Sunday, October 13, 2013

Define your goals - it is the SMART thing to do ...

"Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination." Fitzhugh Dodson

I sometimes irritate clients – I push then on having every thought or action tied to a specific goals, deadline, results etc. statements of actions. Without a measurement, you cannot achieve –and then celebrate – a goal achievement.

It is true in defining your career and life plan as well. This is a critical first step because without definition of what you want to be, and without the ability to measure your progress, you will not succeed.
Goals become more tactical – specific to a degree – and serve as tools to guide you and measure your performance. Establishing life goals defines where you want to be, looking at you as a total person.  It is not just about  money or status – but rather defining and achieving goals that will make you smile and know you are doing good for yourself, your family and community.
Goals include but certainly are not limited to:
  • Your Career Goals – Understanding the  level you want to reach in your career.
  • Your Financial Goals – The bottom-line: How much do you want to earn, by when, and how this is related to your career goals.
  • Your Educational Attainment – Determining what you want to achieve in education, by when, and as well including specific knowledge of skills you wish to obtain.
  • Your Family Goals – This is determining your overall family plans (i.e.: parent – or not) as well as understanding how do you want to be viewed by a partner or by members of your extended family?
  • Your Attitude Goals – The big gun --- the one tool you have that can put you first – your attitude and it is your choice what it will be. Is there any part of your mindset holding you back? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? If so, set a goal to improve your behavior or find a solution to the problem.)
  • Your Physical Goals – Do you question the way you look and feel? Do you desire to attain a change in your health, appearance or activity? When you define your physical goals, it is important to create – and sty on – a plan to achieve them.
  • Your “Me” Goals - Pleasure – It is important to determine and set goals for enjoyment and how one wishes to enjoy themselves. It is part of putting yourself first which is critical.
  • Your Service Goals – Determining how you want to help others, the community or on a larger context, society and ht you leave behind is critical as well and part of your vision. Do you want to impact the world in some manner – how do you plan to do it?
Every goal must be measure: The Beauty of SMART Goals
To make your goals truly powerful and achievable, make them “SMART”. This is a process to define not only your goal, but to test its viability, impact and measure of achievement:
SMART Goals are:
  • S - Specific (or Significant).
  • M - Measurable (or Meaningful).
  • A - Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
  • R - Relevant (or Rewarding).
  • T - Time-bound (or Trackable).
For example, to state that you will have a new career isn’t SMART. Rather, stating that I will be engaged in a career that is aligned to me by 12/31/XXXX – not that is a SMART goal.
Other tips to make your goals more effective
A few suggestions:
  • Make  each goal positive  - Express your goals positively – "Execute this technique well" is a much better goal than "Don't make this stupid mistake."
  • Be Very Specific:  Establish dates, times and metrics amounts so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you'll know exactly when you nailed it and feel the complete satisfaction from having achieved it.
  • Establish Priorities  - This is critical when you have several goals as you should with this program.  Prioritizing by ranking your goals 1 to x will help you feel less overwhelmed and keep you focused.
  • Write goals down – No excuses. If you do not, you do not commit to them and goals have no effect. When you write them down, keep your goals visible – 24/7.
  • Set achievable goals -  Take care to set goals you can control . Nothing will bring you down like the failure to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control so why set yourself up for this possibility?
You cannot manage what you cannot measure – the words of Peter Drucker and it is so true. Set your course – navigate your path – do it with goals – SMART goals that is!

And thank you for reading this. - Da

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