Makes the case for having clear goals. Includes tips for goal creation
|You Gotta Have Goals
By Robert A. Crutchfield
I’ve always found it interesting that a ship cannot be steered unless it is moving at a certain minimum speed. Those who navigate everything from small to massive ships call this “steerage.” Steerage is the exact point at which choosing a ship’s direction becomes possible. Of course a ships’ pilot also has charts, other publications, and a variety of tools to help him know in great detail where the ship should go. As people goals are what give momentum and motion to our movements, goals are how we know where to go, how far we have been, and how far we have yet to travel. Goals are the human equivalent of the navigators charts,and tools.
Where do we get out goals ? The best goals come from within ourselves. Goals that come from external sources are rarely truly motivating, or effective. Goals also require some thought. Developing good, life changing goals requires digging deep into what really means anything to you, and what you genuinely want to accomplish. I want to spend the rest of this article discussing some things you should look for in goals that will have true power in changing your life.
GOALS SHOULD BE ATTAINABLE
By attainable, I mean goals have to be realistic. After all goals are a tool to use in achieving success, they are not meant to be pipe-dreams ! Improving your sales 500% in the next year for example would be an example of an unrealistic goal. On the other hand a 20% sales increase may be very much within your grasp.
GOALS SHOULD BE SET HIGH
Look at our previous example. A one year sales increase of 20% could look pretty good if last year sales,were flat. The same 20% increase in sales would look pretty pathetic if last year,sales doubled. Only goals that are set high will drive you to success. Whatever you are trying to accomplish your goals should be set toward the top of what is possible not the bottom. At the same time don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t always make it all the way to your goal. In fact if you always easily make your goals, I guarantee you aren’t setting them high enough !
GOALS MUST BE MEASURABLE
“ I want to sell more widgets.” or “ I want more free time this year.” are powerless goals. “I want to spend 8 more hours a week with my family.” is an example of a goal with life changing power. It is specific, identifiable, and measurable. You in fact will be able to know the exact moment this goal is reached. What a rush ! Try this, show your goals to a mentor, coach, or colleague. If they can’t tell you exactly what you want to accomplish without further explanation, revise your goals.
GOALS MUST BE PERSONALLY MEANINGFUL
Making more money won’t drive you to success if what your really want is more time with your family. Goals that matter mean more to you than anybody else. They are tied directly to what you want, to what makes you happy. If you cannot get absolutely passionate about your goals, if they don’t have you jumping out of bed in the morning, they’re wrong. Other people may be able to define your goals if you let them, but they will never be able to define your true happiness. Without what makes you truly happy, you can never be truly successful.
GOALS SHOULD HAVE VARYING TIME HORIZONS
Powerful life changing goal making involves short, mid and long term goals. Different people have different ideas on the time frames involved, but here is how I look it. Short term goals can be accomplished this month. Mid term goals can be won within a year. Long term goals are things like earning a college degree, that can take more than a year to attain. Its also important that at least some of your short, and mid term goals build on each other to reach your long term goals.
GOALS NEED TO BE VISIBLE
Making goals will not do any good if they get shoved in a drawer, or buried on your hard drive somewhere. Make a list of your goals and put them somewhere you will see them at least daily. Better yet put each goal on a separate index card, and post them all over the place so you will constantly be reminded of one goal ,or another. All of us take in way to much of other people’s garbage everyday. Why not counter this “negative programing” with reminders of what it it that you want ? Want to do even better ? Get yourself an “accountability partner.” Somebody you trust , and share your goals with. The best accountability partner would be somebody with similar goals. If your really lucky you can find a mentor who has gotten what or where you want. In fact this does not even have to be a single individual. A support group, or personal “board of directors” would have an even more profound, powerful impact on your ability to reach your goals.
GOALS NEED TO BE REGULARLY REVIEWED
Circumstances change, goals get achieved, new opportunities crop up. Beyond all this we can’t loose sight of the fact that goals are intended to keep you focused, motivated, and moving forward on those things you use to define your personal success. Short term goals should be reviewed at least monthly. All others need a good going over every 60-90 days.
Its nearly impossible to get what you want, unless you know where you are, where you are going, and how to get there. That’s why everybody needs goals. Good, powerful goals are the roadmap to your success, no matter how you choose to define it. Believe me, nothing creates more powerful more life changing goals than beginning with what you want the most. Search your heart and figure out what that is. Find out what it takes to get there. Develop high, specific, meaningful, goals you can be passionate about daily. Then all you have to do is, go get it tiger !