Sunday, June 30, 2013

What Are Your Goals?

Did you know that less than 3% of people have written goals? Why? Studies have shown that the most successful people are the ones who have specific, written goals.  This is true in both your personal and your business life.  Perhaps most people don't have written goals because they don't understand how to set and use them. Since setting goals is one of the most important keys to achieving business success, let's learn how to use them wisely.

Setting a goal is not like a New Year's resolution. That is just a wish, an annual ritual we use to lull ourselves into thinking next year will be different. But just wishing and hoping for something isn't going to make it happen. You need to have a target to shoot for and a plan to get there. That's where goal setting comes in. 

When planning your goals, first establish the time frame. They could be lifetime goals, 10 year, 5 year, 1 year, 6 month, 3 month, 1 month or weekly goals. I have a 5 year plan and a yearly plan that I use to set up monthly goals. I also have ongoing goals, such as exercising 3 - 5 times a week.

Be specific when you write your goals. Don't just write down "I want to lose weight" or "I want to increase my client base." Write "I will lose 60 pounds by December 2013" or "I will have my new Training for Trainers website online by August 1, 2013" (which is actually MY newest goal!).   Make sure your goal statement is positive. Don't say, "I don't want to be fat." Say "I will be a healthy weight by July 2013."  Instead of saying "I don't want a job" say "I will start a home business by January 1, 2014."

The achievement of a worthwhile goal can seem overwhelming at first. The easiest way to proceed is to break your goal down into smaller steps. Start with the first step then move onto the next. When making your plans, a good way is to start is from the end part and work your way to the present.

Measure your progress. After you complete a step, check it off. Watching steady progress is a good motivator. For example, while working towards my weight loss goal, I can mark off milestones of 10 pounds or 20, 40, and finally 60!  Each day, as I build a page of my new website, I know I am one page closer to reaching my goal.

Don't be discouraged by setbacks. All successful people experience setbacks, disappointments, and failure along the way. That's just part of the process. That's part of learning. Many times these act as course corrections to get you back on target.

There are several success principles used in goal achievement. One is properly programming your mind. You need to review your goal morning and at night before you go to bed. Have your goal written on a 3 x 5 card so you can review during the day. At night, ask your subconscious mind for solutions to problems, and methods or tools for helping you achieve your goal.

Another important principle is that of persistence. No one has enjoyed great achievement without persistence. Do something everyday towards your goal. A day's action puts you one step closer to your objective. Doing something everyday creates a momentum that is hard to stop.

When it comes to achieving your goals, you need to think of yourself as an unstoppable force moving relentlessly toward your objective. Keep moving forward, one step at a time, and before you realize it, you will be marking another goal as "Accomplished!".


Joyce Mason said...

What a timely post for me. I set 10 goals for my writing this year, a fairly vigorous agenda but realistic if I keep at it. Your post made me check my list and breathe a sigh that I've already accomplished 3 out of 10 and am making steady progress toward the other seven. One or two may need to be reassessed for urgency and may slip into 2014's list. Thank you!

I can't agree more that written goals are the hallmark of accomplishment. They are a commitment to yourself. Without them, there's no assessing progress.

BTW, I just went back to Weight Watchers after many years absence and the results of not writing down my goals and what I eat. While I'm only a bit over 2% toward my goal after the first week, you've made me see how, as a writer, the most important writing I do before any other is to write down my goals.

Melodieann Whiteley said...

I know - it's hard to stay focused without a set of goals to strive towards. It's like setting out on a road trip without a map. Thankfully, I had a great mentor while in college who taught me that lesson. Good luck with your goals! 10 doesn't sound like to many - not if I know you! Let us know as you check them off your list. We'll be your cheering section!