Issue 7 of Reclaim your time
In the previous bit, we talked about goals and how, if set and pursued correctly, they’ll help you achieve the change you’re craving in your life, the change that would help you be happy with how the picture of your life looks like.
I know you have all heard about the use of the SMART formula for goal setting but may have not used it. The truth is that we all live in a crazy busy world with a multiplicity of issues and projects. We forget, we get busy and we simply avoid it but we really need to be better about our goals and keeping things specific. Just to review the SMART Formula is
- M – Measurable
- T—Time Frame
But here is how to use it so that you gain more success:
- State each goal as a positive statement - For example, you might say I will get this promotion in the next five months. When you use positive reinforcement it make the goal more believable and achievable.
- Be precise - For example I want to deliver the presentation to the board of directors by June 15. This makes the goal more in line with dates so that it is not too far reaching. There are two notions here 1) it helps to crystallize the goal but also 2) what happens if you reach it too quickly or not soon enough? Goals are not meant to be limiting inasmuch as they’re meant to help you to better visualize what you desire from the future.
- Set priorities - When you have several goals, give each one a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones. I typically recommend one to two priorities at any one time. For example working on two presentations simultaneously might not be the best use of reaching that goal.
- Write goals down - This crystallizes them and gives them more force. Use an electronic or paper format where you can see and be reminded of them.
- Set goals based on results and outcome – Goals need to be written so that there is action and outcomes. Face it, when you reach a goal you feel awesome. So goals need to be written so as to achieve this feeling.
- Set realistic goals - It's important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people (for example, employers, parents, media, or society) can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions. I also recommend measuring your success. Check in by reviewing how you are doing and write down what you have achieved. Think in terms of a non-fiction book. When you read a book, you work chapter by chapter and goals need to work the exact same way.
Until we meet again
Think of your goal as a tunnel: you’re at one end, and the other end is the goal.
From time to time, you might zigzag off the walls as you try to reach your destination. You might even stop because of fatigue. But no matter what, at the end of the tunnel there is a light and sitting inside the light is your goal. Keep heading for the light.
And finally, when you reach your goal, celebrate. You work hard to achieve your aspirations; so give yourself credit!
You deserve it!