Not sure how to get started writing you goals? Following are 10 simple steps we teach our executive coaching clients.
Remember, you will always be better your 10th time than you are your first time. So, just start setting and writing your goals following these simple guidelines. You will get better with practice and over time your goals will write themselves. What I mean by that is that over the course of days and weeks, of regular goal setting, you will figure out what you really want and as a result, you will begin to write goals that detail YOUR hopes and dreams. More importantly, you will find yourself doing the things that move you toward those goals. Because, being a person of integrity, you cannot regularly write something you say you are going to do and then not do it.
Here are 10 Steps to Goal Setting:
- Be specific, versus general or vague. For example, “I sell $2.475 MILLION 2016,” versus “I sell more than I did last year.”
- Make your goals measurable.Without a measure, you will be unable to know if you are moving toward your goal or away from your goal. For example, with our goal of selling $2.475 MILLION, measures tracked could be sales totaling$206,250 each month.
- Align your goals with your values. Strive to accomplish the goals you want to accomplish versus striving to accomplish the goals others want you to accomplish. In my experience, the latter leads to frustration and failure. The reason for this is that when the challenges come, as they surely will, you will lack the resolve to overcome them because it wasn’t your goal to begin with.
- Set realistic goals. If you only sold $1 MILLION last year, it might be unrealistic to expect to sell $2.475 MILLION in the coming year, but extremely possible to sell $1.5 MILLION by either increasing your average sale or number of sales by 50%. Realistic goals will cause you to wake up each morning eager to get started, whereas unrealistic goals will typically discourage you and often will cause you to give up.
- Set a specific date or deadline for the achievement of your goals and set sub-deadlines if necessary. Be sure to monitor your progress toward goal achievement on a regular basis. By regularly monitoring your progress, you will allow time for course corrections en route to your goals. For example, with our measure of $206,250 per month, if there is not nearly $50,000+ in the bucket after the first week of the month, you can ask why, make changes, and strive to hit your monthly goal.
- Make a list of everything you can think of that you can do to achieve your goals. As you think of new activities, add them to the list. Keep doing this until your list is complete.
- Organize your list into a plan. Decide the priority and sequence of the items in your list. What is most important? And, what must be done first, before something else can be done?
- Determine the obstacles you will have to overcome, the additional knowledge and skills you will require, and the people whose help you will need to accomplish your goals.
- Take immediate action on your most important goal! The longer the period between the decision and the action, the less likely you are to get into action. Do something every day that moves you toward accomplishing your most important goals!
- Believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can accomplish your goal. Remember the words of Sir Winston Churchill, “I can summarize the lessons of my life in seven words – never give in; never, never give in!
(Note: Your goals are the steps for making your "future vision" a reality. Whenever you are struggling to do what you say you are going to do in order to achieve your goals, check your vision and motives. Once you are sure those two items are in order, go back to the construct of your actual goals.)
Here's a great summary by Zig Ziglar on this subject! Though recorded years ago, the goal setting formula is still unchanged!