Always Set SMART Goals » Knowing the Destination So You Can Reach It!
In the movie “Alice in Wonderland”, Alice comes upon a Cheshire cat and asks the feline which road she should take. The cat responds, “Well that depends on where you’re trying to get to.” Alice quips, “I don’t know.” The cat responds, “Then any road will do.”
You see, knowing where you’re going increases your chances dramatically of getting there, and there is no better way of “GETTING THERE” than by setting your goals and aspirations for the upcoming year. Think of your goals as destinations and the action steps as your GPS guiding and directing you.
So why is setting goals so important? If you’re like me, for years you have resisted the need to set goals and even scoffed at the thought that setting goals, and, even more importantly, committing them to writing, makes a positive impact on your life. However, a closer look might convince you that setting goals is a prudent thing to do.
In 1979 a class of Harvard MBA students was asked, have you set clear written goals for your future and set an action plan to accomplish them? The following will astonish you. Only three percent of the class had written goals and a plan in place, 13% just had goals, and an amazing 84% had no specific goals at all.
Ten years later the members of the class were interviewed once again and the following results will no doubt answer that important question, “Why set goals?” The findings were that the 13% who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84% who had no goals at all. And the three percent who had clear, written goals with a plan to achieve them, well they were achieving a whopping ten times as much as the entire 97% combined.
There are four primary reasons we don’t set goals, whether it be business related or personal:
1.) We don’t understand the importance of goal setting.
2.) We don’t know how to set goals.
3.) We fear the inevitable failure in achieving our goals because the goals we set are overwhelming and many times unachievable.
4.) We fear and resist change, and goal setting takes us out of our comfort zone.
It’s important to note that while all of these road blocks are real they can be eliminated and overcome with a small measure of knowledge and understanding. It just boils down to how important it is for you to reach your destination by achieving your goals.
Here is a simple acronym to remember when setting goals.
Always set SMART goals. Goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time stamped!
In my next blog I will discuss more specifically the SMART acronym and the areas to focus on when setting goals.
Remember there are no shortcuts to personal and professional satisfaction; however, goal setting will increase your chances of arriving successfully to your destination.
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