Goal setting is a key antecedent to success. Many of the successful people that I have worked with are strongly goal-oriented. They spend time articulating clear and specific goals, they write these goals down in detail, they work on their goals daily and review their goals periodically. Successful people also have clear, specific and written organised plans of action.
Your goals should contribute towards achieving your “Major Life Purpose” and related core values in life. What is your major purpose in life?
For goals to be affective they must be SMART Goals. That is:
- Specific – don’t be vague
- Measurable – quantify your goal
- Attainable – be honest with yourself
- Realistic – real and practical
- Time-based – associate a timeframe
Although your goals should be attainable it is also important to include a few stretch goals that have the ability to take you out of your comfort zone.
The template that I use for goal setting is outlined below:
Step 1 Brainstorm all your goals and objectives
- Take a sheet of paper or use a journal and list all your goals and objectives. They could also include your dreams and desires in life.
- Some people have suggested you list 100 goals for this step, but if you can’t get to 100 don’t worry
- Once you have your list then prioritize and label each as follows: 1 = goals to be achieved in one year or less, 3 = goals that are two to three years out, 5 = goals that will take about five years to achieve, and 10 = your ten year goals and dreams.
Step 2 Focus on your One Year goals
- Ensure your goals satisfy the SMART criteria and rewrite if required. For example, your goal may be to “lose weight”, however this does not satisfy all the SMART criteria as it is written. The goal should be written as – “Lose 5kg by 30 Jun 2010 through 30 min of exercise at least 4 days per week, coupled with a healthy eating diet”.
- Group your goals under the following categories:
- Financial/Material Goals
- Business/Career Goals
- Personal Relationship/Social Goals
- Health & Recreational Goals
- Personal Development & Growth Goals
- Further prioritize your goals under each category. I usually have 4 – 5 goals for each category and I prioritize further by asking what are the more important goals that will have the biggest impact in my life
Step 3 Develop Action Plans for each goal
- Write each goal at the top of a fresh page and develop the details of your plan.
- Break down the plan into workable individual tasks. Assign a completion date for each task.
- Some goals may require the assistance of other people. You will need to assign specific tasks to the individual people identified who can assist you with your plan.
Step 4 Repeat Steps 2 and 3 above for your 3, 5 and 10 year goals
- Some of your longer term goals may be dreams or desires. You will need to convert these dreams and desires into specific and defined individual goals with timeframes. The individual goals together with their specific tasks and actions, collectively will achieve your overall dreams.
- Long term goals require periodic review to ensure you are on track to achieving the outcomes that you have documented in your plan.
- You may need to revise your plans if you discover that you are not progressing as originally planned.
Step 5 Take Action
- You now have the winning combination of a goal with a plan.
- Take action immediately with the highest priority goals.
- Self-discipline and commitment will be needed to work on your goals and plans every day. Do something every day, no matter how small, to move towards achieving your goals.
- Document your progress in a journal or diary and make any adjustments, if required.
- Celebrate your success and achievements by rewarding yourself.
Dr John Kapeleris