If you don’t know where you’re going, every road will get you there. ~Henry Kissinger.
Everyone has dreams and wants to get things done. You probably have a to-do list, honey-do list or wish list of some kind yourself.
The question is: Is it just a wish list, or are you actually making progress and checking off things?
Good intentions won’t get you where you’re going. A great idea without legs is like opening an empty box at Christmas, not worth much at all.
So, where are you going? More importantly, how are you getting there? Which road will you take, who will you take with you and what vehicle will get you there?
Did you know that over 90% of Americans don’t set goals! But the smart ones set goals and follow through.
In a 1979 survey of MBA students at Harvest Business School, there are stunning results that point to the success of goal-setting:
- Only 3% of the students had written goals.
- Another 13% had some idea of goals but they weren’t written down.
- The other 84% had no specific goals.
Ten years later, they interviewed the same students again, and found:
- The 13% who had goals were earning an average of twice as much as the 84% who had no goals.
- The 3% who had clearly defined and written their goals, were earning an average of 10 times their classmates.
So where are you going? Where will you be at the end of this year? Will you be any further along on your goals by this time next year? What about five years? Ten years?
The SMART system is one of the most-often used methods of goal-setting. It’s simple and easily implemented.
- Specific. You need a clear destination. For example, it’s not just “I want a promotion”. It may be something like: “I want to become Director of Training and here’s the path I’m going to take.”
- Measurable. How will you measure the goal? If you want to read more, how many pages will you reach each day; or, how many books will you reach each month/year?
- Achievable. Your goal must be reachable, or you’ll quit and give up.
- Realistic. The goal should be something relating to your purpose and have sensible guidelines. For example, you aren’t going to finish your Master’s degree by Christmas if you haven’t started the process already.
- Timely. Ah, yes, the deadline! If there is no deadline, it is not real!
But one of the keys to setting goals is to write them down and review them regularly. Check them daily or at least weekly to see how you’re doing. If you have friends or family who will help you, give them a copy of your goals and ask them to check in every few weeks or so.
Remember, though: Unless you write ’em down, they aren’t real and, before you know it, you’ll have forgotten all about them. Then, take some definitive action on the goal. Write out the game plan: Buy the first book if reading more is your goal, get a bike if you want to lose weight. Whatever it is, however small it may seem, take the first step now.
If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up someplace else. ~Yogi Berra.
Often times, I encourage you to do something that I’m doing, but I don’t necessarily share that with you. Today, I’ll share since I read somewhere that you should write down your goals and share them with friends and family.
Here’s what I’m doing for the rest of 2020.
- Lose 21 pounds by New Year’s Day. That’s 3 pounds per month starting June 1. Action point: Going through my closet and removing all XXL shirts. I’m between sizes now, and some of the XL shirts are, well, a little snug. Wearable, but not entirely comfortable. This action should be an incentive if I want to be more comfortable.
- Write and publish a book by Christmas. Action point: Find an author coach to work with. Narrow down topics by June 15.
- Read 20 books this year. I’m at eight so far, so right on track. My faves are the three Johns: Mason, Maxwell and Eldredge, plus Mandino, Batterson and Lewis. I’ll be reading and re-reading some of Ramsey in the second half too.
- Writing at least 20 posts a month on this blog. By comparison, we’ve posted 38 pieces so far in May and 28 new posts in April. Twenty is doable and easily measurable. Action point: Establish a content calendar with subjects and dates.
What are your goals? Do they have any teeth to them or are they merely good intentions? Even if you write down just one, get started today and put some action behind your intentions.
Now that I’ve shared my goals, would you leave one of your 2020 goals in the comments below? And also include your first action step.