Advice:The Secrets To Setting Strong Goals

By , published on 16th August 2010

Set the right goalsThe jury is back in! Goals work! There is no doubt now that all of the world’s most successful people set priorities, objectives and deadlines of all kinds, and call them goals.

There are many facets to setting and achieving your goals, and any strong mentoring or development programme will make these a focal point of your activities and conversations. There are seven crucial things to remember if you want your goals to really work for you.

  1. Have A Strong ‘Reason Why’. Many people strive to fulfil other people’s goals. The bank’s goals or your department goals are not your personal goals. What do you really want for yourself? You should be strongly driven from within to achieve your goals. You’re going to be much more motivated to make them real if you own them, you are excited by them and you have a really strong desire to go after them.
  2. Develop A Strong Self Belief. When I work with my clients to help them ‘up their game’ to create more business opportunities, this is the one area that really holds them back. Many of you will set goals that are too idealistic, and in your heart you know you won’t or can’t achieve them. Consider a scale of 1 to 10, and decide how far along that scale you are in how much you really believe you can do it. 10 would be a definite. 3 or 4 would be a maybe.
  3. Satisfy The Audit Police. What does this mean? Simply that when you think you’ve achieved your goal, the Audit Police will come round and ask you for confirmation. If you can’t produce clear evidence and verification that you’ve made it happen, then your goal could be too nebulous and woolly. An example is when you have the words ‘more’ or ‘less’ in your goal. I want to do less driving, lose more weight, be more confident, win more business, spend less money. You get the idea. None of these are measurable.
  4. Impact Down. This simply means focus on two or three key goals rather than getting bogged down with 10 or 12. If you have lots of goals, choose the main ones that, if achieved, would have the biggest impact on the others. Even if you have three goals, you can really only chase after one at at a time. So which one would help you achieve any of the others? For instance, let’s say you want to become a better networker or win more business through referrals. You also want to afford a holiday. You can see that creating more business opportunities will bring you more of a bonus that will in turn bring you the holiday you desire. By setting goals you can action rather than the more ‘when I have the money I’ll buy it’ goals, you can make the most impact downwards.
  5. Have A Strong Implementation Plan. Goals simply remain dreams unless you put plans in place for their realisation. Most goals of substance will need sub-goals, to do lists, smaller tasks and an array of questions and research to make them real. Plan your action and then action your plan!
  6. Set Up Accountability. Consider sharing your goals with key people who will check in with you, encourage you, kick your backside when necessary and give you those pressure and pleasure points to finish the race. These people could be close friends, family or colleagues. They could be the lady in the cafeteria, a neighbour or a relative. They could be a line manager, mentor or role model.
  7. Take Action. Don’t just set it. Go after it. Make it happen. Earn the right to set bigger and better goals by taking the logical step. A lack of sustained action will stop all goals dead in their tracks. If you think that you’ll start tomorrow or next week, the chances are you won’t. Research shows that if you don’t do something to achieve your goal, however small, within 48 hours of setting it, you won’t do anything at all. What can you do today that will take you closer to achieving your goal?

Rob’s Quick Tips

Goals don’t work unless you know the formula to make them work. Stick to the following rules to ensure your goals.

  1. Have A Strong ‘Reason Why’. Be motivated by what you want, not what someone else wants.
  2. Develop A Strong Self Belief. Rate yourself 1 to 10 on how much you believe you can do it! If it’s less than 5, reassess the goal to something more achievable.
  3. Satisfy The Audit Police. Make it measurable. Or the Audit Police will get you!
  4. Impact Down. Pick the goal that, if achieved, will have the greatest impact on all of your others. And go after it!
  5. Have A Strong Implementation Plan. Set your goals, and make structured plans to bring them to fruition.
  6. Set Up Accountability. Set other people alongside you who will help you when things get tough and congratulate you when you cross the line.
  7. Take Action. Goals without action are merely wishes and dreams!

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Rob Brown

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown is one of the UK's leading authorities on business networking and referrals. He is an inspirational conference speaker and author of over 40 publications, including Amazon best-seller How To Build Your Reputation and the free ebook: 'The 13 Commandments of Turning Relationships Into Profits'

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