If you use Outlook, you may want to check out a new feature we’ve recently added. It’s the iCalendar feed for your goal’s active tasks. With iCalendar feed, you can easily sync your tasks with a program that supports iCalendar data format, such as Outlook, Yahoo Calendar, etc.
To use iCalendar feed for your goals, first go to the “Goals” page, and click on the “iCalendar” link at top right of goal section. This is a “webcal://” link, which is recognized and is usually associated with Microsoft Outlook by default.
Once you click on this link, Outlink will automatically try to add it as a calendar. Click yes to continue and then you will see all the active tasks for your goals are shown in your Outlook Calendar. Because it’s an iCalendar feed, every time you update tasks for that goal, the changes will show up in Outlook as well.
However, please note that the iCalendar feed uses an automatic login mechanism, so make sure you do not publish that webcal link where you don’t want other people to see your goals and tasks.
Why Should I Set Goals?
The fact is that goal setting works! Research studies have shown a direct link between goals and enhanced performance in both sports and business.
- Goals can give you a target to aim for. We work and feel better when our success mechanism is fully engaged going after clear targets. Goals provide your success mechanism with clear targets of your own choosing based on what is most important to you.
- Goals can help you concentrate your time and effort. One major time management challenge we are facing today is that there are more things available for us to do than anyone could possibly attempt, let alone accomplish, in an entire lifetime. If we are not careful, it is very easy to diffuse our time and energy with many different trivial pursuits, aimless distractions, and general busyness.
- Goals can provide motivation, persistence and desire. Any major accomplishment requires motivation and persistence. Where does this motivation come from? It comes from your desire and purpose, from the reasons why you want to accomplish it. Goals can help you remember your “big why” when you need to pick yourself up and keep going in the face of adversity.
- Goals can help you establish priorities. You will find many forks in the road between where you are now and where you want to be. Instead of just going with the flow and letting the “current” or other people’s interests determine where you end up, you have to consciously decide which way to go.
- Goals can provide a roadmap to take you from where you are to where you want to be. A well crafted strategy with an accompanying set of intermediate goals provides a framework to reach far away targets. One of the best ways to deal with large or seemingly “impossible” tasks is to break them up into a series of intermediate achievable steps and get to work on each piece.
There are many other great reasons to set goals, but I believe the above five are good enough for anyone to get serious about goals.
To set goals effectively, you will need good tools. GoalsOnTrack is such a web-based goal achievement tool you can use to set and accomplish any goals. We’re always improving and adding new features to the software to help people achieve goals faster.
Please try out our SMART goal setting software today and you will achieve more goals than ever before.
By George Yang
Why do we need goals? We need them so that we know where we want to go towards, right? Without goals, we are basically wandering around in the darkness hoping that we reach the right place. But, we also use goals as a motivational tool to give us that boost of energy to work towards them.
If you ask any motivational speaker, one of the key points they will tell you to achieve success is to write down your goals. Well, that’s not the whole story though. Just writing them down doesn’t give you that energy boost that you need to achieve success but I’ll tell you my secret to goal setting.
First, you have to start dreaming again and not the dreams that you have when you sleep at night, but the dreams that you had when you were kids like, “I wanna live in a mansion when I grow up.” Don’t be afraid to dream big because odds are, if you dream big but only reach half way, that’s still half way farther than if you didn’t dream at all.
Ok, so let’s talk about your mansion. Just writing down a mansion in your Goals list isn’t enough. Write down details. What kind of architecture would it be? Would it be a fairy tale type of castle? Would it be an Italian Villa? How many bedrooms? What about an indoor pool?
Another secret to goal setting is to find images of some of the things you want so that you can picture them clearly in your mind. It gives your goals a sense of realism than if you were to just think about the word “mansion.” Find some pictures of Italian Villas or indoor pools or whatever it is that you want and just imagine yourself in there.
For me, I’m a car guy so I’ve got a few cars on my list. Right now, I drive a BMW M3 but that’s not enough. Like I said, you have to dream big if you want to hit it big so I’ve got Porches, more BMWs, and even Ferraris on my list. I’ve saved images of these cars onto my computer and even set a couple of them as my desktop images on both my monitors. I know the colors I want and all the options that each car provides. It makes it much more real when you get down to the details.
So, you can start with making a list of your goals but you need to go farther. Get into the details. Find images. Picture yourself owning those items already. Doing this will only help you in whatever venture you choose to go with.
Goal setting is often seen as the most important as well as most difficult aspect of life success, time management, and personal development.
Whether we consciously set them or not, we always have goals which rise from our deepest convictions, hang-ups, beliefs, and perspectives.
An automatic guidance system navigates us through our life.
But conscious goal setting is better.
However, by focusing only on ‘goal setting’ without taking a whole life approach to organizing our life and understanding our deepest values, we may follow the same old automatic and less than desirable goal setting systems as we have in the past.
Do you relate?
I realized that what is required for long lasting genuine goal setting is a deeper control of desired reality.
Good goal setting necessarily involves all areas of a persons life, including intellectual, emotional, spiritual (their values), and physical.
Good goal setting also involves what a person would like to do, what they would like to have, and who they would like to become.
And good goal setting also does these things throughout time. I.e. Things wanted in the present, things wanted short term, medium term, and long term into the future.
Good Goal Setting then requires that these identifications are controlled and organized.
This is the bit that most people find too difficult.
The simplest technique is to stick your goal setting notes onto a wall some place in your home so you can review it and stay mindful of it.
From that point you will make short term commitments in line with the bigger picture, and then schedule those milestone goals.
Is this all obvious? If so, are you 100% satisfied with your application of the obvious?
If not, would you closely consider the possibility that you have not fully identified or become emotionally involved strongly enough, with all of the elements that your goal setting includes?
It is the emotional motivation that will keep us on track to goal setting properly as explained above, and to maintaining the discipline to act on our short term commitments.
Goal Setting should be a thorough and efficient part of our life. Just a little bit of effort to get the above technique of goal setting done properly can make your experience of goal setting stimulating and enjoyable, instead of disheartening as it is for many people.
Take control of a mature approach to goal setting.
My breakthrough revelation for Goal Setting is represented in only 2 simple steps that anyone can apply.
The 2 Steps of Goal Setting
First, write it all out – ‘Don’t just think it, ink it!’
(write down your current projects or desired activities and desired future)
Second, think about it often.
(maintain satisfactory awareness on what you write down)
This is the very core of Goal Setting that we must discipline our minds to do as habit before any of the more fancy techniques can make much difference.
Author: Nathan F. Shaw
Currently touring Thailand whilst writing and coaching, Nathan Shaw has a 15 page Life’s Missing Principles Handbook available FREE at www.success-matrix.com/missingprinciples/
Have you ever listened to Jim Rohn’s speeches? If you haven’t, I would highly recommend you check him out. Jim is a great inspirational speaker on self-improvement and personal development. In this video, he shares how one should become the person in order to achieve his or her goals.
It’s summer again, and that always seems to make it harder to work on your goals, doesn’t it? 🙂 However, consistent effort is key to any goal accomplishment. I hope that while enjoying the summer, you are also making great progress on your goals.
We have made some improvements to the site lately. Here is a list of things you may or may not notice in the app:
- A monthly recurring option has been added to the task form, which allows you to create recurring tasks on a monthly basis, in addition to the weekly choices.
- Habits calendar has been adjusted so that now it starts at Mondays, not Sundays.
- Goal picture uploads have been slightly improved, so that it now fits better on the page layout.
- A few bugs have been fixed in tasks importing, especially from Outlook files. If you still have problems importing tasks from Outlook, it may have something to do with the data formatting. Please send me the files you have trouble with and I will make sure they can be correctly imported.
- Site speed has been improved, somewhat. Due to the origin UI design of the tasks page, the improvement doesn’t seem very significant. We’re experimenting with redesigning that whole page so that it will load in constant time regardless of how many tasks you schedule for goals.
As always, I have received many great suggestions and wonderful feedback. I really appreciate that. We’re working on some changes that are proposed by you. If you ever think of everything that we could improve, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
Until next post, have a great summer!
By Jayson Cardwell
There is a saying that goes something like this, “Before you know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been.” Very wise words, and very truthful, but I’d like to add to that statement, “Before you know where you’re going, you better plan ahead.” The last time I took a vacation, I planned out the path, and I made alternate routes incase the main route was blocked. Goal setting is nothing different from planning a vacation, or planning anything really. It takes time, focus, vision, execution, and S.M.A.R.T.S.
Time is money, this is a true statement most if not all business owners and managers will agree upon. So if this is true, why waste it to being a quarter into a new fiscal year and still not having a plan put in place. Let my dispel some a myth, an operating budget is NOT a plan, nor are they goals. To properly formulate an operating budget you need to first set the goals you wan to attain. How can you properly allocate capital if you have direction? When you plan for a vacation you save and allot the money to be sure you have everything covered. Goal planning should begin in July/August, or 4-5 months prior to the beginning of a new fiscal year. This will reserve time for brainstorming, formulating, Board approval (if necessary), and implementation through the budget.
For goal setting to be effective you need to devote energy and focus on the task. Haphazard goal setting will lead to haphazard results. Do whatever it takes to gain focus. Many entrepreneurs fail to understand the concept of retreat. Even if you are a one-man shop, you need time away to gather your thoughts, recoup your body, and open the doors of your mind. That is where innovation and imagination are given free reign is in retreat.
Try this exercise, get away for 5 days, and leave behind the work phone, laptop, and anything else tying you to your company. Find someplace that relaxes you. Take the first day to detoxify your mind, and then take the next 3 days to become a free thinker. Grab a pen and paper and write down every idea that comes into your mind. No matter how ridiculous. Be sure this is done on un-lined paper no rules, no guidelines, and no restrictions. On the last day, prepare yourself to come back fresh, meditate. When you get back to your company take a look at the paper and begin to eliminate the ideas, until you reach those that are S.M.A.R.T.S (later in the article).
Vision is important in goal setting. For without vision we’re lost. You have to be looking out into the horizon, beyond the sight of employees and competitors. To find your goals you have to look forward and not behind.
Finally we reach execution. Execution is a fairly simple process; many people make it too hard. With each goal there should be a set of action plans. These are simply steps needed to attain the goal. For example if your goal is to increase sales by 3% in a certain market, then the action steps would be to increase the effectiveness of sales reps in that area through training. Step two could be to increase marketing by adding another advertising channel, and attaining better brand recognition and exposure. Executions then leads to you walk out the steps necessary to attain the goal(s) you have set.
A brief word on S.M.A.R.T.S this is an acronym that many people recognize but, I have added another letter. The first S stands for Specific. Your goals need to be specific, general goals do not push you to achieve success. The M is Measurable, without a way to quantify your goal(s), you have no idea if you are making progress. The A is for Attainable, goals that can not be achieved are goals you don’t want to set. R is for Realistic, this means your goals should line up with your company and be within the realm of possibility. T is for Time Orientated, not putting a limited time frame (6 mo. 1 yr, 3 yrs, 5 yrs, 10 yrs) means you can reach that goal whenever and it leads to laziness. The final S is my own addition, it stands for Stretch. Goals should stretch your thinking and ability. Making goals that are too easy to achieve will lead you no where. Yet setting a goal that is just at the tips of your fingers while you’re standing on your toes will cause you to achieve greater then that you thought you could. It pushes you, your company, your employees, and it is the stretch that leads you into greatness.