People with written goals are 50% more likely to achieve them
than people without written goals
When I did the StrengthsFinder test one of my top five is FUTURISTIC.
Clifton StrengthsFinder Theme: “”Wouldn’t it be great if . . .” You are the kind of person who loves to peer over the horizon. The future fascinates you. As if it were projected on the wall, you see in detail what the future might hold, and this detailed picture keeps pulling you forward, into tomorrow….”
If you have not bought the book and taken the test, I highly recommend it for under $20.
I point this out because, I get that not everyone else sees the world like this. Because I do… I make it a priority to set goals, make plans and take action. I am not perfect and if I had followed all of my plans who knows were life would have taken me. I have had a life coach for over ten years, taken lots of classes on coaching and goal setting…for me it is an investment into my peace of mind.
This isn’t just something I can turn on or off; I can honestly say it is in my DNA.
My great grandmother, Irma Irmina Ingram (there are two more last names after that from her first husband who passed away and from her second husband), was a writer and an adventurer. In 1959 she took a three month trip to Europe and as Social Editor for the New Ulm Daily Journal wrote about her adventures in the paper. She was brave! When my grandma Doris had to go to the cities with Uncle Steve for his polio treatments guess who watched the other seven kids, two dogs and helped with the paper route? Irma. I always remember her as being happy and engaged in life. She had 95 years of adventures starting in 1892 to 1987. She taught me about setting goals early on.
In both business and personal life, setting goals on paper
can be the turning point for a new tomorrow.
According to a study done by Gail Matthews at Dominican University, those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write down their goals.
Grab a piece of paper and write out ONE goal you have been thinking about for years, months or maybe just from your shower this morning.
I learned a really simple acronym years ago, that you have probably heard before.
SPECIFIC – The more detail you use to explain what the goal is the higher the opportunity that it will happen.
Example: NOT ENOUGH DETAIL: I want to lose weight
GOOD DETAIL: I am going to lose 15 lbs. by using the 20/20 diet meal plan to improve my eating habits and exercising for at least 20 minutes every Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri, and Sat which equals five times a week until I reach my goal weight. Then I am going to weigh myself weekly and continue to exercise to maintain my healthy weight.
MEASURABLE – How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished? Concrete criteria for measuring your progress for each goal you set.
Example: NOT ENOUGH DETAIL: In three months I will weigh 15 lbs. less
GOOD DETAIL: Each week I will weigh in, chart my inches lost, note my exercise completed and report to my accountability partner my progress. Target goal is to lose one pound a week for seventeen weeks.
ATTAINABLE– When you identify your most important goals, you begin to figure out ways to make them happen. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked.
What are some of the skills you need? What classes could you take? Who can you ask for help from? How much money will it take to make this happen?
REALISTIC– To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective you could obtain and you want to go towards.
Example: NOT REALISTIC: I want to be a NBA superstar.
There is no amount of hormones that will turn me into a seven foot, male, basketball super star, in my forties.
REALISTIC: Learn to play basketball and join a local winter league.
TIMELY- A goal without a time frame is like herding cats. I am not saying it can’t be done. I am saying that the chances are really, really low. Every once in a while you might work on your goal, if you don’t just forget about it after the first week.
My greatest hint here is using your calendar. Once you know your time line for success, but your monthly, weekly goals. Schedule the time needed to work on your goal.
Another hint…get an accountability partner, someone who knows your goals, you have explained your measurable goals and you can check in with briefly.
A Harvard study suggests 83% of the US population do not have goals.
Do yourself a favor and a be part of the 17% that does.
*Authors note. I have been working on this story for six months. Next month I have to give a presentation to my executive team on my business goals for the coming year and the strategic plan. It was the perfect time to finish this story.