There are literally thousands of books and articles written about goal setting and achievement, but very few get down to the raw “Nitty Gritty” that helps an individual who has never set or achieved goals how to exactly do it.
What is the process that goes around inside your head before you can even hope to start to achieve what you want in life?
You may have also heard the term SMART when applied to goal setting.
In this article, I want to go through the steps you must take in your goal setting process and promise that if you follow these steps you will achieve the goal you set out to achieve, regardless of where you are now.
First of all most people who say they set goals do so in a very open general fashion, like ‘I want to lose weight’, ‘I want to be rich’, ‘I want…..I want….I want’. Without going into the deep psychology of goal setting, the very words ‘I want…’ prevent you from attaining your goals, hopefully by the end of this article you will find out why.
In order to achieve a real goal it must be very SPECIFIC. To set a specific goal I want you to grab a pen and paper now and write these questions down and put the answers alongside.
Do not miss this step or you may as well continue as you are, you will never achieve anything.
Still with me……Good!
First of all then answer this WHO is going to be involved in your goal? Write down everyone who will be instrumental in you achieving your goal, who will benefit from your achievement, who could stand in the way of your achievement.
Second question: WHAT do you exactly want to accomplish? Have £10,000 spare cash in the bank, lose 14lbs in weight, get a new job, get a new partner, get a raise.
Third question: WHERE will your goal be accomplished? Where you are now, in a different house, in a different part of the country, in a different country.
Fourth question: WHEN will you accomplish the goal? Next week, next year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years.
Fifth question: WHICH requirements and WHICH constraints affect your goal. Do you need to educate yourself on a new subject, get new qualifications, become more focused (and in what way). WHICH constraints will stop you achieving your goal, your peer group, your family, your education, your job, your social position?
Finally the most important question to ask of yourself. I will say that unless you have a full definitive answer to this question to the goal you are setting down on paper, even if you have answered the above questions, you have set out a wish, a dream nothing else.
Oh! That was another clue to goal setting, setting out on paper. If you do not write your goals down on paper you will never achieve them, no matter how long or detailed you think you have planned it in your head.
It has been my experience in the years I have been involved with personal development that the people who say ‘I have not written anything down, I have it all in my head, I know exactly what I want and how I will do it’, are insecure individuals who are afraid of failure.
You see putting it down on paper makes it permanent; there is no escape you are committed to the goal.
The Sixth question: WHY do you want to achieve the goal you have set out before you? Unlike above I am not going to give you any clues as to what you should write down here, because if as I say you do not know WHY you want to achieve it you will never get off first base.
You will have covered measurable; attainable; realistic; timely sometime but I believe that it is critical to answer the questions in the format I have set out above.
They are phrased in the open question format quite deliberately, you cannot answer yes or no to them they force you to think and set out detailed answers. That way they become part of your very fabric and well within your reach.
You will achieve your goals.