Strategies For Achieving Smart Goals

Lesson 13 : Goals

Strategies For Achieving Smart Goals

1. Setting goals is easy but achieving them isn't. Make your goal as Specific as possible and express it in positive terms. You'll need a way to evaluate your progress and determine if you're moving towards your goal. For example, if you want to improve your finances, then you should have a way of keeping track of income and expenses.

Is your goal Achievable? Consider whether you have the resources necessary to achieve your goal. Realistic goals are achievable goals, unrealistic goals are just dreams.
Example : Losing 30 pounds in 2 weeks is not impossible but it's not very likely and certainly not healthy.

Make your goal Timely by stating a due date for your goal and the action steps involved in achieving it.

2. Align your goals with your values. If your goal doesn't reflect your beliefs and character then you'll have difficulty achieving it. And even if you do manage to get what you want, you won't be very happy. Set a goal which is meaningful to you and be clear about the consequences of your outcome.

3. Share your goals with three to five key people. Not everyone needs this strategy with every goal but almost everyone can benefit from it at some point. Finding supportive, positive people is key because you certainly don't need anyone sabotaging your progress.

4. Assemble everything you need before you need it. This prep work is vital in eliminating the frustrating and time consuming "running around" which can derail your progress later on.

5. Minimise potential challenges. There are 3 key ways to prevent overconfidence and poor planning from creating obstacles down the line:

  • Create a complete, measurable, action plan which includes all the steps necessary to achieve your goal. Don't forget due dates for each step.
  • Incorporate all your actions into your schedule. Add them to your calendar with anywhere from 10-20% flextime to help you control any unexpected delays.
  • Regularly evaluate your progress. You may need to make changes or adjustments as your project takes shape. Anticipate them so you won't get blind-sided.

6. Complete at least one action per day. Consistent actions will propel you towards your goal. Even choosing a small task will make a dent in your to-do list and may motivate you to do even more.

7. Establish a support system. Who or what can provide you with encouragement, advice, healthy feedback or a willing ear?

8. Reward yourself. Don't wait until you achieve your goal, especially if it's a long-term one. Reward yourself as you reach certain milestones. Something as simple as scheduling time for yourself or perhaps a special treat that you've felt guilty about indulging in can keep you motivated to keep going.

Top 10 Steps To Successful Goals:

"There is no such thing as a wish without the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however." Richard Bach.1

1. Successful Goals are Clear

"In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia" - Author Unknown. Get very clear about your goals. It helps you avoid the Rinse and Repeat Trap - get up in the morning, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, fall asleep in front of the TV, stumble to bed, get up the next morning, rinse and repeat.

2. Successful Goals are written down

No matter how strong your memory, it's still not as strong as the weakest link. Putting your goals in writing and in a place where you read them often dramatically increases your chances for success. We can get so caught up in living day-to-day that we forget our goals. Seeing them often will remind you where you want to go.

3. Successful Goals are Compelling

We need goals that excite us about the outcome we desire and the process of getting there. It ought to be fun. If you can't bring a passion to your goals, you may want to change your goals.

4. Successful Goals Require Immediate Action

Taking immediate action helps build excitement and momentum. Once you set a goal you must do one of two things - either don't leave the place where you set the goal without taking an action toward completing the goal or don't go to bed that night without taking some kind of action. Make a phone call, create a plan, do your research, whatever needs to happen to get you started.

5. Successful Goals Have an Action Plan

You need an action plan, a map. How are you going to get there? What's the first step, the second, and then the next and the next? The most common cause of failed goals is lack of a plan. Ask others "How would you go about achieving this goal?" Find someone who has already created a map to get there and adapt it for you own life.

6. Successful Goals are Specific

When do you want it? How much of it do you want? How long do you want it? How will you and others know when you get there? What will be different? And my favourite question; what will you be able to do once you reach your goal that you can't do now?

7. Successful Goals are Accountable

Committing your goals into writing holds you accountable to yourself. Telling someone else about your goals allows someone else to help hold you accountable. We all need someone who will hold our hand to guide us along and someone who will hold our feet to the fire when we begin to think about giving up.

8. Successful Goals Require Work

Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, said "There is no such thing as a wish without the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however." Goals require work. So do many things worth doing.

9. Successful Goals Require CPR

You want to be Consistent, Persistent and Resistant. Consistent in your efforts each day. Persistent to keep going when it gets tough. Resistant to both the desire to give up and to those who might say you cannot do it.

10. Successful Goals Require Celebration!

No matter how small or how big the goal, celebrate when you are successful. You worked hard, you deserve it and it's fun. Celebration reinforces all your efforts and builds momentum for the next goals.

Last modified: Saturday, 24 March 2012, 8:22 AM