Successful goal setting, part 1
About Goal Setting
As a life and executive coach I do a lot of work with people around their goals. Setting goals puts you in the driver’s seat, giving you the power to transform your life or take your company to another level. Successfully setting and executing goals is not rocket science but there is a tried and true way that works for my clients and me. Sticking to this program guarantees success. It doesn’t matter whether your goals are personal or they are used to direct a large enterprise, the steps and the pitfalls are identical. I’ll take you through a quick tour. If you like, you can identify a goal of yours and do a test run of the system. The steps to executing goals are simple, unambiguous and easy to follow and should be practiced every day. Skipping one step increases the odds that you won’t realize your goal.
Step 1: Belief and Faith
The first step to goal setting is to have absolute belief and faith in the process. If you don’t believe you can absolutely transform your life and get what you want, then you might as well put down your pencil and do something else. If you are in doubt, look around you. Everything you can see began as a thought. If you identify something you really want, you can make it happen if want it badly enough.
Step 2: Visualize
Visualize what you want. Think of what you deeply desire in your life or where you want your company to be a year from now. What has to change for that to happen? What transformations need to take place? What do you need to know or learn? What spiritual, emotional, personal, financial, social or physical properties need to be addressed? The clearer you can get with each of these dimensions, brings your vision into sharp focus. The clearer you are about what you want, the easier it will be to focus on making it happen. Write down as many things as you can think about. Not being absolutely clear about your vision will make taking action very difficult.
Step 3: Get it Down!
Writing down your goals is key to success. A 1953 Yale study followed 100 students to see how they ended up. Only 3% had written goals. Ten years later, this 3% was happier, more satisfied and had reached the goals they had set out to achieve. More importantly, the net worth of that 3% was greater than the rest of the 97% combined. By writing down your goals, you become a creator. Failure to write down your goals often means you will forget them or won’t focus on them, most likely like that other 97%.
Step 4: “Chunk” Your Vision
If you have multiple goals, you may need to chunk elements of your vision into individual goals. Having a list of twenty or thirty objectives can be hard to keep track of and even more difficult to focus on. Chunking involves grouping “like” items together. For instance let’s say you have goals around taking your business to the next level. You might chunk your goals into financial, marketing, organizational and so on. It’s easier to focus on a few goals than a list of 20-odd items. Failure to chunk results in failure to focus and loss of direction.
Step 5: Identify a Purpose
The next step is to identify a purpose for each goal. Knowing why you want to achieve your goals is powerful. Identifying the purpose of your goal will help you instantly recognize why you want that particular goal and whether it’s worth working toward.. Knowing why you want something furnishes motivation to see it through to the finish. After all, if the purpose of earning a million dollars is to put it in the bank to save for a rainy day, you probably won’t be as motivated as if you need it to pay for your child’s cancer treatment. Your purpose says a lot about you as a person and your goals.
Step 6: Commit
The next step of goal setting is to commit to your goals. This might sound obvious to you but it’s a step that has huge consequences when it is taken lightly. Write a few pages about why and how you are committing to each goal; why it’s important to you, what it means to you, why the outcome is necessary and what are you going to do to make it happen. Without strong commitment you aren’t likely to follow through.
This is Part 1 in a 2-part series. For “Successful Goal Setting, Part 2″
About the Author:
Bradley Foster is an experienced executive, career and transition coach known for his keen insights, clear perspective and intuitive interventions which have helped hundreds of his clients reach a deeper understanding of themselves and set their sights on and achieve their goals.
He has several years experience coaching mid-career executives of Fortune 500 companies, CEO’s and lawyers in leadership and communication skills that have helped them excel both personally and professionally. He brings a balanced perspective, creativity and judgement to his clients. He strongly believes in producing actionable steps and practical outcomes for his clients that they can do something with.
Widely published, he is sought out for his knowledge and experience in the coaching area. He is the author of Deep Coaching: A Guide to Self Directed Living and featured in a popular monthly career coaching column called Ask the Coach in Job Postings magazine.
This post was written by Bradley Foster. Bradley is an experienced executive, career and transition coach known for his keen insights, clear perspective and intuitive interventions which have helped hundreds of his clients reach a deeper understanding of themselves and set their sights on and achieve their goals. You can email Bradley here, or visit his website at www.giantstepscoaching.com.