.
Last month, I posted a blog article called Top Ten Tips for Achieving Your Goals. It was a concise summary of the factors that go in to making my goals become reality. I enjoyed writing that post and sharing what I’ve learned over the years on goal achievement. And the bonus was receiving positive feedback from folks who struggle with achieving their goals.
Well, that was all wonderful until I realized that I left out a very important part of my discussion on goals.
I didn’t include the beginning.
Yes, I should have started that article by going over goal basics so that those new to the concept could actually create a goal to achieve.
So, allow me to fix that by sharing more of what I’ve learned about the goal setting process. In this post, I will take you all the way back to the beginning by going over the what, why and how when it comes to goals.
I define a goal as a desired future outcome that is achieved through planned effort. Goals are not miracles or accidents. They are purposeful ideas that encourage us to take specific actions.
“A GOAL WITHOUT A PLAN IS JUST A WISH.”
– ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY
Goals help satisfy our ambitions by giving us something to accomplish and by fulfilling our need for achievement.
“WITHOUT DREAMS AND GOALS, THERE IS NO LIVING, ONLY MERELY EXISTING, AND THAT IS NOT WHY WE ARE HERE.”
– MARK TWAIN
Goal setting is a process that starts with your dreams and leads to the creation of a new reality.
It is very important to design goals to be very effective since they are going to be your focal point for immediate action. The most popular goal setting system is the SMART method. Each letter in the word “smart” represents a characteristic of effective goals. I like to add a few more letters at the end to make my goals even SMARTER.
The “S” stands for specific. Your goal must be clear, well defined and focused on one outcome. Here you should avoid making statements that are vague and fluffy. Get precise with your wording so that you (and others) will know exactly what the goal is meant to accomplish.
The “M” stands for measurable. Here, you want to make sure that your goal can be measured in some way so that it can be monitored for progress and completion. Most measurable goals include a specific number of whatever is to be achieved.
The “A” stands for attainable. The best goals are challenging, but they are also achievable. When you get too ambitious, your chances for being unsuccessful are greater and this will ruin your motivation for doing anything at all.
The “R” stands for relevant. Your goals should help you get closer to your objectives and dreams. Starting the goal setting process with the big picture in mind allows you to focus on goals that will actually get you to accomplishing things that really matter to you.
The “T” stands for time-bound. When writing your goals, always include a deadline for completion to motivate yourself with a sense of urgency. Clear timeframes also allow us to budget our efforts over the duration. It is hard to maintain focus indefinitely.
This “E” stands for evaluated. You should have a system for evaluating and revising your goals as your dreams, objectives and circumstances change over time. Goals should be evaluated regularly to ensure that they are leading to the desired outcome.
This “R” stands for realistic. Make sure that you have a manageable number of goals, and design them with your actual capabilities and resources in mind. Setting unrealistic goals will only lead to frustration.
“SETTING GOALS IS THE FIRST STEP IN TURNING THE INVISIBLE INTO THE VISIBLE.”
– TONY ROBBINS