Do you set goals? And even more importantly, do you write them down? One Harvard study showed that the people who set and wrote down their goals made 10 times more money than their peers.
I’m hoping that’s enough incentive for you to begin embracing the art of goal-setting because I want you to express your highest potential and I know setting goals can help you do that.
In the video above, I share a technique for creating SMART goals. Here’s what that mneumonic name means:
S = Specific
You need to be specific with your goal so that your subconscious mind knows where you’re headed. Imagine going to run a race and you don’t even know how long the it is or where the finish line is. What are the odds that you’re going to run it well?
Specific goals give you a clear direction to head in, and they also give you the ability to make cybernetic adjustments along the way.
M = Measurable
Your goal needs to be something you can measure. Otherwise, how will you know how you’re progressing? Some things are easier to measure than others. The amount of money you make, or the amount of weight you lose, are far easier to measure than how much happier you are becoming.
The point here is that your goal needs to be measurable so you can check how you’re doing along the way, and also know when you’ve arrived.
A = Achievable
This is a very personal thing. Each person will have their own idea of what is achievable. Don’t be concerned with what others think you can or cannot achieve, because it’s not their goal, it’s yours. Do be very aware of what you (and your subconscious mind) think you can achieve.
If you set a goal that is too big, it may overwhelm rather than inspire. It may also invite your subconscious mind to chatter a lot about how impossible it is, and that is never good.
A good rule of thumb is to look at your past patterns and determine what is a next level goal that would break out of the old pattern in a positive way, but no so much as to seem unreasonable. If for instance, you’ve made $50,000 in your business for the last couple years and now you want to double that to $100,000, that probably feels big, and yet, still achievable.
If, on the other hand, you decide you’re going to try to make $1,000,000 this year, it feels unrealistic, because it doesn’t have any connection to your real world patterns and results.
Yes, anything is possible. Winning the lottery is absolutely possible. But goals need to have a realistic probably if they are going to inspire us in a genuine way.
R = Responsible
In the world of NLP, this word is used interchangeably with “ecological.” Basically, what this means is that when you look at the big picture, your goal fits. Certain goals – especially career or monetary ones – have a way of throwing our lives out of balance, if we don’t weigh them against all the other goals and values, and activities of our life.
Going back to $1,000,000. What if you could make it but you’d have to work 12 hours a day six days a week? This means you’d never see your family and your health would go to pot. Or, alternatively, you’d have to rob a bank. Not the best options, right?
To find out if a goal is truly ecological, you need to ask these three questions:
1) Is it good for me?
2) Is it good for those around me? (family, friends, etc.)
3) Is it good for the larger community/world?
T = Timed
Your goal needs to be timed in order for you to know how you’re progressing and to adjust as needed along the way. Choose a motivational length of time; something that gives you a little push, but not a shove (unless you really like being shoved).
Bonus T = Toward (a Positive Vision)
In NLP, we talk about two different types of goals: toward and away. A goal that moves toward a positive vision is totally sustainable. You can move toward it forever.
On the other hand, a goal that moves away from something undesirable is not sustainable, because as soon as you get far enough away from the undesirable state or thing, you no longer have any motivation for the goal.
Here’s a simple example: If I want to lose weight because I am afraid of that I am fat, then I am being motivated by an “away” – I am trying to get away from the state of being fat.
As soon as a I lose enough weight that I feel I am no longer fat, then I have reached the goal and will begin to relapse, because there is nothing motivating me.
If, instead, if I set a super exciting goal of being the most fit I can possibly be (with specific and measurable intermediary goals of a certain weight, muscle mass, heart rate, etc.), that is toward a positive vision. I can be motivated to go after that for the rest of my life, and each new level I attain will simply open me up to another level. Can you feel the difference? I hope so, because it makes a difference.
Now that you know what SMART goals are, make sure you set some and write them down. Goals make life a playful game, and they help us achieve the things we truly want to achieve.
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