Hello Newsletter Readers,
This is third article in the series on goals.
This month we are discussing the process of writing
your goals down on paper. Until you commit your goals
to writing, they are just thoughts and ideas. Take
out a pencil and paper or sit at your keyboard and
write. Then share what you have written with your
The Art of the Goal: (Part 3)
What's so SMART about Goals?
Goals are very exciting and energizing. They drive us
to achieve beyond our expectations. They make it easier for
us to focus and concentrate, and give us permission to say
"no" to distractions. Then dreams really do come
true. But unless you spend time to explore, plan and prioritize,
setting the wrong goals can lead to disappointment and disillusion.
This saps your energy and motivation.
It is crucial that you motivate both your mind (what you
think you should do) and your heart (what you value). It is
difficult to examine your values, beliefs, and true purpose
without a trusted partner such as a coach. Once you have explored
with your coach what is really important to you in your life
(career, family, community, your values and purpose), it should
become clear what you need to do. Your goals are a natural
extension of your values.
Goal Setting is Not for Sissies!
If you have prioritized 3 areas or values in your life, you
are ready to set your goals. Three is an ideal number, as
more than that can disperse your focus and concentration.
You should be prepared to spend time, money and energy on
achieving these goals. Remember, goal setting is not for
sissies! It requires sacrifice. You have to really want
to achieve them and be willing to say "no" to distractions.
At this point you're ready to cast those ideas into the form
of a SMART goal. A SMART goal is:
What to Do When Goals are Incomplete
- Be specific when you write down a goal. Narrow
your focus. "Getting fit" is not a goal, but
an outcome. "Exercising regularly" is not specific
enough. Write down things like, "Ride bike 40 minutes
four times a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday)."
Start small and start specific. You can always expand
goals as you make progress.
Don't try to be all inclusive. Focus on making progress
on two or three goals before expanding them. The more
you can refine and define, the more specific you are,
the easier it is to stay focused. Don't forget to ask
for the help of your coach. Your coach can send you
email reminders and hold you accountable.
- Write down your goals and their measures. You
will need to track the minutes, the days or the number
of times you engage in your goal behavior. If you don't
complete the originally defined time or measure, write
down the minutes you did complete. This will track your
efforts and help sustain you when you lack energy or motivation.
- Make sure the goal you write down is attainable
If you know that 40 minutes
on the bike will exhaust you, or create stress because
of the time involved in showering, changing, or other
inconveniences, then change the goal to something easier
and more attainable.
Make sure your goal is something you like to do. When
you create pleasurable memories when you are engaged
in the activity, then you increase your chances of doing
it more often. If running on a treadmill makes you think
of sweat and dread, then think about the fun you have
when you run outdoors with a friend. One person reads
books on a stationery bike, and the memory of reading
a good story is associated with exercising. Some people
find it useful to reward themselves after goal activity,
as long as the reward doesn't sabotage.
"No pain, no gain" is true in many areas
of goal setting. Remember, if there is too much pain,
you will not gain your goal. Make sure you are willing
to pay the price of achieving your goal.
By the same token, you need to evaluate and review
your goals so that they are not too easy. If you are
well on your way to achieving your goals, then you may
have set them too low. Try stretching them 10 or 20
percent. If you are not on track, give yourself permission
to reduce them by 10 percent. You should review them
regularly with your coach and look at issues of alignment
with your values. If you are not achieving your goals,
you may have picked the wrong goals. People usually
do what they want to do, and if you are choosing not
to follow your goals, there is a reason that needs to
be explored with your coach.
- Your goals need to be time-framed.. There needs
to be a beginning and an end. This would look something
like this: Have a fifteen percent increase in sales by
the end of the year. This should be tracked at regular
intervals. Furthermore, since sales increase could be
a function of number of clients, there might be more specific
goals for number of client contacts.
For example, you may have a goal of writing one article
a week for your newsletter or ezine to your clients
and prospects. This may mean you need to read two books
a month, spend one hour a week of internet or library
research, and spend an hour writing, editing and formatting
As you track your progress, ask for someone to hold
you accountable. Research shows that it is easier to
stay on track when you have support and reminders. Your
coach is trained and has expertise in this area. Ask
for help. You don't have to do this alone.
There are no failures. With the help of your coach, you can
review without judgment and look at your shortages. This is
where real learning about yourself takes place. The self-awareness
that can be gained when you set a goal that you do not achieve
is worth the price of admission.
But these lessons are difficult lessons to learn by yourself.
With a coach, reviewing the reasons for incompletion tells
us something about our true values, competing commitments,
real priorities and gives us invaluable information about
what really matters to us.
If self-sabotage appears, there are reasons that can be examined.
Often there are "old tapes" or outdated assumptions
and beliefs that can be re-examined and revised. Our goals
bring out limiting beliefs about ourselves. But rather than
giving in to them, use your coach to explore them and to revise
them into empowering beliefs.
Choosing and planning your goals is hard work. It takes time
and commitment. The rewards, however, are great. By aligning
your head with your heart you will set meaningful, attainable
goals that will help you make progress toward what you truly
value in your life.
I appreciate your continued support and really appreciate the
referrals that many of you have sent my way. The highest form
of compliment is to refer your family and friends. Please keep
me posted on your success and I hope our paths cross soon.
forward this to one of your friends,
so they can become a subscriber by going to my web site
coachpinney.com and signing up.