SMARTER Goal Setting!
I assume you have now finished the previous steps in setting your goals which is great (if not, go back to Part 1 - Dream and Visualize and let's get started)!
Now that you have been through the goal setting session, I want us to go through your goals using a specific method which will make it easier for you to reach your goals. In the previous step I wanted you to dream big (limitless) and just let your mind have a go at it and I hope you did just that! Now we are just going to add a bit of structure to make things happen for you as fast as possible!
You will now revise your goals (so open up your Goal Setting Sheet) to make sure they are in line with the SMARTER technique. The purpose of this exercise is both for you to review your goals once again but also to adjust the phrasing you have used to match this technique. This will make your goals easier for your to achieve.
Download our SMARTER Sheet and keep it handy on your computer together with your Goal Setting Sheet!
SMART is a commonly used acronym for goal setting (attributed to the marketing guru Peter Drucker) and specifically to make sure your goals are CLEAR and REACHABLE.
There is also another version of SMART which is the extended version called SMARTER (which is the one I prefer to use).
You and you alone make the decision of what it is that you want to achieve (within each area of your life). It has to be very clear to you exactly what it is that you want to achieve and why you must (not just want to!) achieve it. If that must is clear enough, there will be nothing stopping you from reaching your goal as long as you are resourceful enough. This means not finding excuses but solutions to all and any hurdles that might temporarily occur along the way, as they for sure will!
Suggested reading: Think and Grow Rich - Principle 1: Burning Desire.
You must have a goal that is specific to you and a process in place for you to be able to measure your progress. If you don't measure your progress, how will you know when you have reached your goal? Know your finishing line and try to make daily progress towards that goal of yours. Remember to also celebrate your progress along the way!
Suggested reading: To Measure Is To Know!
Achievable (A) (but remember to stretch yourself!)
Personally I am not a fan of this wording as it implies that we have limits which we don't! Only the ones we impose on ourselves (well there might of course be some physical limits…)! BUT if someone else can do it, you can do it too!
You might think this sounds a bit scary or intimidating but when you do start to push your limiting beliefs and those boundaries, things will start to shift and you will realize that you can accomplish so much more than you ever thought possible. So your goals should be achievable but at the same time make you grow so push the barriers!
I do believe that if you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand (Bob Proctor), so make sure you use your vision board every day!
Visualization is extremely powerful, just ask any world athlete and they will tell you how they visualize the outcome of every race before it has even started! Learn from the best (maybe your favorite athlete) and do the same, it's not a coincidence that the vast majority of them visualize!
I am not suggesting you should set a goal such as building your own machine to take you to the moon within a week but they still have to be goals where you really have to stretch yourself to reach them and as you do, you grow and as you grow, your imaginable limits will stretch further and further away… so AIM HIGH!
Your goals have to be relevant and important to you. Unless they are, you’ll be the first one to quit! If, for example, your goal is to have a nice big house with a pool but you are currently suffering from an illness, then that goal of a big house is not that relevant. All you should really be focusing on is to become fit and healthy again so that you can make the most of your life (aim for the house when you are fit and healthy again!). So the question of relevance must be considered very early on in your goal setting.
It also has to be something that you really want, not just kind of want. You basically need to have that WHY readily available when you start to question your goals and your possibility of achieving them because that's when the point of relevance becomes crucial!
Time bound (T)
Think about your work for a second or two... have you ever done an amazing job and finished it before a deadline you initially found really unrealistic (if you think hard, I am sure you do)??
Well, that's the thing with having deadlines, you normally draw on resources and creativity you have within you to solve those problems when you really have to. If you have something to do but no deadline, it can drag on forever and slow you down in general because you have it constantly nagging in the back of your mind. Don't let that happen to you, take action now by setting a deadline and just do it!
Set a deadline, a specific date by which it shall be accomplished and don't change it but make sure you break it down into smaller steps so that you know what you have to do every month/week/day in order to reach that goal of yours within that timeline (we will go through how to do this in the next section, see the actions to take at the end). I would recommend you to get an accountability partner with similar goals and visions so that you can inspire each other!
Constantly evaluate what you are doing and how you are doing things(and discuss with your mentors/coaches/friends/accountability partners) so that you know you are on the right path. This has to be done ALL the time so that you don't realize after a long time that you are moving in the wrong direction or spending too much time on the wrong things!
This is why I have added the evaluation section to the Goal Setting Sheet (steps to take this month). This section let's you break down your goals and follow up on them daily (ideally) in order to confirm that you are making the right progress! We will go through this in the next section.
Suggested reading: Start gaining momentum and keeping it!
Always review what you have done and how it was done. My suggestion would be for you to spend half an hour every Sunday evening to go through what you have accomplished during the week. Review what you did, the outcome you got and what you can learn from it (ideally use a journal). This is very powerful as it lets you focus on what you did really well so that you can do it again and again. It also gives you the possibility to review things that didn't go as well and makes you think of how you could have done things differently to achieve a different outcome.
Basically learn from your mistakes and leapfrog by reading and learning about other people's mistakes (people who have had success in the areas you are pursuing) so you don't make the same mistakes as they did! This will save you lots of time, money and energy and remember that in order to achieve all your goals you have to be hungry so don't spend your energy on the wrong things!
Of course you don't have to do it all in one go! Do one thing at the time but just make sure you actually do it, else nothing will change!
So now, go back and revise/adjust your goal setting sheet according to the SMARTER technique. Then you are ready for the next step: Structured EXECUTION and massive ACTION!
NEXT: Part 3 - Taking Action and Making it Happen!
You now know what life on your terms looks like. Pretty awesome, right!
You also know how to get there by using the tools, techniques and structure from previous steps.
In Part 3 we will make sure to give you the motivation and inspiration you need to make it happen!