Greetings Everyone ,
We are always setting goals.I am starting a three part series on The Art of Goal Setting. I do believe goal setting is an art and achieving goals is definitely a process. In the game you are playing, the game of life, goals are essential. When you set and achieve goals, you become a better you.


The Art of the Goal:
Are You Part of the 3 Percent?


Do you have clearly defined written goals? Or are they just in your head? Research shows that those people who actually sit down and write out their goals not only end up achieving them, but have higher incomes and ratings for overall success and life satisfaction.

According to Brian Tracy in his book Goals!, there is a study that reveals just how effective written goals can be. Here is what Tracy reports:

Mark McCormack, in his book What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School, tells of a Harvard study conducted between 1979 and 1989. In 1979, the graduates of the MBA program were asked, "Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?" It turned out that only 3 percent of the graduates had written goals and plans. Thirteen percent had goals, but not in writing. Fully 84 percent had no specific goals at all.

Ten years later, in 1989, the researchers interviewed the members of that same class again. They found that the 13 percent who had goals that were not in writing were earning twice as much as the 84 percent of students who had no goals at all. And most surprisingly, they found that the 3 percent of graduates who had clear, written goals when they left Harvard were earning, on average, 10 times as much as the other 97 percent of graduates all together. The only difference between the groups was the clarity of the goals they had for themselves when they graduated.

Yes, you read that correctly. The 3 percent who had clear, written goals earned ten times as much as the 97 percent who didn't have clear, written goals.

Brian Tracy, Mark McCormack, Zig Ziglar, Anthony Robbins, and many other motivational gurus have used various versions of this story, some of whom attribute it to a 1953 study at Yale. Apparently there is no such study, but the story has been handed down like a myth. When Tracy was contacted about the source of his version, he responded, "If it's not true it should be."

Nevertheless, the story makes a good point. Almost all successful people have goals, and outstanding high achievers have clearly defined written goals. That said, how come so few people actually write out their goals?

Why Not Set Goals?

There are four main reasons people don't set clear goals and write them out. Many people say they can't be bothered to take the time to sit and write them out, preferring to keep them in their heads. But no one is really that busy, as it only takes a few minutes. The real reasons are probably deeper, involving the fact that if they are kept in "the head," it is easy to change, revise and ignore them. This avoids accountability issues and facing failure. Looking further into the psychological reasons, we find the following four factors:

    1. First, most people don't realize the importance of goals.
      If you grow up in a home where no one has goals or you socialize with a group where goals are neither discussed nor valued, you can very easily reach adulthood without knowing that your ability to set and achieve goals will have more of an effect on your life than any other skill. Look around you. How many of your friends or family members are clear and committed to their goals? Successful people are all committed to action plans. They set goals out in writing and follow them.

    2. They don't know how to set goals. Some people confuse goals with wishes and fantasies. They think in terms of "having a lot of money," "getting a great job," "having a nice family," "getting fit," without breaking these wishes down into their component parts and the action steps it would take.

      These aren't goals but wishes and fantasies common to everyone. A goal is different. It is clear, specific and measurable. You know when you have achieved it or not.

    3. They have a fear of failure. If goals aren't written down, we can change them to match what is actually achieved without having to face any feelings of failure. Furthermore, many people make the mistake of setting goals that are easily attained in order to avoid failing. This is a form of unconscious self-sabotage. They end up going through life functioning at sub-optimal levels rather than at the level they are truly capable.

    4. They have a fear of rejection. The fourth reason people don't set clear, written goals, is that they fear they will be seen by others as ridiculous if they fail. They don't want to face criticism be seen as not capable or worthy. This is one reason to keep goals confidential when you begin to start out with goal setting, other than sharing with your coach, mentor or a trusted peer.
3 Reasons Your Goals May not Work

Knowing the barriers to successful goal-setting, you are ready to learn how to set goals that will help you succeed and find the satisfaction you deserve. You may already have in mind three important goals for yourself that you've been wanting to achieve for a while. Go ahead and write them down now; save them for review later. Before you can set effective goals, however, you need to consider the three elements listed below:

There are three main reasons why your goals may fail to inspire and motivate change.

    1. The goal isn't valued enough—you haven't committed your mind and heart. It doesn't align with your values. It may be something someone else thinks you should do, or, it may compete with other values you find more important.

    2. Your goal isn't specific—it's too broad and overwhelming. While "getting fit" is admirable, it really isn't a goal—rather the outcome of attaining the more specific goals of working out regularly, doing sports and eating less junk food.

    3. Your goal isn't supported—you don't have a coach or mentor to cheer you on in your little successes, or to help you come back after a setback.
Each of these elements must be carefully considered in creating goals that you can achieve. Once you have aligned your goals with your true identity, values and life purpose, you will find them easier to accomplish. The energy will flow, because the goals are an expression of your true self. Then, when you have written down your goals in a specific, clear, measurable way that is time-framed, the small steps along the way will become evident. This also keeps the energy flowing, and helps you to remain focused on the goal.

The best way to get support for your goals is from a coach. Friends and family members may be helpful, or not. A professionally trained coach is an expert at helping you to achieve what you want. He or she can also help you with the goal setting process to ensure that your goals are aligned with your values.


Final Thoughts:

Once you have set your goals, be sure to share them a trusted advisor who will hold you accountable for and help you develop strategies to achieve YOUR goals.


Coach Jerry
coachpinney.com

312-842-4577

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Jerry Pinney

For the last twenty-two years Jerry Pinney has been president of his own consulting firm. Currently he focuses his efforts on providing executive and personal coaching to persons who are interested in improving their quality of life and consulting to small and mid-sized companies and nonprofits. He is a facilitator for peer advisory groups with The Alternative Board and is a Certified One Page Planning Consultant. Jerry has over three decades of experience in the food industry, and possesses a unique perspective of customer service, marketing and strategic planning. In addition to overall general management qualifications, Jerry has proven expertise in operational planning and business development. His food industry career started at Jewel Food Stores followed by a long career with IGA, with their retailers, wholesalers and ten years as Vice President of Marketing. In addition Jerry has served as Vice President of Membership for the National Grocers Association, Sr. Vice President of Procurement for Shurfine International and Executive Manager of The Zenon Hansen Foundation.

Jerry has also served on a number of nonprofit boards including: President of the Volunteer Center of Northwest Suburban Chicago. He is currently a Project Manager for the Executive Service Corps of Chicago. Jerry’s ESC assignments have included coaching for several Executive Directors, and consulting on various Board Development projects and on a number of strategic planning projects.

Jerry Pinney & Associates
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Chicago, IL,
phone: 312-842-4577,
fax: 312-842-4705

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