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What are your goals? 

Do you know the difference between being successful and being a dreamer?  Successful people have a plan (and they act on it).  Dreamers have dreams but no plan of action to make it real.      Sometimes they don’t even know it.   They’re working really hard but seemingly going no-where.   It feels like running on a treadmill.  No matter how fast you run or how steep the incline is, you’re still getting off where you started.  Tired, sweaty, but in the same place you began.  Being successful is not luck.  It involves knowing how to set smart goals. 

We all know it’s easier to act when we have a defined vision.  Having a vision is only the start, there are so many reasons why it’s critical to set clearly defined goals.  Here are a few:

  • Setting goals helps you become who you need to be to reach them.  When you have a vision, you automatically become aware of opportunities that will help you get there.  You will notice people who have the traits needed to achieve and you will actually start to act like them. In essence, when you have a goal, you lean into being the person who can and will reach it.

  • (Smart) Goals help build confidence: Its hard to say what comes first but trying new things builds confidence and having confidence enables you to try new things.  Either way, having a goal is the first step to stepping out of your comfort zone. 

  • People who have goals are happier than people who don’t. Setting and pursuing goals provides direction and gives you a sense of purpose.  It also ignites your passion to be proactive in life instead of simply reacting to it.

Why not design a life you love, wake up with a sense of purpose, and thrive! It all begins with setting goals.

Read: Making Goal Oriented Choices

How to Set Powerful SMART Goals

Set goals that are in line with your values:

The goals you set will represent your values.  To categorize those values, I like to use elements of happiness described in The Wheel of Life. Of course, you are the authority of your own life and can choose any type of goal you wish, but here are some suggestions if you are stuck:

  • Health and wellness

  • Family and friends

  • Romance

  • Personal and spiritual growth

  • Community involvement

  • Career and business

  • Financial stability & growth

We all have some areas of life that are going great yet others that need improvement.  Some of us are in great physical shape but really bad with money.   Some have beautiful relationships but are stuck in a job they hate.  At some have great relationships and careers but little or no time for socializing and lack friendships.   When setting goals for yourself, think about every area of your life and rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how content you are with it.    If you are not content in a certain area, think about what would you like to accomplish to make it better.  When you get clear on what you’d like to achieve, try using SMART as a modal for goal setting.    Coined in 1954 by Austrian born business consultant, Peter F. DrukerSMART goals  are an acronym for:   Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound.  

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old”

~ Peter F. Druker

 

How to create SMART goals

 

  • Be specific:  The more detailed you are the better.    Think about who, what, when, where, why, and how when setting your goals.  The more clarity you have, the better you set yourself up for success.

 

                       “ I want to save money”is too general.

                        “I want to save $1,000” is better.

                        “I want to save $1,000 by December” is awesome.

  • Be measurable.   Have a clear vision of what it means to be successful and how you will know when you are.   When you are creating a strategy to meet your goals, that should also be specific and measurable.      

Notice how “I want to save money” is not measurable.   You could save $5 and that is in fact saving money but can you honestly say that you’ve met your goal?   Giving the added criteria of a dollar amount and a time limit makes the goal much clearer.   

Read: Form Habits that will Help You Reach Your Goals 

 

  • Part of having SMART goals is having "smart" targets.  Both your goals and your strategy must be achievable.    Achievable goals and strategies should nudge you out of your comfort zone but not shove you into something unsustainable.  Know your limitations and work within them.  Be realistic about what you are willing to give up meeting a goal.   Think about what stumbling blocks you have encountered in the past and come up with a strategy to work around them.  Sometimes we have lofty ideas of what we can and will do to reach a goal and that completely sets us up for failure.  

 

 

  • Make sure your goal is relevant to what you truly desire in life.  This can be tricky because sometimes we  set goals based on what other people want or what we believe we should accomplish based on someone else’s values.  Accomplishing your goal will only make you happy and be satisfying if it is what you truly want. 

  • Give yourself a realistic deadline.    You will be much more accountable to your goal and stay motivated longer when your you set goals that are timebound

 

 

Clearly defined, measurable and achievable goals are the blueprint for success.  Having someone hold you accountable for sticking to the process minimizes distractions and mistakes while maximizing motivation and commitment.  A life coach will hold you accountable, be your cheerleader and motivator, and give you unbiased objective feedback to get you over the finish line faster than you can on your own.

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