Sunday, January 27, 2013

Seven Steps to SMARTER Goal Setting

Cover of "Write It Down, Make It Happen: ...
Cover via Amazon

The front of my favorite Mother's Day card reads like this: "Mom, remember when you told me you wanted me to grow up and be somebody?"  The inside of the card reads, "Maybe you should have been more specific."  There is a lot more to this idea than a  funny punch line. Brian Tracy in a recent interview with Darren Hardy of Success Magazine, says that he often asks audiences to write down their top three goals in three minutes. He then guesses that they have written a goal about their health, their finances and their relationships.  He is always right because these are the top areas of  our lives and we should be making regular deposits in each one to live a balanced life.

Many of us have heard of SMART goals.  In this post, I'd like to take it one step further and help the reader create SMARTER goals.  Here are the seven steps to creating a goal that works:

  • Create a goal that is specific.  Every one has a wish list of how they would like their life to change. In order to write a SMARTER goal  make sure that the goal is not just a wish but a specific detailed statement of where you want to be.  Here's an example of a goal that is not specific:  Make more money.  Here's an example of a goal that is specific:  Increase my income per month by $1000.  See the difference?
  •  Create a goal that is measurable.  Even when it is difficult to quantify it is important to make the goal measurable so that you will know if you are making progress.  Here's an example of a goal that is not measurable:  Spend quality time with my family.  Here's an example of a goal that is measurable:  Plan and enjoy one family activity a week.
  • Create a goal that is attainable.  If a goal is too small then we aren't stretching ourselves but if a goal is too big then we can undermine our motivation and give up early in defeat.  Here's a goal that is probably not attainable:  Lose 12 pounds a week.  Here's an attainable goal:  Lose 2-4 pounds a week.  When we set goals that are attainable we are energized by the gains that we make regularly rather than discouraged by our lack of progress.
  • Create a goal that is relevant.  We are motivated by what we want in our lives.  Goals that are created because we "should" achieve them or because someone else wants us to achieve them won't work.
  • Create a goal that has a time frame.  A deadline gives a goal urgency and momentum.  The difference between I want to lose weight and I want to lose ten pounds in the next month is the difference between someday and soon.  
  • Create a goal that is energized by writing it down.  In the book, Write It Down, Make It Happen, Henriette Anne Klauser tells story after story of the importance of writing a goal down in order to create success.  Writing a goal down helps us cement it in our brain and creates focus. 
  • Create a goal and review it regularly.  Finally, don't just write a goal down and forget it!  Review the goal daily perhaps several times a day to make it such a part of your life that you are always aware of the possibilities around you that will make the goal successful.
When I wrote the Wyatt the Wonder Dog stories, I had a vague goal of publishing them somehow, someway, someday.  I am embarrassed to say that I waited around for ten years for the right person to walk into my life and announce, "Any one here want to publish a children's book?"  It never happened.  Finally, one day I decided to do something instead of waiting.  I set a goal of publishing the first book in one year.  I began researching and asking knowledgable people about how to self-publish a book.  One person I contacted via his podcast was Dan Miller of 48 Days to the Work You Love.  He answered my questions on his podcast and gave me the encouragement I needed.  Step by step I moved forward and at the end of a year?  I had my first book in hand.  

If I can do it so can you!  Now it's your turn.  What are your goals for the year?  Are they vague wishes or are they SMARTER goals?

Want to learn more about goal setting and how to Be Do Have, even with a busy life?  Join me for a free teleseminar on February 19th with Jen McDonough!  Details are here:  Teleseminar

Want to spend an entire day learning more about following your passion and making your goals happen? Attend the Called Woman Conference  in March and listen to an impressive line-up of speakers who can teach you how to take your dream to reality. Early Bird Registration ends February 1st!  

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1 comment:

  1. Smarter goals are indeed the way to go, Lynne. Great advice which I'll share to Twitter and Facebook.
    Blessings, my friend!