The most successful people have a few things in common, and one of them is smart goal setting. Whether it be successful businessmen or well-known athletes you will notice in their interviews that they all set "precise" goals, but most importantly, they do everything possible to achieve those goals.
Smart goal setting is not a very difficult thing to do, yet so many people do not take the time or effort to do it. The annoying part of this whole situation is that people know and understand the importance of short term and long term goal setting, but for some strange reason they just ignore it. I mean how hard is it to stop what you are doing for 5 minutes and write down the goals you want to achieve in the next 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years and 10 years.
If you have a real good think about it, writing your smart goal settings down will not take you more than 10 minutes. When you eventually do start writing, the trick is to list the things that you WANT to achieve, not want you THINK you can achieve (of course within reality – you will not write down “I will buy my own spaceship and go to the moon in the next month!!! – keep it real!!!)
There are so many advantages of goal setting. First of all it keeps you motivated. Unfortunately nowadays, you will not find many people who are willing to help you achieve your goals, because that then means you will be better than them – jealousy is such a cruel thing, and it amplifies when a member of your family or a close friend is jealous of you. If a close friend buys my dream car I will not be jealous of him/her, I will be happy for them – I will at least get to have a few drives myself, depending on the friend of course.
Coming back to my above point, if you don’t self motivate yourself by any means, including goal setting, not too many people will help you be motivated to achieve your personal dreams. An exception of the above statement is if you are in an organization where other people need to motivate you in order to help you to move forward, so they can move forward as well.
An example of an organization like this is Multi Level Marketing Companies (aka Network Marketing Companies). Members help each other to progress in these kind of organizations, and as a bonus they usually have great personal development trainings by successful people.
Another reason for smart goal setting is that once you have your list of goals and you set yourself to achieve those goals, in most cases you will need to educate yourself and acquire some extra knowledge that you didn’t know before. Remember the phrase “Knowledge is power”. Well acquiring more knowledge means even more power. Some extra knowledge and education can only do you good.
Can you imagine yourself waiting at the bus stop but instead o knowing which bus to wait for, you hop on the first one that comes, not even knowing where it will take you but most importantly, you didn’t know where you wanted to go in the first place. Confused? I confused myself with the above sentence, but you get the point.
If you don’t write down your goals you will not know what you want, when you want it, you will take the first opportunity that will come your way, even if you are not sure it’s the right thing for you, and when you do accept all the “opportunities” and distractions that come your way, they will lead you to somewhere where you didn’t want to be. Still confused? O.k. me too -:) maybe its time to move on .
When writing down your smart goal settings, as mentioned before, write down what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve them. You must also separate your goals into different categories, not only different time frames. For example:
1. Financial - How much money you want to be earning in 5 years time.
2. Family Status - within the next 10 years i.e. married with 3 kids. Even better, 3 kids with no wife (only joking).
3. Career – earn yourself a promotion to marketing director in the next 2 years
4. Physical – join the gym next month (in my case, it was join the gym YESTERDAY!!!)
5. Public Service – volunteer for your companys fund raising party do next week.
6. Pleasure – When you start ticking off your accomplished goals, how will you celebrate? Timing for this is self explanatory – when you achieve your goals. The way you celebrate is entirely up to you. I go with – the more hard the goal was to achieve, the more beers I have :-)
As a guide line to writing your list, use the S.M.A.R.T. mnemonic:
S – Specific.
M – Measurable.
A – Attainable. No spaceships!!!
R – Rewarding.
T – Trackable.
"We all need lots of powerful long-range goals to help us past the short-term obstacles" - Jim Rohn
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