Today is the day for you to decide what you want. So here are 12 tips for you to help you to write your goals in a very specific way…….
Firstly decide EXACTLY what you want. We are talking specifics and tangible things. A goal of ” I want to be happy” is not a goal – you can decide to be happy now! So an example of a simple goal is that you perhaps, want a new car. What car is it? What colour is it? What engine does it have? What extras does it have? Is it new or used? How much will it be? You see how specific you have to be.
It has to be stated in the positive so, remove any negatives. In other words you do NOT write a goal about what you don’t want – you write a goal about what you DO want. So, have a think about exactly what you want and write it down and throughout the remaining 11 tips in this article, you can build on it until you have your goal in a very specific way, and remember be bold with your thoughts, be bold with your ambitions and make that goal BIG!!
Having decided what you want in Tip 1, you can now start to formulate your goal. Think about what you wrote down yesterday (what specifically do you want). Now write a couple of paragraphs about what you will see, hear and feel when you have your goal. This is about transporting yourself to the time when you have your goal and describing in compelling language everything going on around you at that time. Make it exciting! Describe EVERYTHING that you will see, hear and feel when you have achieved your goal AND, THIS IS IMPORTANT; write it in the PRESENT tense. (i.e. as if it was happening right now).Then keep your goal work carefully because in tip number 3, we will develop it!
So to recap on Tip numbers 1 & 2 – you should now have decided exactly and specifically what you want and written down what you will see, hear and feel when you have it (in the present tense). This tip is all about evidence. How will you know when you have got your goal! Now that might sound like a simple question but it is one that needs some thought. For example, if your goal was to own your own business which had a turnover of £1 million pounds and a profit after tax of £200,000 with no liabilities (note how specific I have been), then the moment you know you have achieved the goal might be the moment your accountant hands you the audited accounts and you see those figures.
You have to decide what is the tangible evidence that you will need to know you have got your goal. Please note the word tangible!! Any goal you write must have a tangible evidence procedure – in other words writing something like “I know I have achieved my goal when I feel happy” is NOT tangible! So write down now what evidence you are going to need to convince you that you have absolutely and 100% achieved your goal. Then put it all together and move onto tip number 4.
In tip number 4, I would like you to read through your notes from the previous couple of days and then ask yourself the following question. “What will this goal get for you or allow you to do?” Give this question careful consideration and write down all the things that come to mind. Are these things what you really want? Is this goal aligned to you? Are there any negative side effects from you working towards your goal and achieving it?
Whatever comes to mind write it down on a piece of paper and headline it with the question. This will complete tip number 4 of putting your goal together in the right format. Remember this process is different from the traditional SMART goals process! That process relies on two things that can limit your goals. The two problem areas with SMART goals are in the ‘achievable’ and “realistic” department. Are you going to take on other people’s beliefs about what is realistic or achievable? If you do then you may well limit yourself.
First of all, let’s recap – you have now decided exactly and specifically what you want and you have written down what you will see, hear and feel when you have it (in the present tense) and you have defined an evidence procedure so you will know when you have achieved your goal. You have also asked the question “what will this goal get for me or allow me to do”. If you haven’t done this yet go back over tips 1 through 4.
Now in tip number 5, you are going to make absolutely sure that you are in control of your goal. So first thing, read through everything you have written down over the previous 4 days and then ask yourself the following question. “Is this goal self initiated and self maintained?” Your goal must be self-initiated and self maintained. In other words if you and your partner want a new house and both are going to contribute, then you cant write the house as your goal. Your goal will be YOUR contribution.
You have to create your goal with as little input from others as possible, that way you are responsible for making it happen and cannot be let down by someone else not pulling their weight. If there is an element of your goal, which relies on someone else, then ask yourself how can you do it differently whereby you take total control.
In this short tip, you are going to contextualize your goal. So now you need to answer this question: “Where, when, how, and with who do you want your goal? “Write down anything that comes to mind and put your notes with the notes from the previous 5 tips What you are doing during this process is to actually think through your goal properly and the end part of the process you will be able to slot it all together into a well written goal.
So to quickly recap – you should have now decided exactly and specifically what you want, and you have written down what you will see, hear and feel when you have it (in the present tense) and you have defined an evidence procedure so you will know when you have achieved your goal. You have also asked yourself the question “what will this goal get for me or allow me to do” and you have checked that the goal will be self-initiated and self maintained. You have also that ensured your goal is correctly contextualized.
So this tip is all about resources and what you need to get your goal. So, review all previous steps and your notes and then answer this question “What do you have now, and what do you need to get your outcome?” What we are looking for here is what you need in the achievement of your goal. Resources can be anything – money, time, knowledge, training, structure, space etc. You have a great deal of resources within you and its worth asking yourself an additional two questions – have you ever done anything like this before, and, if you have, what did you learn. These learning’s are additional resources. If you haven’t done anything like this before maybe you know someone who has. This person would be a resource and perhaps guide you or give you some tips from their expertise. Write down all the resources you will need to get your goal and put it with the rest of your notes from the process!
This tip is about ecology. By that I mean the effect your goal will have on your immediate family, friends & colleagues. The very fact that you are going to be spending time working on your goal will have some kind of effect on the people around you. Of course they will probably benefit from you achieving your goal but there may be an interim period that will involve you spending time working on your goal rather than spending time focusing on them. So now, read through all your notes so far and then ask yourself the following question. “For what purpose do I want my goal, and what will I gain or lose by achieving it?”
Write down anything that comes to mind and discuss your goal with people who may be affected by its completion! Put your writings with the rest of your notes and look forward to the next tip when you will start bringing it all together.
So here is the exciting part…………
You have gathered a lot of information up to this point of the process, so now; you need to start to formulate it into a goal. What you have to do is to write your goal and include everything that has come out of the previous 9 tips. When I say everything – I mean everything!! Every tip you have been asked to answer a question and all your answers must now be incorporated into the final goal. Your goal MUST be written in the present tense, and be incredibly descriptive using sensory based language and it MUST start with the date that you have set to achieve your goal.
So it may start something like this………..”It is December 1st, 2012 and I have just taken possession of my new house in Epsom, Surrey, England. I have paid £500,000 for the house and it is mortgaged to 50% of its value on the day I purchased it” The house is exactly what I wanted. It has 5 bedrooms, 4 of them spacious enough to comfortably hold a double bed, a large living room which is 28 feet long by 22 feet wide, a fantastic new kitchen by Miele with all new appliances etc etc.
Now start to include some of your work from the earlier tips.” as i walk round the house I can see that it has been decorated EXACTLY to my taste in a range of pastel shades with dark colored carpets. I feel a sense of achievement as I hear the sounds of the Sony in house system filling the airwaves.. I feel happy and proud” Keep going until you have added in all of the previous works. “My husband/wife and daughter/son are excited by the prospect of the space afforded by the new house and are looking forward to the best Christmas ever”
Now we are going to put in EXACTLY the following phrase. “I reflect back to the time when I wrote this goal on December?th, 2011 and remember the first step I made towards it when I??????.” For the question marks fill in the details of when you wrote the goal and what is your first step towards your goal going to be (make it a small step to get you going).
So to summarize you should have a goal that incorporates every piece of work you have done in the previous 8 tips and when you read it you should get excited! If you don’t make it more exciting! Rewrite, polish and ensure you have utilized every tip so far within your goal and made reference to every question/answer that has been covered in the previous tips.
In tip number 10, we are going to focus on getting the goal off the ground. There are 5 steps to success and they are: –
1.Know your outcome
3.Have the awareness to know when things are not on track
4.Have behavioral flexibility on the journey
5.Operate from what we call a physiology and psychology of excellence.
This means to take responsibility for your actions and to maintain the thought that your goal is down to you. So now we are going to start with the first step to your goal which you have hopefully mentioned somewhere within your goal. Today is the day when you take action towards that first step. Put a time limit on that first step and go out and do it. There will be something you can do TODAY towards your goal and to get it off and running. Taking Action means exactly what it says. You wont manifest your goal by sitting on the sofa! In the next tip, we will discuss your goal journey!
So, hopefully by now you have a well written goal and taken the first step towards it. So how do you maintain momentum towards your goal? How do you make sure you get your goal? Some people will tell you that to write a goal you need to know every step you are going to take. This is fraught with danger and usually ends with someone writing too smaller goal. The rule is, if you know every step already towards your goal, its not big enough! So every day, in the morning you must read your goal – the one you have taken so much time writing.
Yes, read it every morning and ask yourself the following two questions. “What did I do yesterday to achieve my goal?” “What am I going to do today to achieve my goal?” If you ask yourself those questions, and act on them, then, every day you will move towards your goal. Every journey is made up of little steps and you must ensure that you take a small step towards your goal EVERY day. No matter how small! If you do this religiously you will move inexorably towards that goal!
So you have set your goal and are now taking daily action towards it and some days go better than others. When you have had a day that didn’t go according to plan ask yourself how you are going to approach it differently tomorrow. Getting your goal requires a certain amount of behavioral flexibility and if you keep doing the same thing, and it doesn’t work – learn something new fast!
Well that’s it for this brief goal setting tutorial. If you follow the above 12 goal setting tips religiously for every goal you now set for yourself, you should find yourself powering to sky high success.