It’s no secret that setting goals and putting them down on paper increases your likelihood of success dramatically. In fact, a famous study from 1953 surveyed Yale’s graduating seniors to determine how many of them had specific, written goals for their future. At graduation time, only 3% of the class had written down their goals. Twenty years later, researchers polled the same members of that class and found that the 3% who had written down their goals had amassed more financial wealth than the other 97% combined!
Those are staggering statistics and the interestingly enough, the secret to surviving in today’s market is no different than it was 58 years ago.
- Visualize Your Goals
- Write Down Your Goals
- Follow Through On Your Goals
Sounds simple right? Then why are so few of us flying without a net? We need a plan in order to succeed and the only way to get there is to spend a little time diving into what we want to achieve and how we propose getting there.
Steps to Setting Strategic Goals
1. Visualize Your Goals
Discuss your goals with a coach or mentor and be specific. Talking about your dreams and desires with another person turns intangible thought processes into concrete proof.
Be very specific in what it is you want to achieve and then make claim to it. Verbalizing what you want offers clarity of purpose. There is no way to truly appreciate what it is you’re working towards without being able to see it, feel it, touch it and make it yours.
2. Write It Down
Something magical happens when you actually take pen to paper and write out your goals. When we write out our goals, we’re committing to them on a subconscious level. We’re also giving ourselves a mind map to carry out those goals. Once we have it on paper, it’s no longer a figment of our imagination. We now have a bullseye and steps to hit it!
3. Create an Action Plan
Envision how and what you will need to do in order to achieve your goal. As new actions come to mind, add them to this written list. This list is your road map to the finish line. It is imperative that you take the time to work through each step and action that you will need to take to achieve your end result.
4. Schedule a Deadline
Give yourself a deadline on when you will reach each goal and be specific. I find that looking at your goals from a linear viewpoint gives you the ability to monitor and track your progress through milestones. Milestones are a great way to keep you energized and motivated to follow through. It’s also important to celebrate your success along the way. It can be as simple as grabbing your favorite scoop of ice cream at Baskin-Robbins as long as you take the time to congratulate yourself.
5. Throw in a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)
Don’t be afraid to raise the bar with one BIG goal. Setting the bar too low can end up leaving you underwhelmed by your results. Setting larger, somewhat scary goals gives you the ability to spread your wings and soar above your competition.
Keep in mind, you must prepare for adversity and be willing to adjust your goals as needed. There’s no goal worth achieving that doesn’t come with its own challenges. There will be days you feel like throwing in the towel so plan on that and have a mentor, coach or partner ready to pick you up and get you back in the ring swinging.
Goals are powerful and have the ability to propel us to places beyond our wildest dreams. However, success doesn’t come overnight. Consistently working towards them is the key.
Commit to starting fresh today with this step by step action plan and take the unperceivable to the unbelievable!