A Goal Setting Strategy That Really Works!
If you’ve tried management by objective and S.M.A.R.T. goal setting without getting the results you want, try this proven NLP-based system to bring about the changes you want in your life!
Episode 31 - A Goal Setting Strategy That Really Works!
Last week’s episode on goal-setting, and making sure to choose goals that are compatible with the other positive parts of your life, generated a lot of questions.
And it’s to be expected, because I know many of you are busy putting together your plans for the next year. Some of them may take the form of resolutions, making a list of the things in your life you want to change.
For example, you want to stop smoking, or lose weight, make more money, or find a new relationship, a better job, or perhaps change professions altogether.
In short, you’re looking for a way to change or improve some situation in your life that’s not as positive as it could be. And that’s what we’re going to talk about in this episode.
Hey, welcome back. This is Roger Reid with another episode of success point 360.
As you begin your goal setting process, you may have decided to use a more formal method, for example, the archaic technique of Management by Objective, or defining your goals with one of the various permutations of what is commonly called S.M.A.R.T. goals, in which the word smart is an acronym for making your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound . . .
Which by the way, I don’t recommend. Because I don’t have any idea what the concepts of achievable or relevant really means. In most cases, how much you achieve is based on what you’ll willing to give up, to sacrifice, before you can get what you want.
Relevant to what? To Who? How do you define or establish relevancy, when the idea is such a subjective term, and so open to individual interpretation?
What I’m getting at here, is many of the commonly used goal-setting processes and exercises often contain an inherent excuse for failure.
“Hey, I tried to find a better job, or stop smoking, but the goal just wasn’t relevant.”
Then why did you choose it in the first place?
Terms like achievable and relevant are impossible to measure. You can’t really produce any kind of useful feedback by trying to evaluate where you are on a spectrum that’s defined by relevancy.
That’s like saying, “I had to give up on that goal, because I discovered that it was only fifty percent relevant.”
The whole idea of using a goal setting methodology is to remove as much of the subjective criteria as possible, so you’re not tempted to quit on the basis of some non-specific feeling. Yes, that “feeling” may help you placate your conscience, but it also disguises the truth: You weren’t willing to do the work.
Ready for an alternative method of creating change in your life that actually works?
I’ll run through this quickly, so while you may not have time to make detailed notes, you can get a copy of it in the transcript available on the website.
Step one, is to describe what you want. If you want to change something, write it down. For example, “I want to stop smoking.” Or “I need to lose weight.” Some of you may want to move up professionally, make more money, or expand your business with an increase in market share or profitability.
Whatever it is, write it down in a brief statement.
Step two, is to objectively define how you will know when you accomplish what you want. This is where you add the parameters of measurement, of feedback, and describing the goal as specifically as possible.
Simply ask yourself, How will I know when I’ve accomplished my goal?
Your answer might be, “When I haven’t had a cigarette in thirty days, or six months, or a year.” It could also be, “When I’ve lost ten pounds, and have adopted a new diet and exercise regiment that keeps the weight off indefinitely.”
Just write down how you will know you’ve reached your goal in very specific terms. This eliminates all those airy-fairy feelings that allow you to change your perspective without changing your life . . . because the work gets hard, or you’re not willing to do what it takes to bring about the change you originally wanted.
Step three. Determine what you’ll have to give up to achieve your goal. And this is the hard one. It’s the reason that over ninety percent of those who decide to pursue a goal, give up in the first ninety days.
It‘s caused by not being realistic about the activities you’ll need to relinquish to make your goal a higher priority. It might be giving up the time you spend socializing, or reducing the number of hours you spend in front of the TV set.
When you do this exercise, it’s common to find any number of things that are currently standing in the way of accomplishing the changes you want to make.
In some cases, you’ll have to make an outright sacrifice, giving up something that is inherently positive, but you do it anyway, because what you want to achieve is better than what you have now.
This is the point where you ask, “What price am I willing pay to get what I really want?
And by the way, if you can’t commit to paying the price upfront, don’t kid yourself about increasing your commitment later on. Admit it now, because you don’t need to waste your time and recourses pursuing a goal that ultimately, isn’t right for you.
If the cost is too high, admit it, and face the realization that you’re already living the life you want to live—because you’re not willing to pay the price to change it.
Step four. Describe the resources you currently have that will help you accomplish your goal. It might be an existing relationship, money, your time, or the influence you have within your industry. It can also be your reputation, or your history you’ve created as a successful change-master. So list your recourses, especially the ones you can rely on to get the process started.
Step five. Ask yourself what you’ll need to accomplish your goal. Make a list. It might be some kind of specialized tools, or an introduction to someone of influence, or if your goal has a formal education requirement or prerequisite, you may need additional education.
And don’t worry if you’re not sure of everything you’ll need, because as you begin making progress, you’ll typically find there are additional skills or other resources you’ll need to acquire.
Step six. Establish a time line. How long do you anticipate it will take to accomplish your goal? Is it something you can do in six months? Or will it take five years? And what’s the basis for establishing your schedule? Are you guessing, or just choosing an arbitrary time span that gives you plenty of wiggle-room.
A goal without a time limit has no power. Without a deadline, it’s difficult to produce the necessary motivation to stay with the program and maintain your momentum.
Certainly, time lines can be changed. And yes, sometimes, you’ll underestimate how long it will take to complete your objective. But it’s usually more typical to overestimate the amount of time you’ll need to produce a result.
So take advantage of getting it done sooner if possible, and don’t look at an over-estimated time line as permission to slow the pace, or to take a break.
Step seven. Ask yourself, “What’s the first step?”
How will you start? What will you do first? Write it down, then, add the next step—if you know what it is. This is the process of breaking down a goal into doable steps. And it’s okay to begin without knowing the subsequent steps. Because you may not know what the next step needs to be until you complete the action-step that precedes it.
It’s a simple, seven-step method to produce real results. And it provides the added benefit of holding you accountable for your time, resources, and actions.
Now, let’s take the process a step further, because regardless of the system or method you ultimately choose to identify, organize, track your progress, there’s still the question of choosing the right goals, the ones that give you a sense of moving in the right direction, and ultimately, when you look back, producing the realization that it was the right thing to do.
Admittedly, this can be the hardest part of the goal setting process.
I’ll like to offer a few questions you can use to qualify what’s important to you, to help you to really think about what you want out of life –no matter where you are on your personal time line.
I’ll go through them one at a time, and as I said before, you don’t need to write them down, since they’ll be included in the transcript.
Your answers to these questions can be used to qualify your goals, or to help you originate new ones, especially if you want to change your life, but don’t know specifically where to start.
I encourage you to use them as filters to determine priority and whether or not a particular goal is really what you want, and most important, if you’re willing to pay the cost to achieve it.
Here’s the first question:
With whom will you associate? Our personal motivation and aspirations tend to rise or fall to meet the average level of those we associate with. Choose your companions as carefully as you would your career or spouse. They are just as important.
Second question: Where do you want to live?
Remember the old saying that people are pretty much the same regardless of where you go? That may have been accurate fifty years ago, but today, things have changed.
People are very different, displaying different values, priorities, and lifestyles based on the influences of their environment.
For example, if you enjoy the personal involvement that comes from town hall meetings and a regulatory process steeped in history, you might want to consider living in the Northeast.
But if your thoughts of the good life tend to be more freewheeling and casual, perhaps Florida would be more appropriate.
There’s a reason the majority of people want to be around others who have similar values and interests. Because we tend to be more successful, live longer, and get more out of life when we’re surrounded by those who have a similar mindset.
So choose the place where you want to live and work with a careful eye toward the people who already live there. Look at the demographics and the socio-economics. Yes, I know they’re typically just numbers, based on extrapolation and representative sampling, but they skew in a particular direction for a reason.
Make sure you know what that reason is, and it’s one you feel comfortable with.
Next question . . . What kind of career will you choose? And if you’ve already chosen it, do you need to change it?
Do you have the mindset of an entrepreneur, or are you more comfortable working within an established structure, letting others call the shots?
This is also where money usually comes into play. And I’m going to recommend you balance your need for a fat paycheck with your desire to do what you want to do with your life.
But if you find yourself continuing to circle back to placing a primary consideration
on income, decide if you’ll be satisfied with the maximum available pay rate when you reach the top of your chosen field. And If not, reverse the strategy and determine the professions that offer the amount of income you want.
This next question is an extension of the last one, and it emphasizes the importance of creating financial security for yourself and your family.
Here’s the question: Who will you pay first?
The goal is to prevent debt from ruling your life. When it’s time to pay the bills, the very first check you write should be to yourself.
Everyone should start and contribute to some sort of personal retirement account. Just be sure to weigh the financial risks before you invest. Higher-risk investments have the potential to earn bigger rewards, but one of the criteria in choosing any investment is being aware of exactly how much you could lose if everything goes wrong.
The next point comes in the form of a suggestion . . . Choose a life partner with similar values and interests. When you get to the point of considering someone as a life partner, it’s time to dig for details.
Do you both want children? How many? Does your potential mate satisfy you intellectually and physically? Do you enjoy your in-laws enough to want to become a permanent part of their family? Have you spent enough time together to really know if he or she is the right one? Do you share the same interests and values?
No, contrary to what you may have heard, opposites do not attract. They simply fight all the time.
Here’s the last question: Have you incorporated one or more goals focused on maintaining your health? Your mind and body are inextricably connected. You have to maintain both of them, And that means getting the right amount of rest, exercise, and proper diet. And be aware of obvious dangers. When we’re young, we’re typically under the impression that nothing can hurt us. But always consider the possible outcome of any risky activity.
For example, racing motorcycles can get you killed. So can rewiring your house if you don’t know what you’re doing.
I’ll leave you with this: We usually consider goal setting as a life-management tool, a personal plan to focus our time and resources so we can make desirable changes in our lives. Goals are also often thought of a kind of catalyst that helps us determine what’s important in our lives, to recognize our personal priorities, so we can work toward acquiring more of what we want . . . things like more money, more success, more material goods.
If this sounds familiar, ask yourself why you want these financial outcomes. Because acquiring wealth, simply for the sake of the recognition you hope to receive from others, is going to leave you disappointed and frustrated.
Others will never care about your personal priorities or the level of success you achieve, at least not to the extent that you do. So choose your goals based on what’s important to you, not your parents, or teachers, or friends, but because they truly represent the highest priorities in your life.
In the end, what often makes the difference, are the actions and activities that ultimately leads us to a happier and more satisfying life.
If you have questions about anything in this episode, you can leave me a voice mail on my website, www.successpoint360.com. Just click on the tab located in the main header. You can also send me an email to email@example.com.
That’s it for this episode. I wanted to let you know that throughout the month of January, I’m keeping the price of the Kindle version of my new book, Better Mondays, the New Rules for Creating Financial Success and Personal Freedom While Working For the Man, at the reduced pre-publication price. It’s available on Amazon, in both Kindle and paperback.
Thanks for listening, and I‘ll see you next time.
© 2021 Roger Reid. All Rights Reserved.
For more information about the author, his work, or to subscribe to this podcast, visit www.SuccessPoint360.com
Contact the author at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure and check out my new book now available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback. It’s titled Better Mondays: The New Rules for Creating Financial Success and Personal Freedom (While Working For the Man)
I’ve lowered the price for the Kindle version, so if you or someone you know is struggling with a job that doesn’t provide anything more than a paycheck, or you’re ready to use your employer as a launching pad to start your own business, you’ll find the tools you need to take control of your professional success and to change your life for the better.
You can find more information on my website, www.successpoint360.com. I’ve posted the first chapter on the site as a free read, so I encourage you to take a look.