Posts tagged ‘overcoming adversity’

Techniques for completing goals

In an earlier post, I discussed how to use smart goals. In this post, I’d like to discuss a few techniques that I have used personally with goal setting. Some of these techniques might seem “whacky” but they work! Remember many people don’t reach their goals because they fail to plan and some of those who plan are not necessarily doing it the right way.  So to have a different outcome, let’s not be afraid to use different methods.

Here are 5 techniques that will help you reach your goals:

Technique 1: Limit yourself to no more than four goals in a 12-month period (Three is ideal). 

When you focus on too many goals, then it becomes too difficult to give any one of them the attention that they deserve. If the goals that you set are important to you, you should be able to say what these goals are even if someone woke you up at 3 a.m.. Of course, it’s much easier to memorize three  goals than it is to memorize 10 goals.

Technique 2: Write goals in the present or past tense and describe the benefits of achieving these goals.

This technique works because it helps your brain focus on the benefits of achieving. For example, instead of writing “I will reach $10M in sales by December,” I would write “By December, I reach $10M in sales.” Better yet is to write these goals in the past tense. For example, “By December, I have reached $10M in sales.”

Technique 3: Take time to visualize your goals. What does it mean for you to reach them?

In his book “Over the Top,” Zig Ziglar tells the story of an executive who wasn’t performing very well. His sales manager had a counseling session with him and told him that if he reached his sales goals, he would get a corner office. Getting that corner office was important to the salesman and became a great motivator. He started to see himself in that corner office with the nice view from his windows. In the end, he did reach his goals.

Do you want to get a promotion? What will it mean to you? Will you get a company car? Will you get a higher salary that will allow you to take a vacation or buy nicer clothes? Paint the pictures of these benefits in your mind as you strive to reach your goals. When I look at my goals, I always paint a picture of the benefits of reaching them.  For example, for a goal about losing weight, I imagine myself fitting in clothes that no longer fit or having increased energy.

Technique 4: Write your goals everywhere you can see them

This is a famous technique that I learned from a sales manager. Write your goals everywhere you can see them such as your wallet or sticky notes that you can place on your mirror, your monitor or anywhere else you might get a chance to look at them.

Technique 5: Don’t just write SMART goals, write SMARTER goals!  That’s another post.

Have smart goals that you are Enthusiastic (or emotional) about and Review them often.

May 1, 2010 at 6:56 pm 2 comments

Turn your resolutions into smart goals

As we begin 2010, many have gone or are going through the rituals of setting new resolutions. Most of these resolutions will be forgotten a few months later if not days later. The reason is that these resolutions are simply wishes, pie in the sky, castles in Spain or in other words daydreaming. So, what steps can one take to ensure that these resolutions do become a reality? The answer is simple. Turn these resolutions not just into goals but into smart goals.

First, let’s define a smart goal. A smart goal is a goal that is specific, time bound and can be measured. In other words, a smart goal has the following attributes:

T=Time Bound

Goals need to be specific. It’s amazing that people make resolutions but are unclear how to make their resolutions successful. For example, “I want to lose weight” is not specific enough. Would losing 1 lb, 5lbs or 10 lbs be sufficient? A specific goal would be “I will lose 20 lbs.” (Please note that this is not a smart goal but merely a goal that this specific).

A second attribute of smart goals is that they are measurable. To decide whether a goal can be measured, one question that may help is: “How will an impartial observer agree that the goal was completed successfully?” For example, wanting to become “an expert in the C programming language,” is a worthy goal, it is not measureable. Who would decide that I am expert in the C programming language? Is there a body that certifies people as being experts in the C programming language? Then, a better way to make the goal measureable would be “I will obtain certification from the International Association of C programmers as an expert.” Since I know of no such associations, I would suggest to the individual who wanted to become an expert to have as a goal to “write a book in the C programming language by a certain date” or “teach a class in advanced C programming.”

The third attribute of smart goals is that they need to be attainable or achievable. One way to know if a goal is attainable is to ask yourself “how would I get it done?” There is no point for me to plan to be a professional ballet dancer. At my age, I don’t have the body for it and the time commitment that would be necessary. At the same time, too many people have goals that are not enough of a stretch. For me, if I can answer, yes to the following questions, then the goal is game for me: Have other people like me with the same resources reached that goal? Do I see a way to overcome the barriers to the goal?

The fourth attribute of smart goals is that they are relevant. It is important to have goals that are not conflicting; or better yet that tie in to a larger goal, vision or mission. If my goal is to save money to buy a house in 2 years, then a few months later if I set as a goal to buy a brand new car in 12 months, I would be conflicting with my original goal.

Finally, smart goals need to be time-bound. This is an element that’s often missing in most goals. Most people want to do this or that but they have not set themselves a limit to work toward that goal. What is the result? Something that could be accomplished in a year or two may get done in 3, 5, 10 years or never!

If people would take the time to turn their resolutions into written smart goals, I am confident that many of these goals would become a reality. In the next few blogs, I will give some tips to help you get more out of your smart goals.

January 9, 2010 at 10:44 pm 2 comments

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