Let’s Really Look At Goals
Oh no, not another blog on goals.
I’m afraid so, only because I am amazed what the answers are when I ask people, do you have set goals?
I know the power of them.
Just about everyone answers a resounding “Yes, I want to make more money, be happy, provide for my family, get fit etc etc ”.
The next question I ask is what really are they and do you have them written down. That is when the uncomfortable silence begins in a lot of cases. Most people don’t have goals which are written down and they read three times a day.
Yes, that’s right, for goals to be truly inspiring and have the ability to really shift your thinking and performance they should be read three times a day and should be very, very specific. There has been so much research done into goal setting and its effectiveness.
Cecil Alec Mace was the first person to conduct scientific studies into goal setting. His studies were conducted in 1932 and to this day he is accredited as being the father of goal setting.
Further research carried out by Dr Gail Matthews of the Dominican University of California revealed that having goals written down increases the chances of achieving them by an incredible 40%.
Don’t Set & Forget.
Goal setting is not a set and forgot deal. It is like going to the gym, you don’t do it once and you are fit and healthy for life. Some people simply write down their goals and put them in the drawer and forget them. They never read them and never review them.
12 months later they stumble upon them and wonder why they have made little if any progress in achieving their goals.
Getting back to reading your goals, I said a little earlier that a tactic used by some of the top performers is to read your goals of a morning, at lunchtime and at the end of your working day. I say to my coaching clients to set three alarms on their smart phone with the message “Read you Goals”.
The morning goal reading sets you up for the day whilst the lunchtime reading gets you back on track to achieving your goals. With all the events of the day it’s easy to get off track and the last reading ignites your motivation for the coming day. It also sets your subconscious mind to focus in on the goals and reinforce them when you are asleep.
Some people may say that 3 times a day is extreme, but it works and helps people achieve at an elite level. When you break it down it probably takes 10 minutes a day, but has a massive effect on your results.
Depending on your situation a great place to have your goals is in the notes section of your smart phone, in your computer or iPad or printed out and placed in a conspicuous place in your home or workplace. You can also use your mobile phone as a electronic cheerleader by setting alarms to go off during the day with short motivational messages.
No matter how focused and motivated a person is the game of life can sometimes take its toll on your day.
The difficult client, urgent deadlines, the email that you didn’t want to send, or any of the other hurdles that crop up can effect your energy and motivation levels. This is when a short sharp motivational message can bolster your day and get you back on track.
What message you use is entirely up to you but use something that really resonates. After a week, review your messages and if need be, change them to something else to keep them fresh. That way they will have the desired effect of getting you back on track towards your goals.
When setting your goals there is an acronym that can be used which is SMART.
Here you must be focused and specific on your goal. If it’s a money goal, then don’t say I want to earn more money this quarter. Be specific and say I want to earn an extra $25,000 this quarter. Many people also use a positive affirmation strategy. Don’t use the words “I am going to” such and such. Use the words, “I will” such and such.
Simply explained, a statement such as “I am going to lose weight”, lack specificity. If you say, I will lose 10lbs/5 kilos by 3 September, 2021 then you have gotten rid of any ambiguity and your subconscious is primed that there is a specific amount of weight and a specific date that you have to do it by,
Your goals should be measurable. This keeps you focused on your goals. Reducing debt or getting stronger, faster are goals that you can measure.
Sure, have great and challenging goals, but if they are so challenging that they are unattainable you will lose focus and become disillusioned.
Your goals should be in alignment with your long-term plans. If your goal is to increase your business turnover by $300,000 in 12 months, then your short-term plans should reflect this.
Make sure your goals have a time stamp on them, this instills urgency in your behaviors to attaining your goals. As I stated earlier, a goal of lose weight is not specific enough. To give that goal power it should be lose such and such kilos by end of this quarter or similar depending on the amount of weight you want to lose.
I always recommend segmenting goals into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly goals. This makes your goals more relevant and gives them a particular time frame.
A To Do list prepared the night before is really a set of goals with a 24-hour time frame.
A $400,000 Idea
Charles Schwab was an American Steel businessman from the 1900. He was obsessed with efficiency and productivity. In the early 1900s he advertised that he would reward anybody who could come up with a way to improve productivity amongst his employees.
Ivy Lee a Public Relations expert met up with Charles Schwab and recommended that each of his employees should write down six tasks to be completed every day and rate them from the highest to the lowest in priority.
After completing the first task they should then move onto the second and so forth. Any task that couldn’t be completed on the day was transferred to the next days list. After 90 days of this strategy being put in place Charles Schwab noticed a dramatic improvement in productivity.
A simple strategy that many people take for granted today but is was a major breakthrough in the early 1900s.
Incidentally, Charles Schwab was so delighted in the result that Ivy Lee’s idea achieved that he wrote him a cheque for $25,000, that is the equivalent of $400,000 today.
Writing a To Do list is now common practice but some people still resist writing their goals down.
There is no doubting that goal setting is an imperative tool in achieving at an elite level. As with any tool or technique it must to practiced and adhered to daily.
The difference in most cases between someone stuck in mediocrity and someone achieving their own version of a magnificent life is implementation.
Implementation is the key to any achievement. You can have the best goals and read them 3 times a day but unless you implement them, they are wishes not goals.
David C. Lee