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What is the 4 Step Technique for Successful Goal Setting?

September 22nd, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments
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Fall is the perfect time of year for reflection.  The children have gone back to school, toting their new school bags and bouncing around in their spiffy new shoes.  Whether you are involved in back to school or not, it is the perfect time to set our last quarter 2010 goals, gearing up for 2011.

Most people don’t set goals and have little interest in doing so.  When goal setting is brought up, their eyes glaze over and they lose interest in the conversation.  This can be very frustrating for a team leader.  A team without goals will eventually shrivel up and die.  They will not have the focus to be effective.

Why set goals?  Life will give you exactly what you are willing to fight for.  When I am without goals I’ve found myself drifting through my life with no particular focus.  My life without goals is similar to a boat without a motor.  I feel as though I’m drifting along without any means of steering, unable to move forward with any speed or focus. My life is adrift and I feel less satisfaction.  My belief is, without measurable goals, my sense of creating lasting success in life has as much chance of happening as winning the lottery.

Here is a down and dirty 4 step process that has helped me get started.  These steps must be written down and looked at every day.

1.  Identify your long term goals. Many people are confused by this step.  A good way to start is to close your eyes and imagine what you want your life to look like in one year.  Imagine everything; career, financial, material, etc.  Write it down!  If you don’t write it down you are simple daydreaming.  After you have written it all down, do the same thing again only 10 years from now.

2.  Make a 90 day commitment. It’s time to take those goals and break them down.  Take your yearly goal and break it down into what needs to happen every 90 days to accomplish the yearly goal.  That gives you a bite sized piece to make a commitment to focus on.  Notice I said “commitment”.  Write it down.  Sign your name to it.  Then, go out and bust it like truly focused person.  Do everything you can to get the 90 day goal accomplished.  When a goal is broken down into 90 day increments, it is easier to give it an intensified focus.  Like the old expression says, “Inch by inch it is a cinch!”

3.  Reward yourself. At the end of the 90 day period, if the goals are accomplished reward yourself with a predetermined reward.  Maybe, it is a weekend away with your spouse.  Perhaps, it is buying something you really, really want and have been putting off.  This is your carrot to hold in front of your nose to keep you moving forward towards the goal.

4.  Punish yourself. At the end of 90 days if you haven’t accomplished your goal, punish yourself with a predetermined punishment.  When it is predetermined at the beginning of the 90 day commitment, you will be well aware of what you will be giving up if sidetracked. Punishment might be to work every Saturday for the next 90 days.  Or, take away a material thing you enjoy such as, your favorite TV show.  This is the step most people ignore.

It is smart to break the 90 day goal commitment down to even smaller bites by breaking it down to weekly goals.  Thus, using reward and punishment on a weekly basis.  This makes the reward and punishment that much more effective.

The most important thing about the 4 step process is to have fun with it!  Goals are not bitter medicine we must take.  They are a way to focus our energies to create the life we want to lead.  If you are interested in a more complete goal setting information click here!

Leave me a comment and share with all of us what you have found works well for you.

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