It’s been said that people who don’t have written goals end up working for people who do. The human mind is in many ways very similar to the software in your computer, in that it requires detailed programming to make it work. Just as your computer is worthless without its programming software, so is your brain without written goals.

Begin by programming your mind with SMART goals. Here’s what SMART stands for:

Specific: If you don’t know where you want to go, any road will take you there. So you must set down the what, why, who, when, and how of your goals. Make sure each goal is clearly stated and defined. Try to combine as many of your goals together as possible so that you are able to accomplish more in less time.

Measurable: If you can’t measure your goal, you can’t manage it. Break down your goal into bite-size tasks and create checkpoints to monitor your progress in order to create positive momentum. Stay flexible with your goals and don’t be concerned if you need to make some changes to your goals as you advance toward their accomplishment.

Achievable: Be mindful not to set too large a goal or too short a timeframe. Your goals should stretch your capability, but at the same time they need to be “mentally attainable” so you don’t lose interest.

Realistic: Do you have the time and resources to achieve your goals?

Time-bound: Set meaningful deadlines to give your goals a sense of urgency. Without meaningful deadlines, you run the risk of having your goals fade away into the mist of procrastination.

If you want to reach your full potential and achieve greatness in your life and career, you must begin today to focus your mind on the attainment of SMART goals.

*This just in: Vote on 2011′s Best Sales and Marketing Ideas!

For more articles on reaching goals, see:

Advisor goals: Values are the DNA of vision

Three steps to achieve your goals

Reach your goals through ‘mind-mapping’

John Boe (www.johnboe.com) presents motivational and sales-oriented seminar programs.