Reflecting on Goal Setting
“Until you commit your goals to paper, you have intentions that are seeds without soil.” – Anonymous
Half of this year is already moved away. And so, now is a great time to reflect on the above quote.
We are back from the mid-year July 4th holiday celebration with a renewed vigor to pursue changes that we’d like to happen in the remaining 2015. Is it to be more focused at work; to increase our financial returns; or to work on relationships with those who are important to you?
It’s very easy to set a new goal at the beginning of a New Year than it is to get goals made at this time of year. However, past July 4th, are you still committed to your goals as you were on January 1st? If not, I would suggest that you need to address the process of goal attainment.
Here’s a simple process. Its simplicity doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It requires mindful attention and sustained perseverance. But the end result will be the achievement of what you set out to do. Can you “stomach the pain”; will you do the necessary “push-ups” to achieve what you want to achieve?
Here’s the 7-Step process:
1. Identify and write down your Goal/Resolution and use the following as SMART criteria for you goal:
- Written: Writing down the goal means that we have taken the first step toward committing ourselves to goal attainment.
- Harmonious: Make sure that your goals are not contradicting or else they will lead to confusion and frustration.
- Yours: You must own your goals. Don’t let someone else control your life.
- Specific: Keep your goal simple and well-defined. If your goal is too encompassing it will lead to confusion and frustration and ultimately discouragement.
- Measureable: Include some benchmarks so that you can gauge progress in achieving your goal. Seeing interim success along the way adds to your commitment to the goal.
- Achievable: Keep you goal within reasonable limits of what you know you can achieve. Setting you goal outside what is achievable will only cause discouragement.
- Realistically High: Although you want the goal to be achievable, you also want it high enough to push you beyond your comfort zone. Getting beyond your comfort zone is where personal growth and personal satisfaction lie when you ultimately attain what you are seeking to accomplish.
- Target Dates: Setting a target date puts the time factor into the equation. Without time, the goal is often lost in the necessary everyday activity that is part of each of our lives. It also establishes the end zone, the finish line, by which your measureable progress can be gauged.
In each of the next 6 steps, also write down each of the following:
2. Identify the Rewards for achieving your goal.
3. Identify the Consequences for not achieving your goal.
4. Identify all the Obstacles that prevent you from achieving your goal.
5. For each Obstacle, identify the Possible Solutions to overcome the Obstacle.
6. For each Possible Solution, define one or more Action Steps that you are committed to taking to overcome the Obstacle you have identified.
7. Transfer your Action Steps, and your Target and interim Dates into your personal planning system. Set up a system to track your measureable progress.
Now go forward in 2015 and enjoy the process of providing the necessary “soil” that will allow your seeds of intent to successfully sprout!