A practicle guide for making your wildest dreams come true.
I encourage you to pick up a pen and a piece of paper and jot down the goals you want to reach. Look at each goal and evaluate it. Make any changes necessary to ensure it meets the criteria for a S.M.A.R.T. goals:
Goals should be straightforward and emphasize what you want to happen. Specifics help us to focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do. Specific is the What, Why, and How of the S.M.A.R.T. model. WHAT are you going to do? WHY is this important? HOW are you going to do it? Ensure the goals you set is very specific, clear and easy. Instead of setting a goal to be healther, set a goal to join a gym and actually go 3 times a week.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Build into the goal several short-term or small measurements that can show you progress toward the goal. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goals.
When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. Goals which are too far out of your reach, you probably won’t commit to doing. Although you may start with the best of intentions, the knowledge that it’s too much for you means your subconscious will keep reminding you of this fact and will stop you from even giving it your best. A goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel you can do it and it will need a real commitment from you. The feeling of success along the way to your goal helps to keep you motivated.
This is not a synonym for “easy.” Realistic, only means “do-able.” It means that the learning curve is not a vertical slope; that the skills needed to do the work are available. The goal needs to be realistic for you and where you are at the moment. Be sure to set goals that you can attain with some effort! Too difficult and you set the stage for failure, but too low sends the message that you aren’t very capable. Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement!
Set a timeframe for the goal: for next week, in three months, by your 50th birthday.. Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards. If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague. It tends not to happen because you feel you can start at any time. Without a time limit, there’s no urgency to start taking action now. Time must be measurable, attainable and realistic. .
Is the goal right for me?
You will know whether or not a goal you have chosen is important by answering these five questions.
Is it really MY goal?
Is it morally right and fair?
Are my short-range goals consistent with my long-term goals?
Can I commit myself emotionally to completing the project?
Can I visualize myself reaching this goal?
If you have answered “No” to even one of these questions, you may want to reconsider this goal. In the short-term it may appear to work for you, but in the long run, you may exposing yourself to a lot of unnecessary conflict and frustration.
Be sure to set big goals as well as multiple incremental goals. Big goals force you to reach in and use the potential that is inside of you. Long-range goals help you to overcome short-range failures.
Remember, you will not pay a price for setting goals. You will pay a price for not setting them. We can choose to get caught up our everyday lives without feeling any real sense of purpose or we can choose to accomplish something meaningful with our lives that gives us a sense of direction and motivation.
Co-Dean Vanguard Business Academy