Goal Setting

It is said that only 3% of adults have clear, written, specific, measurable, time-bounded goals, and by every statistic, they accomplish ten times as much as people with no goals at all. Why is it then that most people have no goals?

You have two choices in life: You can either work on your own goals, or you can work for someone else, and work on achieving their goals. When you learn the art of goal setting, you take complete control of your life and jump to the front of the queue in your potential for great achievement.

Over the years I’ve heard a great many excuses from clients as to why they are not SMART with their goals – more of that later in this Blog.  For now, here are the 5 most popular excuses:

Excuse One: “I already have goals; I don’t need to set any.” 

People who say this also say that their goals are to be rich, thin, happy, successful, and live their dreams. Buy these are not goals, they are wishes and fantasies common to all mankind. A goal is like a beautiful home, carefully designed, revised continually, upgraded regularly, and worked on constantly. If it is not in writing, it is merely a wish or a pipe dream; a vague objective with no energy or commitement behind it.

Excuse Two: “I don’t need goals; I’m doing fine.” 

Living your life without goals and objectives is setting off across unknown territory with no road signs and no road map. You have no choice but to make it up as you go along, reacting and responding to whatever happens, and hoping for the best. If you are doing well today without written goals and plans, you could probably be doing ten times better in the future if you had clear targets to aim at and the ability to measure your progress as you go along. It is vital to have goal setting objectives.

Excuse Three: “I don’t need written goals; I have them all in my mind.” 

The average stream of consciousness includes about 1,500 thoughts a minute. If your goals are only in your mind, they are invariably jumbled up, vague, confused, contradictory and deficient in many ways. They offer no clarity and give you no motive power. You become like a ship without a rudder, drifting with the tides, crashing into the rocks inevitably and never really fulfilling your true potential.

Excuse Four: “I don’t know how to set goals.” 

No wonder. You can take a Masters degree at a leading university and never receive a single hour of instruction on goal setting and achieving. Fortunately, setting a goal is a skill, like time management, teaching, selling, managing, or anything else that you need to become a highly productive and effective person. All skills are learnable. You can learn the skill of goal-setting by practice and repetition until it becomes as easy and as automatic as breathing. From the very first day that you begin setting goals, the progress you will make and the successes you will enjoy will amaze you.

Excuse Five: “Goals don’t work; life is too unpredictable.” 

When a ship leaves shore for a distant port, it will be off course 99% of the time due to factors outside their control such as weather conditions, tidal movements and so on.  The complexity of the control deck electronics and the skill of the captain and his crew are focused on continual course corrections. It is the same in life. But when you have a clear, long-term goal, with specific plans to achieve it, you may have to change course many times, but you will eventually arrive at your destination of health, wealth and great success.

Call to Action

 Take some time right now to reflect on some of your goals in the past.  Think about some of your past New Year Resolutions that you never saw through to the end and some of the resolutions that you actually found success with and/or adopted as part of your lifestyle.  Think about some of your ‘fed up‘ moments when you resolved to make lifestyle changes for the better because you were sick of feeling or acting a certain way, but maybe ended up simply falling back to your old habits after a few short weeks.  Once you have a few of these examples in mind, think about how you set those goals and why you achieved some goals but not others.  What factors contributed to that?  

Use the SMART acronym below to help guide your thoughts and provide you with some valuable insight that can change the way you set all of your goals in the future!

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