Success is the progressive realization of worthwhile, predetermined personal goals. In other words, your goals will lead to your success and unless you shape your future, circumstances will shape it for you. First, start with an awareness of the present realities and, second decide where it is you want to go, together with a real desire and firm belief to alter the future, or to achieve your goals. You cannot start your planning until you know where you want to go, and you alone are the sculptor of your own future. You have to work, sacrifice, invest, and persist to get the results you want.
Start anywhere, at any time, and persist. Stop worrying what others think about what you can or cannot do. Believe in yourself and your abilities and have the self-confidence to challenge your current situation. Goal setting is one of the most powerful tools to improve your performance and productivity, and to make your dreams a reality. Goals will remain dreams until you take action!
Write down your goals. Only a small percentage of people have written goals and an even smaller percentage review those written goals daily. Choose to be in that elite group and visualize the attainment of your goals often, turning your goals into dreams with dates attached.
“Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.” Paul J Meyer – Founder LMI
Goal setting is a purposeful process of identifying a new objective, behaviour, skill or project you want to accomplish.
The Goal Setting Process
Think about the results you want to see. Before you set a goal, take a closer look at what you are trying to achieve and ask yourself the following question: Is this goal something you truly want, and is it important enough to pour hours of time and effort into it?
Create SMART(S) goals. Once you’ve zeroed in on what you actually want, ensure your goal meets the SMART criteria: Specific; Measurable; Attainable; Realistic; Time-bound / Tangible; and for organizations or teams, I like to add the second “s” (S)hared. Ask yourself a few important questions;
Does the goal support my values?
Can I do it?
Is it realistic?
Is it worth it? (What’s in it for me)?
Write your goals down. When you write your goals down, they become real and tangible instead of a vague idea that resides only in your mind.
List the benefits i.e. gains if achieved and /or losses to be avoided.
Identify possible obstacles and their solutions.
Create an action plan. Many people decide on a goal but never create an action plan to determine how exactly they will meet that goal. Your action plan should include the overall goal you are trying to meet and all the steps you need to take to get there.
Identify and pinpoint specific action steps for achieving the goal.
Write down the specific actions and behaviours to achieve the goal.
Create a timeline. As part of your action plan, include a timeline for when you will start and finish each action and achieve your goal.
Affirmation & visualization. Affirmation and visualization will improve your performance by transforming your thinking, your attitudes and behaviours, positively towards achieving your goals.
Take action. Now that you have planned everything out, it is time to take action. Every step that you take should lead to another until you achieve your goal.
Identify measures to track. Identify tangible ways to measure and track progress.
Track and assess your progress daily. Tracking keeps your motivation strong to achieve your goal. Consider scheduling daily and weekly evaluations, which include measuring your progress against your schedule. Celebrate your accomplishments.
When setting your goals, be sure to make your goals
Clear and concise.
Challenging, with some degree of difficulty.
Fully understand and own your goals. In a team or organizational situation, agree to goals and ensure shared ownership & commitment.