Goals are something we all set. In some cases we do this without realising that we’re even doing it. Think back to your child hood when you wanted that shiny radio controlled car or that special dolls house. What about who you wanted to be when you were older, what was it? Fighter Pilot, Nurse, Press Reporter? So whatever point you are at in your lives, there is no doubt by now you will have had a goal or two.
Long Term Goals
At the very top level of goal setting we have long term goals sometimes known as HUGGS (Huge Unbelievably Great Goals). Examples of long term goals are ~
• Become a qualified solicitor/doctor/account (insert your career choice)
• Starting a family
• Starting your own business
• Go travelling for an extended period
• Buy your own house
Get the picture? They’re the goals that normally centre on some kind of aspiration. So we have our Long Term goal, and to carry on this exercise I’ll use one of my own goals, “Become a Consultant”. This, for me is long term goal. I aspire to being a consultant but there are some obvious steps to take as it’s not just a case of waking up one morning and saying “I’m a consultant”.
As an optional exercise, why don’t you now spend 5 – 10 minutes writing down a few things that you want? Remember a long term goal is something that you would like to see happen within the next 5 – 10 years.
Getting to the goal
Carrying on with my goal as the example I need to think about what I need to do in order to get there. This is where we have sub goals these will be more achievable (medium term) e.g. the end of the year.
So, my goal is that by the end of the year I want to be in a position where I have a clear operating strategy for my consultancy. This means knowing what sort of businesses I want to pitch to, what I will tell these businesses my offerings are (having a range or products available) and offering something that sets me apart from my other potential competitors.
The path has now become more clear but I can make it seem even more achievable still. What do I want achieve by the end of the month that will take me towards my year end goal?
This month I’m going to research the training consultancies that are in the marketplace and see what they offer in terms of contracting work. If I want to do this properly and have a good list of people to work with then it will take a month. If I wanted to break this down even further, I might say that I want to have identified 5 companies by the end of the week, and then 5 the following week and so on.
And that’s how it works. Very quickly my route to achieving my long term goal is more clear!
Have a look at the below examples for more clarity ~
The aspiring body builder
Take part in a competition
Weigh 14 stone and have perfect symmetrical muscular form
Learned how to cycle “bulking” and “shredding” diet routines
Chest size x inch, bicep size x inch etc
Attend the gym on a daily basis working out all areas of the body
Eat a maximum of 1300 calories per day
Consume 260 grams of protein per day
Carry out 2 hours of cardio vascular exercise per week
The aspiring Home Owner
Own my own home
Identify areas where I would like to live
All credit card debt repaid
£5k saved towards a deposit
Research lenders and how much I need to save towards a deposit
Repay £300 to credit card
So there we have it, goal setting explained.
The important thing is to have that desire to achieve the goal. Write your goals down and review them regularly. If you start to lose motivation, think of the goals that you have achieved in the past. Tell other people of your goals, be proud of them, own the process and enjoy the success it brings by celebrating when you achieve them.
Writing your goal
When writing your goal make sure it’s specific and clear, some people use the “SMART” acronym to help them write their goals, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound
By the end of the year (time bound) I want to have saved (specific) £1000 (measurable and achievable) towards my house deposit (relevant)
It’s a positive goal and it’s totally transparent, if you revisited the goal 6 months later you would still be very clear as to what you need to achieve.
Now look at this goal, normally the type we set in our head with total motivation at first.
“Try not to go out this month so I can save some money”
How clear is that goal? Well, first the word try, it means that even if you don't go out just one day you could give up the next and say “ah well I tried” and then “Save some money”. How much do you want to save £5.00? £50.00? It’s not clear so how do you know whether it’s going to take you towards your target?
When it comes to writing your goals, think carefully about what they are and chunk them down. It’s the reason why so many new years resolutions fail, “Give up smoking”, you can’t just stop, its too much pressure; you need to reduce the amount you smoke gradually.
Hope this has got you thinking and if you need more information please feel free to mail me!