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. Think of your brain as an extremely complex, problem-solving, goal-setting machine that is constantly looking for updated software to make it run efficiently and effectively.
There are many compelling reasons for you to set goals. Psychologists tell us that people who take the time to write their goals down on paper tend to live happier lives, experience less depression, and live longer on average than those people who don’t set goals. The good news about goal setting is that your mind can only concentrate on one thought at a time. For example, you can’t think thoughts of happiness and sadness at the same time, so why not put your focus on the goals you wish to accomplish instead of dwelling on your shortcomings and lost opportunities.
I strongly encourage you to begin today to take control of your thoughts by programming your mind with SMART goals. SMART is a acronym to help your mind format your ideas and good intentions into meaningful goals to accomplish. Some of the areas in your life that require written goals include, but are not limited to; physical fitness/health, financial, family/friends activities, business/career, and personal development.
Specific = What, Why, Who, When, and How. Make sure each of your goals are clearly stated and defined. If you don’t know where you want to go, any road will take you there. 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 mange it. Break your goal down into bite size tasks and create checkpoints to monitor your progress and 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, you must begin today to focus your mind on the attainment of SMART goals!
“Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll show you a man who will make history, but give me a man without a goal and I’ll show you a stock clerk.” – J.C. Penney