by James Egan
The word goal, or goals, gets used untold numbers of times each and every day. People just use the word to describe almost everything they’re referencing, such as; “that’s my goal sir”, “our goal is to please our customers ma’am”, “our goal is to put the best team on the field”, or “our goal is to get married soon”. The word goal is more of a cliché today and has somewhat lost the power it once connoted. The word has been thrown around so casually that when someone is asked to achieve a serious goal, they have no idea where to begin, and it’s not actually their fault.
Is it any wonder then why so many people who set goals never achieve them? I believe the majority of people try their hand at setting goals, and the first time they run into some obstacle, they back away from it. The reason for this is, they have never been taught the art of goal setting, and it truly is an art. If they had any goal setting training in their formative years, they would know exactly how to handle just about anything that gets in the way of their goal.
So I believe it’s in order to cover some key points about setting and achieving goals, but first, let’s make it clear that when we refer to setting goals from now on, we’re not talking about the everyday “to-do” lists that some people call their goals list. They’re just what’s implied, something that you have to do today, tomorrow, or next week. They are not difficult goals that can change your life, and that’s what we want to accomplish here, your greatest goals.
Let’s go through the steps that are required to achieve any substantial goal, and let’s start by assuming you’re not sure of the exact goal you want to start with, the one that can have a significant impact on your life. I’m sure you’ve heard the cliché, “you have to change your thinking if you want to change your life”. So that’s where we start;
- Begin by doing a personal assessment of what’s going on in your life right now. Write down everything you’re not happy with, and I do mean everything because this will set the stage to determine what your first goal should be. Take all the time you wish. Don’t rush this assessment. It’s critical to changing your life for the better. When you’ve finished your list, and have gone over it several times, you can now prioritize the list by putting the most crucial issue at the top. You can continue ranking the rest, in their order of importance to you.
- The issue you have ranked first now becomes your exact first goal!
- Now it’s time to put a strategic plan in place that will ensure the achievement of your goal. This will be your thoughts and ideas about the approach you should take to make things happen. Strategies are nothing more than creative ideas, put into written statements that say how you’re going to make something happen. For now, just make these strategies general statements, as the next segment will link back to these strategies.
- Now we’ll cover the detailed plan. Here, you will look back at each strategy, one at a time, and write down precise details about how you’re going to achieve each particular strategy. Pay careful attention to this detailed plan, as it’s the starting point for any goal you set. It’s possible that you could have four or more “detailed statements” for each single strategy.
This is the only way you can be guaranteed to achieve any goal because the beauty of this process lies in its flexibility. The reason this is true is because anytime you run into an obstacle with one of your “details” or “strategies”, you can change that particular detail and insert a different one. The main thing is that you never change the goal. You can change the details or strategies, but never change your goal until it’s completed!
About the Author: All of the above is listed in even more detail in our goal setting workbook and e-books, which are on our website, at http://www.goalsforall.com -James Egan