It is still being debated whether this story is true or false but whatever the position, the story therein is worthy of note…
Some years ago, an interviewer asked new graduates from the Harvard MBA program and found out that:
84% had no goals at all
13% had goals but they were not committed to paper
3% had clear written goals and plans to accomplish them
10 years later, the interviewer again interviewed the graduates of that class and found out that:
13% of the class who had goals were earning on average, twice as much as the 84% who had no goals at all
The 3% who had clear, written goals were earning on average, ten times as much as the other 97% put together
You see the power of goals?
There is a popular SMART mnemonic on goal setting but let’s make it ‘SMARTER’ this time.
Goals should not be vague and ambiguous. Being specific helps us focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do.
Specific tells us: WHAT (I will DEVELOP, BUILD etc) and the WHY and HOW
I want to loose weight is not a goal…I will lose 10kg is a goal (specific)
I want to enhance my career is not a goal, rather…I will do XYZ courses or get some qualification
What you can’t measure, you can’t manage!
Include precise amount, date etc. Assume you want to reduce your expenses, how would you know if you’re successful? E,g 10% reduction in expenses by March. This is measurable.
Without a way to measure your success, you miss out on the celebration that comes with knowing you actually achieved something.
Remember, what you can’t measure, you can’t manage.
ACHIEVABLE (AGREED UPON):
Make sure you set a goal you can attain.
If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence.
The goals that you set which are too far out of your reach, you probably won’t commit to doing. You may start with the best of intentions, however, the knowledge that it’s too much for you means your mind may be telling you of this fact and will stop you from even giving it your best.
I know you’ve got faith to do the impossible but please, let it be achievable. A goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel you can do it and it will need a real commitment from you.
This is not another synonym for easy. It means, DO-able.
Eating too much sweet for instance, you may not be able to stop once. Start with fruits.
Or say for instance, you grossed, ₦500,000 a year before and you’re pursuing ₦5million a year after. That’s a crime you want to commit. Lol!
Goals should be challenging but realistic.
Be sure to set goals you can attain with some effort. If it’s too difficult, you set the stage for failure but too low sends the message that you aren’t very capable. You must set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement.
You need to have deadline with your goals.
When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come quicker.
Putting an end point on your goals gives you a clear target to work towards.
A goal without a deadline is dead
You see, without a time-limit, there’s no urgency to start taking action now. ‘Anytime is good’ but sadly, anytime is no time.
Yes goals must be challenging, no doubt but enjoyed as well. Enjoy it while it lasts.
You need to enjoy it and that only comes when you set goals that are relevant to your dreams, aspirations, career etc
The idea is, you should have at the back of your mind that at the end of all the stress, headache etc The end will bring joy.
Let’s take for instance, you want to loose some weight. The amount spent in the gym, jogging, doing aerobics, running and all wouldn’t be funny, however, the bigger picture of your shedding off 10kg for instance should bring some kind of joy. You could as well tag someone along, get an earpiece with music etc
Goal setting isn’t all about being rigid or unhappy. Be happy. Again, enjoy it while it lasts.
Get a book, not a paper. Pen it.
The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse of forgetting.
Remember, I WILL.
The dullest pen is still sharper and better than the best of brains.
One guy discussing the benefit of writing goals with a friend.
His response: I can’t write down my goals-I have so many and I don’t have enough time
Response: If you don’t have time to write down your goals, where are you going to find time to accomplish them?
Also, pen them on a wall, fridge, door, bathroom etc.