I hope you are ready to set some goals. This is a follow-up to last week’s weekend challenge post. In that post I challenged you to do an inventory of where you are in life. We all strive for happiness, but we rarely sit down and look at the things we are un-happy with. So if you haven’t yet done the inventory than do that first. Now, if you know what needs work than we can get down to goal setting.
Amazingly few people actually write down their goals. I am sure you already know that those folks who write down their goals accomplish significantly more than those who don’t write their goals.
The problem (or excuse) is that most people don’t know how to write goals. Or they make it too complicated. There is even a Wikipedia page on Goal Setting.
Today, I am giving you five simple goal setting steps. I don’t want you to say it is too hard. I want you to take action.
5 Goal Setting Steps
- Keep the goals few in number. Part of my job is being accountable to my boss and having my staff be accountable to me. So we try to focus on three primary objectives at a time. If you go over five goals you will be splitting too much time. The only time I have seen five or more goals work is when you break them into short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals (so you are still really only focusing on a few at any given time)
- SMART goals. This acronym is part of the Wikipedia page. It is also part of the corporate lexicon. SMART goals have five criteria…
- Specific: Identify exactly what you want to do. Be specific
- Measurable: Set your goal with a quantifiable result.
- Actionable: Goals start with an action verb, not a “to-be” verb. i.e. Be better read versus read two books per month.
- Relevant: Set challenging goals that put you at the edge of your comfort zone, but not something so big you never had a chance before you started.
- Time-bound: Goal setting needs an end date. When is your goal going to be completed? Write it down!
- Write the goals down. Set your intention to action by writing your goals down.
- Review often. Just because you wrote it down doesn’t mean you can now forget about it. This is why I meet with my managers weekly and my boss meets with me monthly to review the projects we are all working on. Disclaimer: I do meet with my staff daily, but we specifically review progress weekly. Same thing with goals, reviewing them keeps you on track.
- Make the goal public. It doesn’t have to be on a blog, but share your goals with those who can help you achieve them. I use this blog for my personal accountability and share the things I am improving.
Goal setting is part of a more disciplined life. Michael Hyatt, even talked about the importance of SMART goals in a recent podcast (How to Develop More Discipline). So take some time this Labor Day weekend to write down your goals.
Goal setting is worth the investment. Have you used written goals? What results have you had with goal setting?
Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress, found here.