How many goals have you written down?
Are you striving to reach them?
Setting, pursuing, and attaining goals, both business and personal, makes life worthwhile. Setting goals can create a drive to succeed, but only if you set SMART goals. S-M-A-R-T goals are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Trackable.
“Specific” and “Measurable” deal with how you write the details of your goal. Writing an unclear goal may show a lack of genuine commitment. A world-class sales person, for instance, doesn’t just say, “I want to sell more next year.” S/he has a certain measurable sales increase in mind. S/he knows that if s/he makes X number of telephone calls, that it will lead to getting Y number of appointments, and that in turn will lead to Z amount of sales. This all leads to a goal that s/he has set in advance.
So if your goal is to become the best sales person in your firm, then you should start out by saying to yourself, “I will increase my sales next year by twenty percent,” rather than saying, “I will sell more next year.”
“And in knowing that you know nothing, that makes you the smartest of all.”
“Attainable” and “Realistic” have to do with the goal itself. The goal you set should be just beyond your reach, making you stretch. But it should also be achievable, even though it’s challenging. If your goal is impossible, or almost impossible to achieve, then the danger is that you will give up any hope of reaching it. On the other hand, a goal that has a 100 percent chance of being attained is not really a goal; it’s more like “shooting fish in a barrel.” It defeats the purpose of setting a goal, which is to help you advance, by forcing you to work harder.
“Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.”
- Will Rogers
The last part of SMART goal setting is “Trackable,” and this is very important. You need to set up measurable interim goals as you move forward toward your main goal. It’s the only way you will know whether or not you’re making progress. The ability to track your progress every day, or once a week, or even once every two months, will tell you how you are doing as you pur¬sue your goal. If you discover that your goal is not attainable within the time frame you’ve set, then you can choose to be more realistic.
Allow yourself to be flexible - nothing ever goes precisely as planned. Sooner or later you may have to adjust your goals in order to stay on track and keep your motivation. Adjust and move on.
Here’s another important secret to setting goals: Write them down for yourself, and tell everyone you know about them. The more people that you tell about your goals, the more committed you will be to reaching your them. You will not want to fail, because you will not want to face the embarrassment of disappointing all the people you shared you goal with.
Unwritten and unspoken goals are really nothing more than dreams. Writing down goals and telling everyone about them makes your goals much more tangible, more consequential, and more important. Instead of being nothing more than distant dreams, your list of goals becomes a target to shoot at, a call to action, and a contract with yourself.
Make your goals very personal, and sincere. And make them something you want to do, rather than something that you think you should do. Whatever the reason may be for setting a goal, your thinking absolutely has to be strong enough to make you do anything it takes to attain it.
What goals are you going to write down and shout from the rooftops?