Steps for Successful Goal Setting and Achievement

by Paul Christenbury

 

Goal Setting is an extremely powerful technique for accomplishment, but for Goal Setting to really be effective requires more than just writing down what we want to achieve. This article will present important steps that will help to define and achieve goals with more success.

Benefits of Goal Setting

Goal setting helps us determine our priorities, get organized, make big decisions, and realize our dreams. Almost all motivational experts incorporate goal setting as an important part of their programs. Zig Ziglar, when speaking of the importance of goals, poses the question “Are you a wandering generality or a meaningful specific”. I personally became so sold on the power of goals that I created a website called MyGoalManager.com. The objective of the website is to direct the user through the entire Goal process from definition to achievement. This Goal Achievement process entails the following requirements:

1. Well formed Goal Statements
2. Breaking goals down into manageable Steps
3. Motivation and Commitment
4. Reminders and Keeping on track
5. Frequent Review and Re-assessment

1. Well formed Goal Statements

The Goal Statement forms the basis for the entire process so careful attention should be placed on formulating a clear and accurate goal statement. A good way to remember how a goal statement should be defined is the old S.M.A.R.T. acronym used by many experts in goal setting. SMART stands for:

Specific

Measurable
Action-Oriented
Realistic
Time and Resource Constrained

The Goal should be specific enough so that we know exactly what we are striving for, measurable so we can tell exactly when the goal has been reached, action-oriented to indicate an activity that will produce results, realistic in that it is practical and can be achieved, and time and resources constrained meaning that it has a definite deadline for completion and realizes limited availability of resources. The goal statement “Increase sales 25% by the end of the fiscal year without increasing advertising spending” is an example that follows these rules.

2. Breaking down Goals into manageable Steps

Once we have a well-formed Goal Statement we need some direction to follow to achieve this Goal. The creation of Goal Steps gives us a list of the important things that need to be done to achieve the Goal, an action plan, and also allows us to track our progress towards the goal. While the goal “Increase sales 25% by the end of the fiscal year without increasing advertising spending” is a great goal statement, this is a monumental task without being broken down into smaller detailed steps.

3. Motivation and Commitment

Motivation and commitment are what make us strive to achievement. They give us the push, desire, and resolve to complete all of the other steps in the Goal process. This motivation can be obtained by developing a statement that creates a high level of emotion and energy that guarantees achievement. Commitment is what sets us on direct course to reach our goals and creates costly negative consequences for failure.


4. Reminders and Keeping on Track

Reaching our goals requires persistence and regular attention. We need some sort of system to keep us reminded and accountable. MyGoalManager.com uses a combination reminder emails, calendars, and reports to keep users organized and on track. If some accountability system is not used then we are likely to loose sight and fail.

5. Frequent Review and Re-assessment

Goal Setting is definitely an ongoing process that is accomplished over time. When we first sit down and start to define goals it can seem like a difficult and daunting task but over time it begins to get much easier. Patience is required. All goals due in the next year should be reviewed at least once a week and daily if possible. The great thing about frequent review is that this forces us to make big decisions and determine priorities in our life. We should keep watch for goals that aren’t being achieved on time or for goals on which we keep extending the deadline.

I hope this article will help you achieve your goals and give you more focus and direction. The website at MyGoalManager.com automates all of the philosophies and procedures laid out in this article and is a very helpful tool for reaching your goals. This website also has a demo that shows some examples of the strategies described in this article. Good luck as you realize all of your greatest dreams!

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