“If you don’t set goals for yourself, you are doomed to work to achieve the goals of someone else.” – Brian Tracy
Goals and achievement go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. Goals provide the structure and discipline for achievement. And achievement is the end result or the reward for the discipline. But goals aren’t set and met in a single step. It takes many steps and lots of planning to achieve any goal worthwhile.
Step One – Set Goal: This is the most important step because it sets up the rest of the staircase. Without a clear and definite goal, one can become lost and frazzled when setting out to reach the unplanned goal. When planning a goal, think about what you want to achieve. What do you want the end result to look like? Begin with the end in mind.
Step Two – Make Plan: Spend as much time in the planning phase as you think you will spend in the “working” phase. A good plan can save hours of time in Step Three. Good planning should follow the acronym SMART: Specific (or Significant); Measurable (or Meaningful); Attainable (or Action-Oriented); Relevant (or Rewarding); and Time-bound (or Trackable). (See www.mindtools.com for more information on SMART)
Step Three – Get to Work: This step is simple enough. Implement you plan and go for it! Work as hard as you can!
Step Four – Stick to It: I recently saw the following quote and it sums up this step perfectly. “Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.” In other words, stick with it!
Step Five – Reach Goal: This step is where you get to reap the benefits of all your hard work. Celebrate! But don’t forget to reflect on lessons learned throughout this entire process.