Are you ready to get pass talking and wishing about your goals and start achieving them? If you are like most people they talk and dream about achieving their goals, but that is where it usually ends. At the beginning of each year millions of people create a wish list of things they want to accomplish. We usually call this list our New Year’s Resolutions.
New Year’s Resolutions
I was one of the many people that set New Year’s Resolutions, but before the end of January either I had given up, fallen behind, reverted back to things as usual, over did it or failed. The real tragedy is not that I failed at achieving my resolutions, but rather I didn’t have a specific plan to implement that positioned me for success.
Every year I would develop a list of good intentions, but I had no real plan in place on how to accomplish my goals. Therefore, every year I was left with a feeling of failure, discouragement and disappointment because I never came close to achieving my desired goals.
If you have encountered the same situation trust me, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can put together a simple and effective plan that will lead you to goals success.
I found the key to goals success is changing how you think and the way you do things. There is no magic or a special formula. You are going to have to put feet to your faith and work smart.
The Five SMART Goal Keys
I like the SMART way to set goals. SMART is the acronym for five qualities of setting a goal. We will take a look at my SMART way of goal setting and achieving. The example I will use is setting a goal to lose twenty pounds.
Our SMART method will give you a solid guideline to define your target and the inspiration to go after it.
1. Specific – One of the most important qualities of an effective goal is that it is specific. When your goals are specific, you know exactly where you want to go and what you need to accomplish. There is no confusion and doubt because the more specific you make your goal the more focused you become. A specific goal does not take you around in circles, but it puts you on the right path to your destination.
Our specific goal example: I am going to lose 20 lbs.
2. Measurable – Goals have value only if you establish concrete criteria for measuring progress towards their attainment. When you measure your goals you make them quantifiable, you see your target dates and you experience the excitement of seeing your progress. If your goals are not measured, it will make it tough for you to stay motivated to achieve them when you have no milestones to indicate your progress.
The measurable for our goal of losing 20 lbs. is a begin date of March 1, 2012 and a target completion date of July 6, 2012.
3. Actionable – Successful people not only set goals, they take action. They do not spend a whole lot of time talking and wishing about their goals. They develop a goals plan then spend the major bulk of their time executing their plan. The secret to achieving your goals is to get started.
In our example of losing 20 lbs., you may need to develop an exercise routine that starts out fifteen or twenty minutes every other day. Start small with deliberate action and begin to work your way up. You may have to begin cutting back on certain fatty foods and replace them with healthier foods. If you will stick to your plan as much as possible you will find these small actionable steps will pay off.
4. Reinforcing – When you set actionable goals make sure they are in agreement with your values. You should not set any goal that does not support your core values. Your core values are your fundamental beliefs that provide guidelines for your daily choices and actions. Any goal that is outside your core values will take you away from your overall goals plan.
A solid core value for our goal of losing 20 lbs. is to be in good physical health.
5. Trackable – Now that you have made your goals specific, measurable, actionable and reinforcing; now you need to have a plan to track them. As you take action on your goals, you will need to continually track your progress in case you have to make any adjustments or changes. You may find some goals you track do not really contribute to your overall vision and will need to be eliminated.
The goal of losing 20 lbs. by July 6, 2012 can be easily tracked using our Goals Matter! Planning Sheet. Our goals sheet will help you stay on target and let you know if you need to make any changes to your plan.
Question: What goals can you set to begin working through these five steps? Leave a comment.