I’m sure you, like me, are bombarded with emails, conversations and thoughts about goal setting, particularly each new year. If I had a nickel for each email I’ve received since Jan 1st that talked about goal setting, I’d be a rich woman! Yet, have I set my goals down on paper yet? No, I haven’t. Until this week, I have been diligently trying to avoid the whole topic, no doubt because I have had limited success with achieving any goals I’d actually written down in years past.
Then recently, some information came my way that just made so much sense. It’s not new information, that’s for sure, but I guess my mind was just finally open to it and it sunk in. I FINALLY understand why having a “why” visibly attached to your goals is so important. And even more importantly, why your “why” must be in front of you at all times.
Here’s what I learned: the reason so many people fail to achieve the goals they set for themselves is they focus too much on the process of achieving those goals, rather than their “why” for the goal itself.
For example, the #1 goal set each Jan. 1st is to lose weight. So many people seriously set this as a goal for themselves as each new year begins, yet so many never realize their goal. Why? Because they focus on the process of achieving that goal, rather than why they have the goal in the first place.
The process of losing weight is not all that glamorous, to be sure. You have to change your routines, get moving, be consistent, and be patient as you work through the process. If you decide you are going to walk briskly for 30 minutes each weekday, what happens the first day it rains?
If you are focusing on the process, your thoughts will likely sound something like, “No, I’d really rather not get soaking wet today, thank you very much.”
But if you are focused on your goal of having more energy and being able to keep up with your kids or grandkids, then you’ll likely be thinking, “Ok, where can I take my walk that I won’t risk pneumonia in the process?”
I have resolved to only write down goals for which I have a strong “why”. I encourage you to do the same. Forget what everyone else’s goals are. Forget what everyone else says you should be able to accomplish. What do YOU want to accomplish, and why?
When you figure that out, then make life easier on yourself and keep those “whys” in clear view. Focus on how you’ll feel when you achieve the goal – live it NOW.
Monitor how you talk about the goal.
Concentrate on the positives of your “why”, not the negatives of the process.
Tell someone else about your goal, so you have someone to go to later and say, “Please…remind me why I’m doing this again?” It can make all the difference in the world…in your world.
Goal setting is like working on a business plan, it needs to be felt and analyzed. It needs more than just an evaluation of what you want and desire, it entails an in-depth analysis of what you are capable of and what you want to do. Just like a business plan, you should also consider the risk and rewards, cost and opportunities, possibilities and resources. It takes so much to set a life goal, but it is the foundation of getting what you want. It is the path in which you drive your efforts into, a solid brick foundation of your dreams and ambition.
Being SMART when setting goals is important. Especially if you really want good results at the end of your quest. Just like in business planning, you need your goals in place, and should follow the SMART principle. Goals needs to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bounded.
Specific – When an objective is put in place, you should be very specific about it. It should not be too general for it can mislead you to what you really want. Be clear and precise about your goals and you will have a clear direction into it.
Measurable – You should be able to measure the progress you are making towards your goal. In setting up a goal, you should be able to answers questions about quantity such as “how much” and “how many”. Knowing the figures will help you in the evaluation if you are really gearing up towards your objective.
Achievable – We know that we are bound to great things, that everything is possible, but let us not disregard our limitations and specialties. Our skills are enhanced on various matters; we do not have the monopoly of all the knowledge and skills. Everything can be learned but wouldn’t it be more realistic and achievable if we gear our objectives up to what we were really meant to be?
Relevant – Choose goals that matters to you. You can set a lot of specific goals, one that you think will work out just fine to make your life better but is it relevant? Is it important? Is it worth your time and effort? Choose what is relevant, choose what matters.
Time-bound – Set a time frame. Know when you would want to have your goals and objective materialized. The tendency of not setting a time frame that is realistic is that you will tend to procrastinate doing things. So have a realistic time frame and work on your objectives religiously.
Still, like all other things, being SMART is not the end of goal setting, You need to EVALUATE and RE-EVALUATE just to make sure that all other things are still gearing towards your goal. SMART setting of goals need not be the smartest for you leave no room for flexibility in the superlative form, you just need to be SMARTER and you’re off to a good start.
Remember, You Are More Powerful Than You Know!
Brian K. Bailey and Iyabunmi Moore
Brian K. Bailey is a fitness consultant, motivator, and personal development coach. On this site you will find a wide variety of content, information, tips, and tricks when it comes to personal development, and many other topics that will help you along the path of Transforming Your Life! http://www.impowermenow.com/