Goals are important in life and especially so in business. Progressive movement toward a goal creates a sense of happiness or well-being. Even if we never achieve our goals, the time we spent moving closer to them will likely us happier people. No matter how you put it we all want success in life, but all too often we never really take the time to define what success means to us-personally.
I always hesitate to define the meaning of words for others, but in the case of "success" I feel very comfortable in saying that success is "happiness." The progressive movement toward a goal makes us happy and you know what? The happier we are the more successful we feel. Mohammad Ali, one of the most successful boxers of all time said, "What keeps me going is goals."
Goals give us a sense of meaning and purpose in life. Goals, when established, correctly give us a sense of direction. So, if you want success in life, the first thing you must do is have goals, but not just any kind of goals. Your goals, to have maximum impact in your life and business must consist of a "handful of specifics."
Goals, to have maximum impact on you and your business must:
- Be Clear
- Be What You Want
- Be Limited by Time
- Be Written
Clear Goals-I have known many people who say their goal, in life is to be happy. Have you ask your teenager what their goal in life is, lately? If not the first thing out of their mouths, certainly among the "top ten" will be "just to be happy." When you dig a little deeper with them and ask what that means, you will likely get the "deer in the headlights" look. Teenagers are, unfortunately, not alone in there inability to define what makes them happy. We all suffer a little from, what I call, "skating on the surface of life," using words to define life outcomes without knowing what is behind those words.
What produces "happiness?" Knowing that is where the "gold" really is. The gold medal in goal setting begins with knowing what is behind the word happiness. What would make you happy?
A good exercise to get you and others started in getting clarity around what make you happy is to ask yourself the question, "What do I want?" to yourself and writing down the answer. Performing this exercise until you have 3 to 5 really clear goals, that when achieved would make you happy, is a good beginning
What You Want-Many people are influenced by what others want of them. Nearly as many become frustrated because they can not achieve what other want for them and from them. Did your mother or someone you love ever say to you, "See that person over there, why can't you be more like them?" And did you ever try to be more like that person but find yourself dejected and discouraged because you could not be like them? Do you know why you couldn't? Because being more like them was not your goal but someone else's goal for you. Or possibly you were able to become more like that other person but found yourself yet feeling inadequate. Know why? Because you were living someone else's life.
Being happy is progressive movement toward a goal you want to achieve. Your wants for yourself may be influenced by others, whose aren't. But, when all is said and done achieving what you want is all that will bring success and the happiness that comes with it.
Time Limited- Someone once said that goals are only dreams unless they are time limited. I like to say that I have achieved 95% of all goal I have ever set, I only had to readjust the time in which I hoped to achieve them. In other words, would you be happy if your goal was to be accepted into Harvard at 19 and it did not happen until you were twenty? I think yes, you would happy and successful. Maybe you did not meet your time limit but that is often incentive for the next goal, not simply to reach the goal but to reach it within the time frame you originally set.
I once had a goal, or what I thought was a goal, of running faster. The fastest I had ever run one-hundred yards was 12.1 seconds. When I decided I wanted to run faster, the next day, I had someone time me as I ran one-hundred yards and I ran it in 11.6 seconds. In one day I achieved my goal. I never ran a timed one-hundred yards again. Why would I, I accomplished my goal, right? Right.
Now that I knew I could run faster I would be more popular, make more money and be happier. Right? Well I was pretty happy the day I ran 11.6, but it did not make me more popular and I did not make more money at the service station, where I worked every Saturday for minimum wage. So what is the lesson here? Goals, to be powerful, must be time limited based on 1.) Self-Assessment, understand your capabilities are before you set goals, 2.) Importance-what is really important to me 3.) A desire to reach your goal by a specific point in time.
Written Goals- Finally we come to the need to write your goals. I don't know there is something magical about writing your goals. A 10 year, Harvard Business School study of MBA graduates being asked, "Have you set clear, written goal for the future and made plans to achieve them?" revealed some very interesting outcomes:
- 84% of those responding had not goals and no plans to achieve them
- 13% had goals but they were not written
- 3% had written goals
When tied to the income of each participant the found that:
- The 13 % that had goals but unwritten ones were earning twice as much as those who had no goals
- The 3 % that had clear, written goals were earning 10 times more that the other 97 percent of the group.
I could say much more about the value of writing goals but I believe this makes the point, sufficiently. What do you think?
Stephen J. Blakesley, Managing Patner, GMS Talent L P ( http://www.gmstalent.com ) is a Successful Entrepreneur, Marketeer, Author, Radio Show Host, and Speaker. His two, most recent books, "The Target-The Secret to Superior Performance; ( http://www.targetthebook.com ) and Strategic Hiring - Tomorrow's Benefits Today are top resources for business owners, mangers and C-Level executives.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stephen_J._Blakesley