Looking for more advanced goal setting tips? My SMART-PATH method of goal setting is a fantastic aid to help you to achieve your goals. Below is a review of the SMART method along with a few more useful points I have added for you to consider when writing out your goals.
The SMART-PATH method of goal setting:
S = Specific
The first step in goal setting is to write out your goal in detail. If your goal is vague how will you know what you want to achieve, how to achieve it or even that it has been achieved? Get in shape is not a specific goal. A better goal is to go to the gym three times a week to do one-on-one kick boxing, take an hour long belly dance class and a one hour Latin dance class. Getting specific is easy just ask yourself who, what, when, where and why questions.
Making your goal measurable allows you to see if you are getting closer to your goals or further away. Ask how long it will take. Ask how many, how much or how will you know when it is achieved. For example a saleswomen might want to make 20 sales per month.
Almost any goal can be attained but are you willing and are you able to put the effort into attaining it? You must have the drive and it must be humanly possible to achieve. You cannot lose 50 lbs in one week but you can lose 3 lbs per week.
R = Reasons/Reward
Understand why you want to achieve your goal. Having very clear reasons for the goal means you understand the rewards of it. Write out why you want to achieve the goal and what the rewards will be. It is helpful to even imagine yourself having the reward. The reason for writing this down is because when you face an obstacle or lose motivation you can look at the reasons and the reward and remember the importance of the goal.
T = Time Bound
I would like to lose 15 lbs by June 14, 2011. Not someday I would like to lost 15 lbs. Set target dates to provide a sense of urgency without it you will be in no rush to complete your goals. This is helpful for procrastination.
P = Positive
Write your goals down in the positive. The Law of Attraction is a very popular trend today. It states that we attract what we think about the most. Let’s imagine that one of my financial goals is to be debt-free. If I think about debt, debt, debt, I will only attract more debt to me. If, however, I put a positive spin on my goal and imagine financial abundance I will bring myself more money. The more positive goals that you give yourself the more positive the results will be.
An extra bonus is that when I focus on things that make me feel good I have a lot more energy to bring about my financial success. Thinking about debt can put us into a negative state (it can cause a negative downward spiral; we might begin to feel depressed, worried, anxious leading to possible sleep/health problems) and can zap energy. I would like to challenge you to think positive as much as possible at all times not just during goal setting because the benefits are substantial.
We are the sum of all of our parts and the same is true for the areas in our lives. All areas of your life are important and to lead a full, rich life we must have balance. Write goals for all the areas of your life: Health and Wellness, Education, Career, Money, Family and Home, Fun and Recreation, Spiritual and Ethical.
T = Tense
Present-tense. Write your goals down in first person, present tense and pretend they are true right now. This is the idea of writing your goals down as if you have already achieved them. Do not write, “I will be happy”. Instead write, “I am happy”. The reason for doing this is because it is giving your brain an instruction to carry out. It also helps you to make it feel real and believable. At first you will feel very silly doing this but soon the goal will be more believable in your own mind. When you truly believe in something you will move mountains.
Aim high! Don’t be afraid to dream big. You get to create your own success in life. Let’s make that success the biggest you can make it. The saying I often use in my one-on-one coaching sessions is, “if you shoot for the moon and don’t make it at least you will hit the stars”! I know that the what ifs….will come: what if I can’t do it? what if I don’t have enough money? what if I fail? I guarantee you that whether you dream big or small the what ifs…will come. So if you only allow yourself to aim for the highest dreams possible your life better will be so much better.
Remember: Out of sight…out of mind. Write your goals down and look at them everyday. Having these goals visible will allow you to keep them in the forefront of your attention and remind you to stay focused. The more that you see these goals the more likely it will be that you will make choices that lead you to reaching them.
Do you have alternative goal setting techniques? Tell us about them in the comments!