Setting Goals Right – Part One: What and When
Thank you to those who shared my first post on Facebook and gave me feedback and positive comments. I'm really grateful for the response. I've got lots of things I want to talk about. What I plan to do over the next few weeks is post two or three times a week on two different tracks. I'm going to call the first track (of which this post is the first) Setting Goals Right. On this track, I want to talk about the fundamentals of setting goals. This will be old-hat for some of you and brand new for others.
The second track I will kick off next week will delve more into some philosophies and attitudes toward goal setting and some of the things that I have come to understand about why goal setting works, how it works and how you can use this to your advantage.
I will also bring some more features to the blog site so that it is easier to navigate and also easier for you to give me comments and feedback and to share my posts with your friends on social media.
Today I want to talk about the first two key parts to setting powerful goals that inspire and motivate you. The first step in setting any goal is to decide what it is that you want. And that can take some thought. Decide what your goal is and write it down. If it’s not written down, you won’t capture it and the next time you think of it, it might be different. Be sure to use a lot of descriptive language and define as much detail as possible. If your goal is too vague, the power of goals won’t work for you. Use your imagination and remember, you must be specific to be terrific.
To take a simple example, someone might have a goal to own a nice car. Great! That’s a terrific goal. For many people, it would be wonderful to drive down the road in a great car that you worked hard to buy (if this doesn’t do it for you, you can think of any other simple example you like here!). The real test of the strength of this goal is when you define what type of car it is. What colour? What year, make and model? Leather seats? What accessories and gadgets are there? You see, when you start to see the detail, you start to believe in it. And belief in your goals is absolutely critical to their achievement.
The second key aspect to setting a goal is to have a due date. This is a deadline by which you will achieve your goal. You might say, “well it doesn’t matter when I get my goal so long as I achieve it” and you may be right, to some degree. If the goal isn’t particularly difficult and doesn’t stretch you, you might even achieve it in reasonable time. But you don’t just have easy goals, do you? You have big goals as well. Goals that you’re going to have to stretch and grow and go outside of your comfort zone. And if you have no due date to hold yourself accountable to, guess when you’re going to do all that hard stuff that takes you outside of that comfortable place? Tomorrow! Well tomorrow never comes. But your goal due date does. So set it!
Next week, the next step we’ll move on to is your action plan. The steps you’re going to take in order to achieve your goal.
For today, I’d like to leave you with an assignment. Write down some of the things that you’d like to do, have and achieve in your life. Write down big things, small things, middle-sized things, everything that comes into your mind. Don’t worry about how you’d go about achieving them yet – that’s for another session. Just get them out on paper. Next, write down next to each goal when you’d like to achieve it by. For the longer term goals like that multi- million dollar dream home, you may put down a number of years. For shorter term goals that are in your more immediate future, put down a specific date, and maybe even a time.
Remember, reading these words won’t make your goals turn into reality. Reading, understanding and then putting into practice the concepts above and you’re well on your way. So go ahead and do the exercise - it won't take long and it could be the start of something awesome!