Any change or progress must start with a first step.
And the direction of motion is crucial for success. As Brain Tracy so beautifully says, "Our goals allow us to control the direction of change in our favor."
Throughout our lives, we plan, we schedule, we create the ever-popular "to-do-lists" and we use systems and tables to help us, and rightly so, to make sense of everything we wish to accomplish.
But how do we select our goals initially, and what makes them so effective? What makes these goals fundamental to our guaranteed achievements?
Making sure each and every goal that we choose to set for ourselves in business and in life is as essential as to how much effort we are willing to invest to make it happen and as to how badly we truly want it to materialize.
We learn so much about SMART goals in life coaching and self-development, so here is a simple breakdown for you to add to your toolbox for building your personal best life and enabling your absolute best to shine:
Pick your first goal:
S - Is my goal specific? Am I trying to aim for something based on some random vague generality or do I know exactly what I want. Getting so clear about what we want to show up in our life is in direct proportion to the extent that it show up in our life. If I am not specific and explicit about my wants, dreams and intentions-my steps towards this uncertain space are gloomy and obscure. We want clarity, focus and precision.
M - Can I measure my progress and success? When your performance can be measured and recorded numerically, it is far easier to keep track of a consecutive outcome. For example, weight loss, income.
But what about goals that involve inner-work, self-acceptance, fulfillment, improved relationships - things we want to do better, however we can't attach a numerical value to its attainment?
Knowing what something looks like, feels like, thinks like, behaves like once it is already there is the ultimate measurement for deep change. It is as if we ask ourselves: who will I be once I have met that goal? What will I gain by meeting this goal? How will my life be different once this goal is met? How will be life be better once this goal is met? What will I do, be and have, that I don’t right now?
We need to allocate equal attention to our "being" needs in the same way that our actions meet our "doing" requirements.
A - Is my goal attainable? Now check again, is it really? Double-check yourself, as only you can do this self-assessment by asking two questions:
1. Is this goal realistic? I do not want to let myself down.
2. And even more so, is this truly as high as I can aim or could I possibly challenge myself even further? Really?
R - Is my goal in every way, shape and form related to my vision? Is this something that will truly bring me closer to my ideal future. Is there a harmony here between what I am about to do and what I wish for my ultimate existence? Does this make sense. This is the primary reason why we should always work on our vision before we set our goals, even if it feels uncomfortable to look so far down the road, so we can then use that as a yardstick to ensure our goals are and remain relevant, significant and effective markers that will help us create and materialize our ultimate plan.
T - is my goal timed? Have I set a reasonable deadline? Without writing things down and making sure we stick to the plan, we lose one of our most precious and valuable resources that we can never regenerate- our time. Let's do our utmost to make sure that all our goals are timed so that we can keep moving forward, without regret and at our own steady and disciplined pace.
What are you waiting for?
Sit down and dream. Create and feel passionate about your own personal vision, hold it tight, lock it and set some SMART goals and then write them down.
Thinking them is not enough. For our "goals once in writing are merely our dreams with deadlines".
Be SMART and make all your dreams come true.