By Mike Moore
No one can motivate anyone to do anything. All a person can do for another is
provide them with incentives to motivate themselves. Here are ten very effective
strategies to help you get up and get moving toward actualizing your enormous,
* Be willing to leave your comfort zone. The greatest barrier to achieving your
potential is your comfort zone. Great things happen when you make friends with your discomfort zone.
* Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Wisdom helps us avoid making mistakes and comes from making a million of them.
* Don’t indulge in self-limiting thinking. Think empowering, expansive thoughts.
*Choose to be happy. Happy people are easily motivated. Happiness is your
birthright so don’t settle for anything else.
* Spend at least one hour a day in self-development. Read good books or listen to inspiring tapes. Driving to and from work provides an excellent opportunity to listen to self-improvement tapes.
* Train yourself to finish what you start. So many of us become scattered as we
try to accomplish a task. Finish one task before you begin another.
* Live fully in the present moment. When you live in the past or the future you
aren’t able to make things happen in the present.
* Commit yourself to joy. C.S. Lewis once said, “Joy is the serious business of
* Never quit when you experience a setback or frustration. Success could be just
around the corner.
* Dare to dream big dreams. If there is anything to the law of expectation then we are moving in the direction of our dreams, goals and expectations.
The real tragedy in life is not in how much we suffer, but rather in how much we
miss, so don’t miss a thing.
Charles Dubois once said, “We must be prepared, at any moment, to sacrifice who we are for who we are capable of becoming.”
It’s been said that everyone has goals, whether we know it or not. We have goals to keep our current job, or to get a different one. We have goals to save for the future, or to travel, take a vacation, or purchase the things we need and want to make our lives more enjoyable. An important distinction, however, is that top achievers are very intentional and focused on their goals, while many of the rest of us are not.
Top achievers know that the wording, structure, timing and format of a goal can make it’s achievement much easier – or far more difficult. Top achievers understand the basic skills for setting and reaching their goals, every time! They know how to design goals that create success. Here are the 10 most important steps to set and achieve your goals:
1. Reachable goals are SPECIFIC. Top achievers know that to reach their goals, the brain must know exactly, precisely, what they are trying to accomplish. Never word a goal with vague terms like “some” or “a little bit”, or “more”. Be specific! If you want to lose 8 pounds and reach a weight of 175, specify those exact numbers. If you want to save $200 this month, be exact. Your brain can help you accomplish almost anything if it knows precisely what you are aiming for.
2. Reachable goals are SIMPLE. Many people describe their goals in complex terms of retiring on the beach in Hawaii, with nice cars and lots of money, and…. Their list goes on and on. Any ONE of those things is a great goal, but the combination becomes over whelming and the brain gets confused. If you want to retire in Hawaii, just say so! If you want to increase your sales by 10% this month, say so! Keep your goals simple, clear, and focused.
3. Reachable goals are SIGNIFICANT. No one can muster the enthusiasm, hard work and courage to reach a goal they don’t really care about. A reachable goal is one you really, really, REALLY want! It’s something that will change your life, enhance your health or wealth, and make you proud. It gets your juices flowing, gets you up in the morning, and keeps you going all day long, because it is important! Set goals that are worth achieving!
4. Reachable goals are STRATEGIC. High achievers know that the best goals accomplish many great outcomes, all at one time. Running a 10K race will almost certainly: 1) feel great! 2) help you lose weight. 3) lower your cholesterol level 4) strengthen your heart 5) lower you risk of heart disease 6) increase your energy and stamina, and 7) improve your outlook. Design your goals to strategically impact as many areas of your life as possible. You’ll have more reasons to reach your goal and more excitement when you do!
5. Reachable goals are MEASURABLE. A goal without a measurable outcome is just a pipe-dream. You can’t achieve a pound of “happiness” or 6 inches of “self-esteem”, but you CAN get a new job. You CAN run a mile in under 7 minutes, or do 100 sit-ups. Someone has wisely observed that, “What gets measured, gets done.” Define your goals in terms of height, weight, dollars, inches, or hours. Then measure your progress until you achieve your desired outcome.
6. Reachable goals are RATIONAL. To reach your goal, you will need a plan, a path, and a vehicle for getting there. Your goals must make sense! When you explain them to friends and family, your goals should create excitement, draw support, and encouragement. Your goals should be just out of reach, but not out of sight! You want to stretch to be your best, not strain after impossible dreams. Set goals you CAN and WILL achieve!
7. Reachable goals are TANGIBLE. Choose goals that you can see, hear, smell or touch. Go for things you will enjoy and that you can clearly visualize. The brain has hard time going for “financial security”, but it can visualize a bank statement with nice, large numbers on it! Define your goals in terms that excite the senses, then go for it with all your heart!
8. Reachable goals are WRITTEN. High achievers always know precisely what they want, because they’ve written it down. Often, they write a short description of their goals every single morning, as a personal reminder of their priorities and their objectives. The act of writing your goals down vastly increases your chance of success. Write it down! Then, keep your notes where you can see and read them every day.
9. Reachable goals are SHARED. We are far more likely to stick to our plan and reach our goals if we know our friends and family support us. Being part of a team increases our determination, our stamina, and our courage. Caution: Never share your goals with anyone who may ridicule, tease or discourage you! The world is full of doubters and you have no time for them. But, find a support team, a group of cheerleaders, and a coach who will encourage you every step of the way. High achievers count on and work with other winners!
10. Reachable goals are CONSISTENT WITH YOUR VALUES. One of the biggest reasons people fail to achieve their goals is that they have conflict between their behavior and their values. However, when your values and your goals are in agreement, there is no stopping you! Clarify your values first, then set simple, specific, measurable, tangible, written goals that are consistent with those values. You will achieve them, every single time!
Do you want to be more productive or know how to increase your productivity? Imagine this scenario…
Five women get together every Saturday for brunch. The girlfriends discuss their week and the things they have accomplished. One among these women truly stands out. She’s a single parent of two children, the administrator of a nursing home for the elderly, a parent coordinator for the PTA, a member of a hiking club, a piano teacher, a board member of a local concert association, a blogger, freelance writer, and just joined a book club.
Perhaps, you are asking, “Where does she find the time?” What is the secret to her success?
The secret is productivity. She doesn’t have more hours in the day than everyone else; instead, she has learned how to use her hours productively. Successful people like her find ways to measure and improve productivity to get things done effectively and efficiently. If you want to be more successful, you must implement strategies to become more productive.
Enhancing productivity is an approach to life. Productive people set and achieve goals and improve skills for peak performance. Activities are coordinated and integrated for building best practices and best practices are incorporated to get the best results from people, projects, and all pursuits in life.
As we observe and study the practices of productive people, we will discover 8 strategies which improve productivity.
1. Setting Goals and Priorities for Achievement
If we don’t set goals with milestones, we won’t know if a goal is a long-term goal or a short-term goal. As a result, we are not in sync with our goals and we slow down our productivity. By setting goals with milestones, we can monitor the rate by which we achieve our goals and diminish procrastination. Milestones help us become more productive by directing a clear path for identifying our priorities.
Consequently, priorities keep us on task and prevent procrastination. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why did I just spend an hour doing that when I really needed to be doing this?” Productive people prioritize their efforts according to definite wants. What are definite wants? Definite wants are things you know have the ability to affect a set goal.
Because productive people have already set their goals and milestones, it is easier to prioritize. Daily priorities are executed according to these goals causing an organic boost in productivity.
2. Organizing and Managing Logistics and Technology
If prioritizing is king of productivity, then organizing is reigning queen. Saying “organizing helps productivity” is an understatement. To become more productive, organizing and coordinating your activities are required.
However, you can organize with the best of them but if don’t have what you need to get things done it is futile. Similarly, unnecessary gadgets and supplies can serve as a distraction. Do you really need three smart phones? Do you really need four staplers crowding your desk? Does everyone in your office need a laptop and an iPad? Managing supplies and technology is important to:
a) Eliminate distractions leading to procrastination
b) Cut cost
c) Use resources wisely
3. Testing and Integrating Activities
Throughout the day, it is important to test activities and see what works best. Testing formulates best practices you can use continually. For example, did the mass email you sent out at 8:30 a.m. reach all of your junior executives? Did the staff meeting inspire and motivate your team to complete a project closely approaching its deadline?” Learning ways to test the efficiency and effectiveness of activities helps you become more productive.
After you conduct your tests, you may find ways to integrate your activities. When you integrate activities, you discover things you can do simultaneously. For example the exceptionally efficient friend among the five women uncovered a way she could outline her daily blog, help her children with their homework, avoid getting stuck in afterschool traffic, and use a facility with a piano to teach piano lessons. What did she do? She enrolled her children in an afterschool program at a local church. The church allowed her to use the facility to teach piano lessons. Her lessons started at 4:00 p.m. and this gave her time to outline her blog. The program picked her children up from school, provided homework assistance, and enrichment activities.
4. Managing Other People According to Your Priorities
As one grows in his or her success, he or she will discover management includes managing other people.
Managing other people creates cooperation for productivity. Yes, managing others requires that your goals and priorities are share with others (even if on a need-to-know basis). If people are not managed according to your priorities, then productivity slows. Productivity slows down because people don’t know what to do first, second, third, and so on.
Hence, to effectively manage other people for productivity, you must excel in the following functions:
- Planning - Make sure others understand strategies for achieving goals.
- Organizational Communication - Make sure others know what needs to be done, who will do it, and how it must be done satisfactorily.
- Leading - Motivating others, directing, and supporting their efforts while inspiring them to do more.
- Monitoring - Providing feedback on performance which includes comparing and correcting to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of work.
5. Eliminating Waste
If someone or something is wasting time and prohibiting productivity, productive people will eliminate the waste. Spending too much time on things and people that interfere with achieving goals can slow down productivity. While it may seem cutthroat, eliminating waste is a necessary evil.
6. Improving for Efficiency in Desired Areas
To increase productivity, one must know what areas will get the best results and improve these areas. Will learning a second language improve your business? If so, what language would best serve your business? Know where improvements will serve you best.
7. Practicing Rational and Effective Decision-Making
Wishy-washy people get wish-washy results. Success Philosopher, Napoleon Hill stated in his famed and acclaimed work, Think and Grow Rich:
“Those who reach DECISIONS promptly and definitely know what they want, and generally get it. The leaders in every walk of life DECIDE quickly, and firmly. That is the major reason why they are leaders. The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.”
And yes, this applies to women as well. Definite decision-making gets results.
8. Allowing Flexibility
We have all heard the expression, “back to the drawing board.” Flexibility supports productivity and flexibility requires:
1. Admitting when something is not working.
2. Listening to the ideas of others and then implementing the best ideas.
3. Changing your approach to achieve desired goals if necessary.
4. Reorganizing when necessary.
5. Not sweating the small stuff.
Finally, as your life moves towards success, you will discover the need to get more things done in less time. Learning how to get more things done in less time requires you to enhance your productivity. The more productive you become, the more accomplished you are. And soon, your friends and associates will ask you, “Where do you find the time?”
Of course by now we are all becoming aware of DNA. It is the source code that determines who we are. When we look at DNA we can see what a person will look like, what diseases they may come down with, etc. This has been a tremendous breakthrough for scientists and will continue to be so for some time, I think.
This got me to thinking about what makes up those who are top achievers. Is there a “DNA” to them? Obviously, all top achievers wouldn’t have the same literal DNA but what about a figurative DNA? Is there a common “gene” that they all have? Are there common “genes” perhaps? I think so!
If we could get right down to it, I think these are the genes we would find in the DNA of top achievers:
A predisposition to setting high, lofty goals. Top achievers are people who won’t and can’t settle for the status quo. They see average as a place they want to keep in the rear-view mirror. Instead, they continually look for ways to stretch themselves, to get better, to do better, to be better! They set their sights on goals that others have never even thought of. They want to shoot so high that even if they miss, they go higher than everyone else. This is what makes them top achievers.
An ability to focus intently upon reaching their desired destination. Many people can set high goals, but just as many people get sidetracked by one thing or another on their way to those goals. High, lofty goals usually take a while to get there so there will always be plenty of time to be tempted to stray away from the road that is taking you to those goals. Often, those things that sidetrack people are good things, but not the best things. Top achievers do not get sidetracked. They stay focused. They know where they are going. They have an ability to say “no” to the good things in order to get to the best things.
The willingness to personally sacrifice in order to get to their goal. When the going gets tough, many people quit. When the going get tough personally, most people quit. When the going gets tough for top achievers, they remind themselves of the high. lofty goals they have set for themselves. They remind themselves of what an accomplishment it will be for them and that the reward is worth pushing through the momentary trials. They are willing to sacrifice personally in the short-term in order to get the reward and the prize long-term. Keeping their eyes on the big picture enables them to persevere through any personal pain they may experience.
A predisposition to tenacity. Tenacity is the ability to “keep on going.” Tough times? Keep on going! Financial troubles? Keep on going! People are suspect? Keep on going! You look like a dreamer? Keep on going! Tired? Keep on going! Want to quit and take it easy? Keep on going! Just remember this: Keep on going! The prize is ahead! Many people quit just before they were to get the reward, so keep on going!
The ability to see available resources and to use them accordingly. Those who are top achievers know that they cannot be lone-rangers on the way to the top. No one makes it by himself or herself. Top achievers recognize their weaknesses – the weaknesses that if they don’t cover will keep them from becoming a top achiever! They see their resources and they work to get them into a helping position so they can continue the route to becoming a top achiever. And they don’t use them, they utilize them. There is a big difference! People, finances, etc are all brought in to help by the top achiever.
A desire to help others achieve more for themselves as well. The top achiever knows that they can make a difference for others by becoming a top achiever. They know that the wealth they make can feed the hungry. They know that the position of influence they achieve can open a door for someone who may not normally get a chance. True top achievers look at how they can bring many with them, not how they can leave many in the dust. People are helped by the top achiever, not trampled upon!
I think if we could get to the DNA of top achievers, the things we talked about above would be at the core and fiber of their beings. What about you? Did you recognize yourself at all? I hope so! The good news about the DNA we are talking about today as opposed to real DNA is that you can go out and work on top achiever DNA whereas you are stuck with real DNA. So if you lack a little in the above-mentioned areas, take heart – you can get better and work on them so that you can become a top achiever!
Go get ‘em, tiger!
The path to success (both personal and monetary) is different for everyone. We all have our own pace, ways of learning, and life experiences to take into account. I think that being naturally optimistic, determined and focused are helpful traits, but there are no hard and fast rules.
Here are five concepts that I have found helpful with regards to achieving success:
1. Surround yourself with Master Minds
One of the things I’ve learned from my favorite book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, is that to be truly successful you should surround yourself with a group of Master Minds. What is a Master Mind? Hill noted that it’s a “coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”
You can create both personal and economic advantages by surrounding yourself with people who hold specialized knowledge in your chosen field. A solid group is necessary to provide advice and encouragement. Your group can consist of 5 or 50 people; quantity isn’t as important as quality. In my personal experience, a Master Mind also possesses the traits of unconditional trust, complete belief in the chosen vision, and never engages in the dreaded group think phenomenon. If you surround yourself with trustworthy people who tell you the truth and commit to supporting you through the highs and lows, you’re bound to succeed. Who you choose to associate with says a lot about who you are as a person.
2. Visualize exactly what you want to achieve and you’ll eventually get it
“Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have. Without having a goal it’s difficult to score.” -Paul Arden, It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be
How can you possibly reach your goals if you’re not even sure what those goals are? One of the biggest obstacles to success is lacking a definite purpose in life.** The easiest way to begin the process is to make a list of goals and achievements. It sounds terribly cliche, but it works! Always date these lists; it’s important to have a reference point when looking back. I make lists almost every day, some of the items very minor, like “Make hair appt.” and “Scan new artwork,” but there’s something rewarding about crossing off all those tiny items, one by one, and meeting your daily goals. It’s okay if you don’t get everything crossed off; revise your list weekly, carrying over old items until everything is finished.
Besides daily lists of minor things, make a major list of what you want to get out of your life. What will make you happy?
If it’s money you’re after, write down how much you seek, the date you’re going to have it, and what you’re willing to do to get it. This is important because once you have a concrete goal, the mind has a way of transmuting goals into reality.
If it’s a certain career you desire:
A. Go home tonight and revise your resume. This article is full of helpful tips to tweak it into a subtle masterpiece!
B. Begin researching schools that specialize in in your chosen field
C. Find people (IRL or on the internet) who are doing what you want to do and ask them for advice- chances are, they will be flattered and provide you with tips and information that took them years to learn!
D. Search Google or haunt Craigslist for internship and volunteer opportunities in your field. Even if you have to keep your day job and / or don’t have the time to go to school, sometimes companies will be willing to take a small risk if you show potential.
There’s also no harm in taping a list of goals somewhere where you can see it every day. Perhaps next to a mirror or by your bed? Positive reinforcement (increased likelihood of a behavior due to the addition of a reinforcer after a behavior) will do wonders! When I was having a hard time a few years ago, re-reading my list of goals reaffirmed where I wanted to go with my life and helped me get back on track.
3. Hard work and determination do pay off in the long run
Once you’ve figured out your purpose in life, set aside some time every single day to focus on it. Taking baby steps is better than taking no steps at all! Sometimes, you may have only 10 minutes to work towards your goal. Instead of being discouraged by the lack of time, make the best of it. If you add up the work produced over a year, you’ll see that true progress has been made.
If you’re an artist, aim to create one new series per year. If you’re a writer, aim to create one book per year; write a new chapter per month and do this for 12 months; you’ll end up with a sizable project!
4. Throw fear and self-doubt to the wind
If you want to be wildly successful, your mind, body, and soul must be ready to receive it. Fear is nothing more than a state of mind that must be overcome. If you’re full of negative thoughts, they will begin to morph into their physical equivalent. The truth is, you and everyone else has the ability to control your thoughts through positive reinforcement. Fear and self-doubt are unattractive and will not draw Master Minds to your cause. And, the road to success is a hard one to go alone.
5. There’s no such thing as get rich quick schemes. And if there is, refuse to take part!
Why? Chances are, if you’re not prepared and are handed success overnight, once the excitement wears off, you’ll start questioning whether you deserved it, whether anything is really that different. If you truly haven’t worked hard at something, it may be difficult to fully appreciate what you have. This creates a black hole, a sense of emptiness that can take ages to untangle. Look at all the so-called celebrities and other people who gained instantaneous fame- it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
On the other hand, if you put all your blood, sweat, and tears into your passion and it eventually pays off, there’s nothing more rewarding! Earning success slowly and solidly often means it’s built to last. Some of the most successful people in history didn’t get a taste of it until after the age of 40. In this age of technological overload, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unaccomplished. Re-read your list of goals day and and make contact with one potential lead every day. Whether it’s contacting a gallery, forwarding your product onto a blog or searching out a mentor, keep the momentum going. The universe has a way of rewarding persistence.
One of Napoleon Hill’s most famous quotes is, “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
In closing: define what success means to you, draft a list of concrete goals, and get to work! It’s time to live up to your full potential; nobody can make you happy and whole but yourself…
By Susan Ward
The Importance of Goal Setting
Goal setting is an important exercise for small business owners; without goals, we would just drift along. Goal setting allows us to be proactive, instead of just being reactive. We’ve all had days where we just seem to leap from one crisis to another, but we know that it’s not a preferred mode of operation!
However, goal setting isn’t enough. Goal setting is just the first step to achievement. Imagine, for instance, that your goal is to lose weight. Knowing that goals need to be specific if you’re going to have any chance of success, you decide that you will lose 15 pounds by a date set four months from now. Time passes. Four months later, you get on the scale. Are you surprised to discover that you haven’t lost any weight?
Goals Need Action
You shouldn’t be. While you started out well, by setting a specific goal to achieve, you didn’t perform any action to help you achieve the goal. What’s missing from this scenario is a goal setting strategy to help you accomplish the goal you have set. Without a goal setting strategy, or series of actions, that you are going to use to work towards the goal, whether or not you achieve the goal you have set is just a matter of blind chance. And blind chance is no way to run a successful business! To be successful, you need to make things happen, not just let things happen.
The Winnning Goal Setting Formula
So when you’re setting business goals (or any other goals!), use a goal setting formula that incorporates a strategy or strategies for accomplishing the goal. For example, suppose that you want to increase sales. When you’re setting this goal, don’t just write, “I will increase sales.” This goal is too general.
First, specify the goal. “I will increase sales this month by 25 percent”. Setting a specific goal builds in the criteria you will use to evaluate your success; in this case, at the end of the month, you’ll either have increased sales by 25 percent compared to the previous month, or you won’t.
Then, specify the strategy that you will use to work towards accomplishing the goal. “I will increase sales this month by 25 percent by offering a 10 percent off sale on all inventory and advertising this sale in local media.”
Every goal you set needs to follow this basic goal setting formula: “I will (specific goal) by(specific actions I will follow to accomplish the goal).” As in the example above, you may have several specific actions you will take to achieve your goal, rather than just one.
Goal + Action = Success
What happens when you go beyond the basic step of goal setting? Evaluating your success or failure is easy, because your goal is specific rather than general. And suddenly, instead of just having a goal that you may or may not achieve, depending on chance, you have a specific battle plan to follow to achieve the goal you’ve set. Instead of setting yourself up for failure, you’ve set yourself up for success.
The above goal conditions for positively affecting motivation and performance have commonly been referred to as SMART goals. Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson first developed the SMART goal system when branching the concept of goal theory beyond academia into the area of management and leadership (Blanchard, Zigarmi, & Zigarmi, 1985). The meanings for the of Blanchard and Spencer’s SMART goals have evolved over time and the modern definitions are represented in the figure below:
The term raising the bar is a common metaphor for setting challenging goals. Therefore, to further explain the elements of SMART goals, an analogy of a track and field high jumper will be used to demonstrate how raising (or lowering) the bar affects motivation and performance. In addition, examples of SMART goals will also be generalized in a management situation to demonstrate the various goal essentials and conditions.
|In order for goals to translate into motivation and improved performance, goals must be specific.
A goal to just jump higher is too general. Instead, an example of a specific goal would be to improve high jump by three inches.
A management goal to improve profits is too general. This broad goal could include increasing sales, reducing costs, or a combination thereof. A more specific goal would be to increase sales by 8%.
|Goals must be measurable to be able to provide progress feedback and to know when the goal is achieved.
Three inches (and increments below, between, and above) are both measurable and specific in order for the high jumper to be able to gauge his progress and achievement. Therefore, instead of the goal being improve high jump by three inches, the jumpers goal could be to increase high jump from 64 inches to 67 inches.
Similarly, the manager can measure the progress of the sales figures to understand how much focus and resources to dedicate to achieving the goal. Therefore, a goal of increasing sales from $80,000 to $86,400 is more specific and measurable than the ambiguous goal to just increase sales.
|A goal must be assignable to an individual or a group.
Because high jumping is an individual goal, the high jumper would assign this goal to himself – or perhaps the high jumper’s coach might assign this goal to the jumper.
In the sales example, the manager must be able to assign the goal to a specific person or department.
|The goal must be challenging, yet realistic.
Lowering the bar for a high jumper could not realistically increase motivation nor enhance performance. Similarly, setting a goal to raise the bar ten feet is not a realistic or attainable goal and would therefore not positively affect motivation or performance.
Similarly, increase sales by 300% may not be a realistic and attainable goal. By setting goals unrealistically high, the manager may not see increased motivation or performance in the sales team.
|In order for goals to positively affect motivation and performance, goals must be time-related.
For the high jumper, he may set a time within three months which may provide a realistic time frame to meet his goal. However, a time line of tomorrow may make achieving the goal unrealistic. Similarly, before I’m forty may be a time line that is so far into the future and lacks urgency and motivation.
A realistic time line for our manager might be by the end of next quarter. Increasing sales by 8% by the end of the week may be too aggressive, and before the company goes bankrupt is too vague of a time line.
When originally introduced by Blanchard, SMART goals were denoted as: Specific and Measurable, Motivating, Attainable, Relevant and Track-able (Blanchard, Zigarmi, & Zigarmi, 1985, p. 89-90). Over time, the SMART acronym for goals has evolved into what they are today: Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-Related.
“Specific” and “Measurable” have been split into two separate categories. The requirement that goals be specific has been enduring in the SMART goal acronym. “Motivating” was dropped from the SMART system, perhaps because it is the overarching theme of goals. If done correctly, goals will be a positive motivator and will enhance performance. The term “attainable” has had alternatives–such as “achievable.” However, as stated above, a goal must be accepted and have commitment in order to be achieved. As a result, the A in SMART goals has become “assignable”. “Relevant” has widely replaced “Realistic,” possibly because irrelevant goals would not be realistic and, while a goal may be relevant, whether a goal is realistic may depend on the time frame for achieving the goal. Track-able is redundant to measurable and has been replaced with time-related because goals with no deadline lack direction and urgency.
SMART goals also may be evolving into SMARTER goals with the E adopting meanings like emotional, exciting, enthusiastic, and evaluate and R adopting terms such as reevaluate, reassess, and reviewed often.
By John Walson
Should goals take a long time?
Yes and No.
Yes, goals should take a long time because when you are aiming to achieve big goals, you often run into problems which you had not anticipated like going down with the ‘flu etc.
Even small goals can take time if you are depending on other people to deliver. I and six of my martial arts students took a course on first aid back in October 2004.
We all qualified for the appropriate first aid certificate but one of us is still waiting to receive a correctly spelled certificate. His name has been mispelled twice. It is now half a year later in March 2005 and he is still waiting!
No, goals should not take a long time because big goals are made up of smaller goals which usually do not take up much time unless you are unlucky enough to run into some one who can’t spell!
Even big goals can be achieved at speed if you enlist the help of an experienced and successful mentor who has reached the same goal before you.
I have been planning for several months to sign up as a seller on Ebay and put up a book for sale. Yesterday, with the help of a mentor, the goal was achieved in one hour.
Patience is valuable, whether we have a mentor or not, because it allows us to keep going until we achieve a major goal but a sense of urgency is also valuable because it pushes us to take the first and second step and so on.
We need both patience and a get up and go attitude.
The pacemaker was thought of in 1928 but it took 32 years until it materialized in 1960.
Indira Gandhi, who knew a thing or two, wrote:
“Have a bias toward action — let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.”
We all want to see something happening now which will give us the belief and patience to wait until our final goal is reached.
Patience is also needed because we cannot control the universe.
Urgency is needed because there is a lot we can do ourselves. We just need to get on with it and not worry too much about instant results.
Instant coffee was thought of in 1934 but the idea was not realized until 1956.
It took years for the Berlin wall to come down. Both were worth waiting for.
Our goals may take us much longer than we thought they would. There is no reason to despair. Some goals have taken years and even centuries to be achieved.
All kinds of obstacles including death can arise even if we are working flat out. Let’s not despair but keep on working. We may not reach our goal but can only be happy if we are working hard towards it.
Other people may reach their goals faster than we do. Perhaps they are cleverer or have to face fewer obstacles. We don’t know. All we know and all we can control is what we are doing ourselves.
The only question we need to ask is: “Have I made a list of what I think I need to do to achieve my goal and have I started quickly and efficiently to deal with each task on my list?”
Probably, if we focus and take action on these tasks, we will reach our goal much sooner than we had expected.