By Erica Olsen
Define Your Goals, Accomplish More

People with clear, written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine – Brian Tracy, Motivational Coach and Author

In a world full of deadlines and time constraints setting aside time for goal setting can be a challenge. Remember that time spent carefully choosing your goals and success measures will save time in the long run by accelerating your overall strategy.

The 5 basic steps in goal setting

  1. Identify your goals.
    Put your goals in writing. Choose goals which are meaningful, measurable, and those that you can impact.
  2. Identify specific achievements or steps and obstacles for each goal.
    Write down achievements, actions and obstacles associated with each goal along with a step-by-step action plan for accomplishing goals and overcoming obstacles.
  3. Make the goal measurable.
    Identify the key performance indicators you will use to track the progress of your goal.
  4. Assign responsibility for each goal.
    Assign each goal to a specific department or specific staff members who will then take ownership of the goal and be responsible for its success.
  5. Create a tracking system to monitor the success of each goal.
    Have a system in place for tracking each goal before you take action. Include measures, dates and the name of the person or group who is responsible for each goal.

10 Myths about Goal Setting

I have heard a lot of excuses as to why people choose to not actively set goals and admittedly I’ve used a few of these myself! Gary Ryan Blair, better known as “The Goals Guy”, walks us through the myths and realities of goal setting

Myth #1: Goal Setting is Not That Important.
Reality: Success Requires Goals – End of Story! A life of meaning needs goals and specific plans to achieve them. Success does not happen by accident.
Myth #2: Goal Setting is Difficult and Takes Too Much Time.
Reality: Performance is accelerated by time invested in strategy. The game of life is won behind the scenes, in time spent on preparation.
Myth #3: New Years is the Best Time To Set Goals.
Reality: There’s no better time than now to take control of your life. Goal-Setting is not about timing it’s about decision. This life is not a dress rehearsal; it’s the only one you’ve got.
Myth #4: Goals Don’t Need To Be Written – Keep Them In Your Head.
Reality: Written goals clarify thinking, objectify their potential, and reinforce commitment. The palest ink is better than the strongest memory. Goals once out of site, soon become goals out of mind!
Myth #5: Long-Term Planning Is A Waste of Time.
Reality: Your Future deserves consideration. It will someday be your present reality. It’s worth considering seriously.
Myth #6: A Good Plan Is All You Need To Be Successful.
Reality: Success is active, not passive. All plans require action. Preparation is no substitute for action. Commit to the philosophy of implement now – perfect later.
Myth #7: The Best Way To Achieve a Goal Is To Just Begin.
Reality: Action without planning is the root cause of most failure Success is a choice. With a plan to lead you, you can figure out how to get where you are going.
Myth #8: All It Takes is Hard Work To Achieve Your Goals.
Reality: Hard work is important, but working smart is mandatory. Quit trying harder, look for new solutions, and you will accomplish far more in far less time with only a fraction of the effort you have been giving.
Myth #9: I Can Do It On My Own. I Don’t Need Help.
Reality: Success requires cooperation. Nobody does it alone. In order to achieve more you must learn to help yourself. Success requires the cooperation of others.
Myth #10: Goals Only Need to Be Reviewed Once a Year.
Reality: Inspect what you expect. Everything changes. Your goals must keep shaping, shifting and flexing to fit these fast-changing times. Adopt a regular and consistent review process.

This is just the start to setting and achieving your goals. I would love for you to share your tips and stories about goal setting.