By Guest Contributor Ron Frost www.PositiveMomentumCoach.com
Ok…you’re probably already familiar with the term SMART Goals which were originally created back in 1981 by George T. Doran and made famous by Peter Drucker’s “management by objectives concept” and are now used by thousands of companies and individuals all over the world. However, have you heard about the “ER”? No, not the primetime medical drama TV show that came out in the mid 90’s. This “ER” stands for Emotional Response and it’s what truly makes Smart Goals…SMARTER !!!
All goal achievement is an energy game. In order for us to maximize our energy moving forward we need to be excited about the process of creating goals as well as the process of seeing them through. Additionally, our goals should be in alignment with our dreams, desires and values, as well as we should believe that we can achieve them in the time that we specify. If not we will have an internal energy and resistance that will work against ourselves and our goals.
So let’s quickly review what each letter in the acronym S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals stands for:
“S” – Specific
“M” – Measurable
“A” – Achievable
“R” – Relevant
“T” – Time-bounded
“E.R.” – Emotional Response
We all need a definite target to aim at and the more specific we can describe our goals, the more real they become in our minds. Like Buckminster Fuller’s famous quote “Clarity is Power”, our detailed descriptive desires and goals deliver a clear message to the universe. Additionally, as we become more specific as to what we want we are more apt to see it as already happening, and therefore increasing our energy, expectancy and excitement. Coming up with descriptive qualities like: quantity, size, dollar amount, color, specific features, etc. will help to hone in on a clear mental picture. However, do not try to force specifics if they are not already part of your natural desire. Arbitrarily making things up or even using someone else’s desired specifics will tend to back-fire the process, thus making you feel as if it’s not your desired goal. If you can only come up with a few specifics…good enough. Overtime, as you engage in the process or writing your goals and contemplating them, you will begin to have inspirations of how you wish to tweak you desire. Also, as you share and reflect your desired goal to another positively minded person (one who sees it possible for you) you will start to articulate it in a way where new specifics will be born.
“What gets measured gets managed” – Peter Drucker
Do you have a way to measure the progress towards the goal? Can you break it down into smaller more mind-conscious segments of time? For instance many of the sales professionals that I’ve coached find it very beneficial to measure and track a yearly sales goal by the month, week or even day. Additionally, sometimes it’s easier to focus on tracking and measuring the activity that attributes to the result of the goal. Using the sales example again, when we know what kind of activity needs to be done as well as how much of that activity will result in our desired sales, we can easily formulate, measure and track the process. Writing down our goals in such a way where we can easily track and take score, we become less overwhelmed and the task of goal achievement becomes more believable. Additionally, it easier to stay focused and on task, and as we see the tracking of our progress it raises our energy with the sense of accomplishment thus creating even greater momentum. The trick is to break it down into “excitable and believable chunks”.
“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”
– Napoleon Hill
Your goal should be just outside your comfort zone yet not too far out that it becomes hard to believe. Obviously it should push you or challenge you. If not, then it wouldn’t truly be a goal…it would simply be a managed task. As I had mentioned previously, the process of achieving goals in an energy game. Therefore even if you have the desire for the goal, if it doesn’t feel possible, you will lack the energy and drive necessary to push through and achieve it. For instance if you set a goal of wanting to earn $500,000.00 over the next 12 months, and yet you are currently only earning $50,000.00 a year you will have a slight disconnect in believability and which will make it difficult to achieve in the time allotted. However, if you changed your goal to achieving $75k or $100k over the next 12 months, and yet you are currently only earning $50,000.00 a year you will have a slight disconnect in believability and which will make it difficult to achieve in the time allotted. However, if you changed your goal to achieving $75k or $100k over the next 12 months your subconscious mind would be more apt to believe it and therefore you would be more apt to produce the energy and outcome to make it so.
Is the goal in alignment with your dream and your values? Many times we find ourselves setting goals without really asking ourselves “Is this going to get me closer to my grander dream or purpose?” or “Do I really want to achieve this or is this somebody else’s desire?” To insure it’s relevancy we must listen to our heart and live from our true authentic self. If we fail to clarify what truly matters for us, we will find that we will lose interest in achieving our goals. Furthermore, if we are doing something that is out of integrity with our inner values we will also eventually find discontent. However, generally speaking a moderate or short term period that is slightly out of alignment with values may be enduring for the desire of a greater dream. For instance if one of your values was “time with family”, and yet you had to sacrifice such time in order to complete a course or degree, you could reasonably endure this sacrifice for the greater good of both you and your family. However, if you were working a job that demanded a lot of your time and kept you away from your family, sooner or later you will find yourself unhappy and desiring to change. Therefore it is always important when setting goals, to make sure they agree with your values. Also, if you’re working for someone else or within a company, your goals should be relevant to that company’s mission and be in alignment with the company’s greater goals.
As important as time is to setting a goal, we don’t want to create a condition where our energy works against us. It needs to be somewhat reasonable and believable for us to be inspired to take consistent action. Also, if the time frame is projected too far out we seem to lose touch, interest and desire with our goal. So, selecting the proper time-frame is essential to create the optimal mental conditions that go with ease of achieving the goal. Too soon, we get stressed-out. Too distant we lose drive. Therefore, as mentioned in the section on “measurable goals” it needs to be broken down and expressed in smaller “measurable” components of time so we can stay actively connected with the process. A good habit to get into is to create a timeline backwards from your desired goal, writing down the actual steps of what you need to do with a desired date next to each step. This will not only help you understand what needs to get done, it will also create a mental picture of your goal already being done.
One of the most important and quite often overlooked aspects of goal setting is how does it make us feel. Since the universe responds to how we feel, it is important to make sure that we maintain both desire and belief. If at any time in the process of pursuing our goals if we find ourselves in doubt, if we believe it is hard, if we feel undeserving we will produce an energy that is non-conducive to the manifestation of our goals. Therefore, along with all the traditional goal setting methods, we need to also practice seeing and feeling as if we have already achieved our desired outcome. If a certain job is your desired goal, practice visualizing yourself as already doing that exact job, see yourself receiving pay for that job and feel the feeling of joy and gratitude for actually already having that desirable position. Do this often, because as you do the universe will begin to act on your thoughts, emotions and beliefs and soon start revealing a reality that matches up with your vision.
Write Your Goals Down And Display Them Where You Will Often Notice Them:
Do you keep your goals top of mind and think of them often? When someone asks what your goals are can you articulate them quickly and easily? Too often we write our goals down and then we completely forget about them. They are in a journal tucked away somewhere or hidden in a spreadsheet somewhere on your computer’s hard-drive. The best thing we can do is display them somewhere where we see them daily like our bathroom mirror or refrigerator. We can even keep score by tallying the number of hours, earnings or tasks and also by checking off each step toward our goals. By having our written goals “in our face” and using a method for measuring our process, we will soon create the energy and momentum of positive progress.
Ron Frost – Business Coach | Life Coach | Public Speaker
1910 Park Meadows Drive, Suite 202
Fort Myers, FL 33907