Invariably, all successful people have goals. So, if you want to be successful that means you too must set goals.
Goals help to create desire, energy, focus, determination - in facts pretty much all the attributes required for success. However, it is a sad fact that very few people set meaningful goals and still fewer people know and apply the science of effective goal setting.
For goals to be effective, they need several key components. One of the most memorable goal setting acronyms is SMART goals. This stands for:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Realistic
T - Time based
The more specific and detailed your goals are, the more of an impact they will have on your unconscious mind, therefore the more powerful they will be. Rather than saying "I would like to live in a four-bed roomed house" say something like "I would like to live in a four bed roomed townhouse, in so-and-so area with an ensuite and large back garden".
If a goal can't be measured, then you won't know whether you are on track, how far away completion is likely to be and in fact if it has been achieved. For example, rather than saying "I will increase my income next year" say "I will increase my income by £20,000 p.a. within 12 months". Make your goals measurable.
When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.
You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.
To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress. A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labour of love.
Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.
A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there's no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? "Someday" won't work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, "by May 1st", then you've set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.
Here's some more quick tips when you come to setting your goals:
Start by writing your wish list. Allow yourself to dream (don't let your conscious mind and what you think is realistic get in the way) and write down all the things you want to experience, see, feel, have, taste etc.
Create 'toward goals' i.e. things you want to achieve and experience, not things you want to avoid. All things you want to change and/or avoid are great at creating 'now motivation' they are ineffective.
Create your goals 'as now' i.e. project yourself into the future and visualise that you have already achieved them e.g. driving the car of your dreams, living in the house of your dreams, being with the person of your dreams etc.
Take some time to establish what your values are and align your goals with your values. For example, if two of your values are integrity and helping people, working in hard-nosed sales will only create conflict.
Get yourself a mentor and coach. If you can afford to pay a professional, great - if not try and get together with a friend or colleague and become each others goals buddy's.
Use 'dream boards' and put picture of your goals on it. This could be in your office, kitchen, bathroom door or on your PC or mobile phone screensaver.
Create positive associations e.g. positive, like-minded people. Never underestimate the power of association! Good luck in your goal setting and creating the life of your dreams!
Paul Flintoft is the marketing executive for the www.self-improvement-centre.co.uk (Self Improvement Centre), who provide business and personal development resources to help small and growing businesses start, manage and expand their business. The site contains books, audio programmes, library services, articles, coaching, free downloads and access to hundreds of useful resources. Paul is also one of the top distributors for UK based network marketing company www.kleeneze-information.co.uk (Kleeneze).