My Blogs

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Setting your goals

Having established in my previous post what self development is. I thought it would be a wise instalment this time around to write about goal setting.

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.

Chunking down

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

Long Term
Take part in a competition

Medium term
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

Short Term
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

Long Term
Own my own home

Medium Term
Identify areas where I would like to live
All credit card debt repaid
£5k saved towards a deposit

Short Term
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

For example
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!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

So what's this Self Development thing then??

If you know me (If you don’t know me, welcome!) you will have at some point heard me describe things I've done and follow up with a comment like "it's good for character building" etc... The reason being, that this is how I like to live. I like to extract the positive from any given situation; invariably there was either an opportunity to learn or something that I actually did learn and to that point I've recognised that I've developed in some way.

'Self Development' is completely generic, and both physical or mental. Let me give you some examples from the people I know who “Self Develop”..

I have one friend who's self development is of the physical aspect.. Dave wants to be a power lifter, much of Dave’s development focuses on pushing up the weights, increasing his capacity for what he can lift and the physical transformation that comes with it.

I have a family member who has a keen interest in physical pursuits such has cycling, running, football etc. His main interest stems from the health related benefits. It’s about bringing down their times, covering more miles or scoring more goals. There are many different dichotomies to his improvement.

My 3rd and final example is about is about a person who has recognised the benefits when they make an effort in there interactions with others. He is very proud to be part of a large community who also do this, tips are shared, advice given and titbits of experience shared. The whole thing is Self Development.

You may have heard the term Personal Development used before and are wondering what the difference between this and self development is. Personal Development is the ownership of everything that can develop you, plans are made, goals are established and reviewed. Self Development is the activity from which you derive development from, in essence it forms part of the personal development process.

Some of us recognise very quickly that we are "Self Developing", some of us never realise. If you don’t then spend a few minutes to think about the things you enjoy spending time doing and the benefits it brings. They could be tangible or intangible benefits (see below).

Tangible - What we can see, feel (by touch) and hear. Using the latter example of self development, the tangible aspect is the increase in friends, how easy the individual is able to influence others, how many social engagements they are invited to.

Intangible - What we and others cannot see or hear. We can feel it but it would be internal (a feeling). It could be an increase in knowledge of a particular subject or actually increasing your knowledge of how to something.

If you are going to be committed to reading this blog then give yourself the opportunity to take the most you can from both the things you enjoy doing and of equal importance the things you don’t. When you can see both the tangible and intangible benefits you are more likely to stick with it, stay motivated or get motivated, and see it through to the end. When we appreciate all of the tangible and intangible benefits of what we do we are more likely to try for better results!