Recently, many of my “students” have told me they CAN’T set goals because everything is changing and they aren’t sure what tomorrow holds. Changing economies is exactly WHY we should set goals!
To start thinking about goals, reflect for a moment on this quote by Diane Scharf Hunt…“Goals are dreams with deadlines.”
Who couldn’t use a little dreaming today? And once we know our dreams, we need to capture them into specific, written and measurable goals. That is what goal clarity is…having specific, written and measurable outcomes that we are working toward. And we can make this easier by following a 5-step process to make it efficient and successful.
The following is a goal clarity strengthening process to implement right now…really, RIGHT now. Take out a piece of paper and pen and make 5 columns on the page for your own Goal Planner.
1. In the left column write at least 5 things you want to happen in the next 60 days. These are outcomes like “Make one new sales appointment each work day.” or “Close $ ___ in business each week.” These are your goal statements.
A caution: Review the outcomes for measurability and specificity to see whether you can identify whether it is accomplished or not. For example, if your goal is “More time with my family,” be specific about what that looks/feels like. Does it mean a certain amount of time each night or weekend? Certain activities completed together? “I will eat dinner with my family 3 times each week,” allows me to know whether I have achieved this or not.
2. Look at each statement and identify the actions needed to take to get there.
Write 2-3 actions that will move you toward each outcome in the 2nd column.
3. Write a specific time/date when you will take that action in the 3rd column. Is it each day? Week? How often? A date is another checkpoint on the road to success.
4. Next, identify your reward for completing those actions or the goal. Think through the BENEFIT of completing the action that leads you to the goal or outcome. Will you sleep better? Will there be self-satisfaction? Will it be a treat like a special coffee or candy? Be prepared to “reward” yourself when you have completed the action/outcome. Write these in the 4th column.
5. And in the 5th column write the name of a stakeholder for this goal or outcome. A stakeholder is someone who will care about this outcome – it might be a manager, a spouse, a colleague, a friend. You may have different stakeholders for each goal.
Finished? Congratulations! Look at this paper – you have at least 5 goals and a plan of action for the next 60 days to get there!
What’s next? Take action! Share each goal with your stakeholder for that goal. Your stakeholders may be able to:
· Clarify the outcome with you to make sure it is specific enough for you to know whether you reach it or not.
· Identify other actions that can get you there quicker or easier.
· Help you in some way to achieve the goal.
· Celebrate your progress and ultimate success!
· Add accountability.
After your stakeholder is ready to stand by your side, it’s all up to you. The 5 steps to goal clarity will allow you to progress where you want – regardless of changing market conditions. It starts today with the action you take!
What are some of the goals you’ve set for yourself? Let us know in the Comments section.
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