Goal setting, goal getting

Saturday, June 15, 2002

The average human being has the ability to achieve just about anything. Lack of basic capability is seldom the problem, but rather setting our visions, and defining the goals and the steps to arrive there is usually what hinders us.

In this harried world of work, oftentimes we allow the "work" to keep us too busy to take the time to set some goals. Remember, if it is not written, it is not a goal. We are 10 times more likely to accomplish something if we write it down. Write your goals and post them in several places -- know them!

In Dale Carnegie Training we use the SMART formula when goal setting:

"S"= specific. Too many times we set vague, general goals. Broad desires and lofty aims have no effect -- the goal must be specific in order to complete the rest of the formula/requirements.

"M"= measurable. If we set goals that cannot be tracked, or measured, then we will not have a true focal point at which to aim our efforts. Each goal we set for ourselves, our employees, and our companies much be a goal that can be measured, and not just in the end. A goal should have the ability to be "tracked," just like the progress we track in our sales numbers, our employees performance and our bottom lines.

"A"= attainable. Walt Disney once said, "If we can dream it, we can do it." For a goal to be reached, we must keep in mind that our goals must truly be attainable Adjust them down if they become unbelievable, or up if they are too easy.

"R"= relevant. Each goal we set must have a reason that ties into our greater vision. If we are leaders then the goals we help develop and define for others must have input, relevance, and buy-in from the others. Maintain a balance between long-term goals and short-term goals so that everything we do is relevant. Sometimes we must alter our goals to match what is going on and changing in the world around us.

"T"= time phased. Trying to do too much will doom us to failure. If you start with a long-range vision, funnel your goals down. Begin by setting 20-year goals, then 10 year, 5 year, 30 month, 12 month, monthly, weekly, and finally, goals for tomorrow and each day for the coming week. Have a set of goals for each day, and review the results each night. Every person and project should have long-term and short-term goals. A short-term goal that takes more than 60 to 90 days will cause us to lose interest.

Mr. Carnegie teaches us that if anything is worth doing, it is worth doing with 10 times more enthusiasm. If we approach our goals with the enthusiasm that we approach the outcome, we will indeed reach that outcome.

Often we set production goals and not activity goals. It is the activity that leads to the production. And by all means, review each goal regularly, and share them with others. When our family and coworkers know our goals, they can create synergy for us in achieving them.

Lastly, we must see our goals. Visualizing is an important adjunct to thinking and planning. I truly believe with definitive goal setting and dedication to those goals, if we can see it, we can do it!

Sharon Mueller is the regional manager of Dale Carnegie Training. (332-0900 or www.carnegiestl.com)

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