As October comes closer to an end, we only have two months left in this year. We also come to realize the new year in sight means a lot of people start creating resolutions or goals for the new year in which they wish to better are try something new.
Often, people start having vivid dreams about these resolutions. They land these ideas into their mind and want their mind to seek out their passions. However, you can speak out your resolutions and talk about your dreams, but until you write them down on paper that’s all they are is nothing but dreams.
The beauty about goals is that if you put forth the effort, you can achieve your goals. Now there are a lot of these internet meme quotes that sit there and say dream big and when you dream big, that’s all you are doing is dreaming.
The best results are when you take those dreams and write them down and call them goals. Yet, heed caution. When you write big goals down, they will require a lot of effort and a lot of time. Some will disregard the idea and year after year set the same unattainable goals…and as history repeats itself, the New Year comes along and again you choose to dream big write your big goals down that are big and what do you do? You fail again.
This becomes a pattern. And thoughts and emotions control your actions and your development of success hinders. Thus, what you really need to do is create realistic goals, or goals that are not overbearing, have too many requirements, and hinder continued failure. Now, by no means should you create goals that are too easy. Life is not east, nor should your goals always be; yet keep them in the middle. So how do you create such goals? There is a common acronym that represents S.M.A.R.T. Goals.
For example, Let’s say that your goal is “I want to become the top salesperson in the company?” Great goal! Yet, now you need to answer some questions to better suit your goal. A good series of questions would come from the 5 famous W’s. Now answer these questions about this goal:
- Why do I want to achieve this goal?
- What will I need to do to achieve this goal?
- Who will be impacted by working on this goal?
- Where will I attain the resources to achieve this goal?
- Which people will help me achieve my goal?
While these should not be the only questions, you should really brainstorm additional questions that you need to think about how you’re going to achieve your goal. What specific actions will be required to make your goal effective?
In order to understand where you are as you work towards achieving your goal, you need to be able to measure yourself in how your are achieving your goal. Some questions you should think about are:
- How will you measure your performance of reaching your goal?
- How do you measure your progress?
- Do you have certain deadlines to meet certain aspects of your goal?
- Does your goal have smaller goals among it that you need to achieve, and if so, how do you track those respective goals?
This aspect of the goal setting process should be a number. Percentages and dates are the most common measures that are used. Suppose your goal is to lose 30 lbs. of weight by June 30th? How many pounds did you lose after the first or third month? Weight could be a good motivator to show you your results are getting your to your goal.
Your goal needs to be a goal that you can achieve. It needs to be realistic. For example, let’s say your goal is that you want to make $1 million this year. Is this possible? In order to determine whether or not the goal is achievable, you need to be able to identify how you’re going to be able to get to that goal and are the steps required to make the million dollars this year, are just as realistic.
- It’s June 30th…Are you at $500,000?
- Have you learned new skills to help get you there?
- Can you realistically get there by December 31st?
If you cannot reach the goal that you have set, then your need to go back and reexamine the goals and perhaps start a new one. Your goals need to be realistic. They should also not be too easy, yet not too hard as well. Set a goal in the middle where you need to push yourself, but not over do it.
Another strong aspect of goal making is whether or not the goal that you set out for is relevant. You need to be asking yourself questions whether or not the goal is right for this time. For example, let’s say that you are married and you’re wife is about to give birth. if you are looking to be the top salesperson this year and that requirement is going to require you to be gone 90% of the time, is that goal effective at this time if you’re going to need to help with a child or your spouse?
Using the same example as wanting to be the top salesperson, there may be other questions that you may need to ask yourself or jot down and ponder about:
- With the current market conditions, can I achieve this goal?
- Is my company in a spot where I can leverage resources to accelerate sales growth?
- What is the market forecast for my company’s goods or services look like for the next 12 to 18 months?
Each goal will have different expectations. Your questions will be different based on the goal you set forth. Just because you want to achieve a goal, you need to make sure that the conditions around you warrant the ability for you to achieve the goal that you have decided upon.
The last letter of the S.M.A.R.T. Goal acronym represent the impact of time. You really need to be able to understand if your goal is truly going to be attainable in the period of time you are suggesting. If this is an annual goal, does 12 months make sense?
You should also be able to utilize questions in your goal process that will throw out time goals:
- What aspects of my goal can I do today?
- What aspects of my goal can I knock out in a week?
- What aspects of my goal will I complete in a month or 6 months?
FAILURES ARE OKAY
Some of the most important aspects of creating goals is the ability to understand that having failures is okay. We are all born with different strengths and special skills. Some of us may not necessarily be able to achieve goals on the same level as other individuals. Sometimes, we may set goals higher than we should and constantly fail at achieving them.
However, when you fail at a goal it allows you the opportunity to take the information from the positives and the negatives of the experience and analyze them for growth. In respect to the the aspects of the goal in which you met or exceeded the expectations, take that knowledge and use it in all of your goals going forward. For the aspects of the goal in which you fell slightly short or completely failed, analyze what didn’t work and use that as leverage in your future goals to understand what you must not do to fall short or fail again. Negativity is not a failure, but rather a success of personal feedback as you grow towards your goals.
Do not give up when you fail. Take that goal and work at it until you achieve it. You can do it if you put your mind to it, eliminate all the negative energy around, and take the underachieved experiences and use them as leverage to hit your goal.