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Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Inspirational Power of Goal-setting

The Inspirational Power of Goal-setting
By Dr Janet Hall

Allow me to start with some very important questions.
Do you remember how motivated you were to succeed in your career when you were younger?
Did you really want to achieve your maximum potential?

And here's the most important question...
Where is your written list of goals and how would you know how well you have achieved them?

Most people I ask this question are unable to produce the list because they never made one in the first place! Some did make a list but it got lost somewhere in a sea of paper.

It has been documented that the one disciplined habit that separates the top three percent of the population from the rest is that of writing down their goals, believing in them and keeping them as a focus for direction.

There are two essential elements of the goals process:

1. Goal-Setting: choosing goals with a positive attitude, passionate desire and strong belief and self-confidence.
2. Goal-Getting: using that committed attitude to applied action with skills and disciplined strategies.


Goal-setting is inspirational through highlighting the benefits in striving for an outcome.
When you get excited about the rewards at the end of your work, "you get the fire in your belly", you get into action and action is the key to goal-achievement.

2. GOAL-GETTING - Skills and Strategies Necessary for Goal-Achievement

The most important generalized skills and strategies for goal-achievement are:
- Planning
- Managing Time
- Keeping Agreements.

It has been documented repeatedly, that time spent on planning is critical if you want to achieve a goal with least hiccups. Here is an invaluable saying: People who fail to Plan, Plan to fail.

Time management is easy to say and hard to do. The best plans can be interrupted by unseen or unexpected demands - computers break down, people get the flu.

Time managers are really task managers and they do this best by having a focus on one task at a time. They may need to actively arrange uninterrupted time, by managing other people. Agreement keeping is the essential ingredient in goal-getting.

Effective goals management is ten times more important than effective time management. A person with effective weekly goals and weak time management has a better chance of achieving worthwhile results than a person with weak goals and strong time management.

Goal-setting can make all the difference to your bottom line and if your competitors are achieving their goals, you may be left behind!


Goal-setting doesn't have to be a complex process. In fact, the simple is usually the best. You need to make your goals SMART

S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Realistic and
T - Time Framed


S - Simple
M - Meaningful
A - As if they are right here, right now
R - Responsible
T - Toward What you want

There is nothing as motivating as an impending event to encourage you to get a task done.

The best way to harness this is to declare your goal to someone you trust, ask them to be your coach and expect that you will achieve the goal as well as expected and by the due date. Your coach can be a professional, someone you love, a work colleague, a respected mentor, or just a good buddy. The primary task of the coach is to remind you that you are committed to achieving your goal. It's fun and sometimes more helpful, if they also encourage you, share your rewards and help celebrate when you achieve your goal

You also need a reliable means of documenting your goalmaking and goal management. There are many tools which can help - diaries, performance planners, electronic mechanisms and software (of course I recommend the GoalMaker software which I co-authored! ). Invest in a good tool and use it consistently and it will give you the edge over your competitors who rely on their fallible memory!


The goal making process follows logical, sequential behavioural steps. However, a substantial amount of the impact depends on your mental attitude. These guidelines reinforce a positive attitude so that you become unconsciously competent in setting your goals

1. Identify your mission or purpose in life and set your goals to align with this.

2. Decide what you really want and write it in the present tense as if it's already been achieved. Goals must be in writing. An unwritten want is just a wish. If it's in writing, it's a real, substantial commitment.

3. Goals must be concrete and specific - broad desires have no effect. Specify the tasks you will need to achieve each goal and then break each task into manageable "bite-size" bits. (How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.)

4. Goals must be believable. If you don't believe you can reach it, you won't. Eliminate the negatives in your life and focus on positive things. You are responsible for your thoughts, so make them positive ones. Don't listen to people who say, "It will never work. You can't do that. You'll never make it". Remember that Christopher Columbus would never have sailed over the horizon unless he had belief in himself.

5. Goals must be challenging and demand more from you. Be willing to stretch your comfort zone.

6. Act to set your goals in motion. Planning is only the first stage of goal achievement. First set your goals, then act to get your goals.

7. Apply self-discipline. No matter how many people are aware of your goal, the final responsibility rests with you. Remember - the buck stops here. You need to consistently organise yourself and work with determination and commitment if you are to achieve the success you truly deserve.

8. Goals must include your loved ones. Goals must harmonise and be in balance, not conflict with each other.

Goals must have target dates for completion. Set a target date for your goal and share it with someone who will encourage you to meet the deadline. There is nothing as motivating as an "impending event" to get you into action.

Author's Bio:
Dr Janet Hall is a Clinical Psychologist, Hypnotist, Author and Professional Speaker. Jan is also the author of seven books and many audiotapes (including Hypnotise Yourself to Sensational Sales Success, Stress-Proof Yourself and Succeed Faster, and Total Confidence Through Relaxation) and co-author of the GoalMaker software program. Jan is regularly consulted by print and electronic media on topical issues. The GoalMaker software is available from http://www.goalmaker.com

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