Creating Effective Goals

Creating Effective Goals - Jim Estil
“Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I'll give you a stock clerk.” – J.C. Penny

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Creating Effective Goals

TABLE

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CONTENTS

It’s time to replace your clock with a compass so you can head out in the right direction......3 Why is it important to set goals?.............................................................................................3 Setting Effective Goals............................................................................................................3 Setting your Goals...............................................................................................................4 A 60-Minute Goal Setting Exercise that can save you 100 hours in the next month5 Here is the same exercise; it has been expanded on to help you get started.........................6 Your Four Pages......................................................................................................................6 1. Values...............................................................................................................................6 2. Lifetime...........................................................................................................................19 3. Six Months to Live.........................................................................................................20 4. One Year Goals..............................................................................................................20 Congratulations on completing these goal sheets!...............................................................20 Choosing your Top Four or Five Goals............................................................................20 You can use any of these tools in conjunction with each other.............................................21 Habits..................................................................................................................................21 Some Final Notes on Goals...............................................................................................22

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Creating Effective Goals

Do you have effective and clear goals? What direction do you want to go in?

It’s time to replace your clock with a compass so you can head out in the right direction.

Why is it important to set goals?

Goals are important because you will get what you strive for. By actively thinking about what you intend to accomplish, you will work on achieving those accomplishments. Any area of your life which you focus on will improve, simply because you take the time to assess your habits.

Setting Effective Goals

When you set goals, you need to take many questions into account: what, when, why, and how. What are you going to accomplish? Be sure to be concrete about your answer. When are you going to complete the task, or achieve your goal? Why is this important to you? How are you going to realize your goal; what is your strategy?

There is an easy acronym to help you create effective goals: S - Specific M - Measurable A - Attainable R - Realistic T - Timed

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Creating Effective Goals
You need to create specific goals. The goal “I want to become a better swimmer” is almost impossible to judge because it is not specific enough. A better goal would be “I want to earn my bronze medallion by next June” or “I want to swim 10 laps of the pool twice a week.”

The reason that “I want to earn my bronze medallion by next June” is a more effective goal is that it is measurable. There is a clear marker of achievement that you can earn.

Goals need to be attainable. It is not only unproductive to say “I want to lose 40 pounds by next week,” it is also counter-productive. Unattainable goals are counter-productive because when you make a goal that you do not achieve, you experience an emotional letdown. It is not wise or healthy to get your heart set on something that is out of reach. However, keep in mind that goals should also be a stretch.

This is not to say that your goals cannot be large: they can! But your goals also need to be realistic. If you set a goal that is unrealistic and attempt to work towards it, you will exhaust yourself and your resources. Rather than setting one large goal in a short timeframe, instead, create smaller goals that will lead you to accomplishing your long-term goal. Breaking your goals into smaller chunks helps you create goals that are more specific, often more measurable, more attainable, more realistic, while creating a time-line for your larger goal. Having mini-goals is one of the keys of successful goal setting.

The idea of creating smaller goals leads us to the idea that goals need to be timed. Putting a timeframe on your goal ensures that it will not drop down to the bottom of your priority list. It also makes measuring your goal easier. Saying “I will sell $500 before 5 o’clock this afternoon” means that at 5:00 you will stop to check your progress.

When you create smaller goals in order to achieve your larger goals, be sure that they are on a timeline as well. If your large goal is to find a better job at Company X by next Christmas, your smaller goals could be on a weekly basis. For your first week, you would create a contact at Company X and attempt to establish if there are any openings. Week two, you could update your resume and cover-letter. Week three, you would make a followup phone call. Your smaller goals would function as milestones that are attainable and realistic, while still being specific, measurable, and timed.

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Creating Effective Goals
One of my favourite quotes is “We tend to overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year.” I see this time and time again. Great things can be accomplished over long periods if we keep heading in the right direction.

Because goals are so important, when you begin to create your workbook, we will focus on how best to express your goals in your workbook.

Setting your Goals

The best goal setting exercise that I know takes only 40 minutes. Take this time to establish your goals now.

In order to achieve goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timed), it is important to make sure that your goals are focused on many aspects of your life.

I take into account 11 major areas when I establish my goals:

1. Career 2. Earnings 3. Personal relationships 4. Family 5. Health 6. Spiritual 7. Personal appearance 8. Education/learning 9. Free time/hobby 10. Vacation

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Creating Effective Goals
11. Improve your home

Consider having goals in each of these 11 areas. Add new areas if there is something important to you that you feel is not covered.

A 60-Minute Goal Setting Exercise that can save you 100 hours in the next month I think that most people would agree that the people who have goals are more successful than those who do not have any. I often talk about leadership and management. Leadership is about doing the right things while management is about doing things right. Often when we study time management, we study efficiency (doing things right) and make the assumption that we have the effectiveness (leadership) solved. The first step in any time management system should be to work on goals and as such, I use the following 60 Minute Goal Setting Exercise. Step 1: at the top of a blank piece of paper write down "values" and then spend 10 to 15 minutes writing down everything that you value. There is a great website: www.stevepavlina.com/ that has a list of several hundred values to start your mind thinking in the right direction. After the time is up, stop doing this and move to Step 2. Step 2: at the top of a blank piece of paper write down "lifetime goals". This is where you can dream; for example, what places would you like to visit; what experiences would you like to have; what would you like to accomplish within your lifetime. This might include traveling to Australia; getting a university degree; living in an X square foot house, etc. There are no rules to this brainstorming - simply make a list. I have done this goal setting exercise many times and I tend to use the same list of lifetime goals and add to the list each time I do the exercise. Step 3: at the top of a blank piece of paper write down what you would do if you had six months to live. This part of the exercise really came home to me this week when one of my close friends died at 36 years old. Some of us may have only six months to live; however, we may not know it yet. List everything that you would do if you had only six months to live. Part of the purpose of this exercise that I found works well for me is that it brings the truly important into focus. Often I find things that I would do if I had only six months to live that are not listed on my life time goals.

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Step 4: at the top of a blank piece of paper write down your goals for this year. After doing the first three steps, you will find this step much easier than the others. These are the goals to focus on NOW. This total exercise will only take an hour. An hour spent clarifying your goals can save you hundreds of hours.

Here is the same exercise; it has been expanded on to help you get started.

Your Four Pages

Take four blank pages, and label each one at the top: Values, Lifetime, Six Months to Live, and One Year Goals. You will spend ten minutes (and only ten minutes) to fill out each sheet to describe you and your goals.

1. Values On this page, list your values.

The following list of values from Steve Pavlina might stimulate your thought:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Abundance Acceptance Accessibility Accomplishment Accuracy Achievement Acknowledgement Activeness 7|Page

Creating Effective Goals
9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. Adaptability Adoration Adroitness Adventure Affection Affluence Aggressiveness Agility Alertness Altruism Ambition Amusement Anticipation Appreciation Approachability Articulacy Assertiveness Assurance Attentiveness Attractiveness Audacity Availability Awareness Awe Balance Beauty 8|Page

Creating Effective Goals
35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. Being the best Belonging Benevolence Bliss Boldness Bravery Brilliance Buoyancy Calmness Camaraderie Candor Capability Care

48. Carefulness 49. Celebrity 50. Certainty 51. Challenge 52. Charity 53. Charm 54. Chastity 55. Cheerfulness 56. Clarity 57. Cleanliness 58. Clear-mindedness 59. Cleverness 60. Closeness 9|Page

Creating Effective Goals
61. Comfort 62. Commitment 63. Compassion 64. Completion 65. Composure 66. Concentration 67. Confidence 68. Conformity 69. Congruency 70. Connection 71. Consciousness 72. Consistency 73. Contentment 74. Continuity 75. Contribution 76. Control 77. Conviction 78. Conviviality 79. Coolness 80. Cooperation 81. Cordiality 82. Correctness 83. Courage 84. Courtesy 85. Craftiness 86. Creativity 10 | P a g e

Creating Effective Goals
87. Credibility 88. Cunning 89. Curiosity 90. Daring 91. Decisiveness 92. Decorum 93. Deference 94. Delight 95. Dependability 96. Depth 97. Desire 98. Determination 99. Devotion 100. Devoutness 101. Dexterity 102. Dignity 103. Diligence 104. Direction 105. Directness 106. Discipline 107. Discovery 108. Discretion 109. Diversity 110. Dominance 111. Dreaming 112. Drive 11 | P a g e

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113. Duty 114. Dynamism 115. Eagerness 116. Economy 117. Ecstasy 118. Education 119. Effectiveness 120. Efficiency 121. Elation 122. Elegance 123. Empathy 124. Encouragement 125. Endurance 126. Energy 127. Enjoyment 128. Entertainment 129. Enthusiasm 130. Excellence 131. Excitement 132. Exhilaration 133. Expectancy 134. Expediency 135. Experience 136. Expertise 137. Exploration 138. Expressiveness 12 | P a g e

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139. Extravagance 140. Extroversion 141. Exuberance 142. Fairness 143. Faith 144. Fame 145. Family 146. Fascination 147. Fashion 148. Fearlessness 149. Ferocity 150. Fidelity 151. Fierceness 152. Financial independence 153. Firmness 154. Fitness 155. Flexibility 156. Flow 157. Fluency 158. Focus 159. Fortitude 160. 161. 162. 163. 164. Frankness Freedom Friendliness Frugality Fun 13 | P a g e

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165. 166. 167. 168. 169. 170. 171. 172. 173. 174. 175. 176. 177. 178. 179. 180. 181. 182. 183. 184. 185. 186. 187. 188. 189. 190. Gallantry Generosity Gentility Giving Grace Gratitude Gregariousness Growth Guidance Happiness Harmony Health Heart Helpfulness Heroism Holiness Honesty Honor Hopefulness Hospitality Humility Humor Hygiene Imagination Impact Impartiality 14 | P a g e

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191. 192. 193. 194. 195. 196. 197. 198. 199. 200. 201. 202. 203. 204. 205. 206. 207. 208. 209. 210. 211. 212. 213. 214. 215. 216. Independence Industry Ingenuity Inquisitiveness Insightfulness Inspiration Integrity Intelligence Intensity Intimacy Intrepidness Introversion Intuition Intuitiveness Inventiveness Investing Joy Judiciousness Justice Keenness Kindness Knowledge Leadership Learning Liberation Liberty 15 | P a g e

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217. 218. 219. 220. 221. 222. 223. 224. 225. 226. 227. 228. 229. 230. 231. 232. 233. 234. 235. 236. 237. 238. 239. 240. 241. 242. Liveliness Logic Longevity Love Loyalty Majesty Making a difference Mastery Maturity Meekness Mellowness Meticulousness Mindfulness Modesty Motivation Mysteriousness Neatness Nerve Obedience Open-mindedness Openness Optimism Order Organization Originality Outlandishness 16 | P a g e

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243. 244. 245. 246. 247. 248. 249. 250. 251. 252. 253. 254. 255. 256. 257. 258. 259. 260. 261. 262. 263. 264. 265. 266. 267. 268. Outrageousness Passion Peace Perceptiveness Perfection Perkiness Perseverance Persistence Persuasiveness Philanthropy Piety Playfulness Pleasantness Pleasure Poise Polish Popularity Potency Power Practicality Pragmatism Precision Preparedness Presence Privacy Proactivity 17 | P a g e

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269. 270. 271. 272. 273. 274. 275. 276. 277. 278. 279. 280. 281. 282. 283. 284. 285. 286. 287. 288. 289. 290. 291. 292. 293. 294. Professionalism Prosperity Prudence Punctuality Purity Realism Reason Reasonableness Recognition Recreation Refinement Reflection Relaxation Reliability Religiousness Resilience Resolution Resolve Resourcefulness Respect Rest Restraint Reverence Richness Rigor Sacredness 18 | P a g e

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295. 296. 297. 298. 299. 300. 301. 302. 303. 304. 305. 306. 307. 308. 309. 310. 311. 312. 313. 314. 315. 316. 317. 318. 319. 320. Sacrifice Sagacity Saintliness Sanguinity Satisfaction Security Self-control Selflessness Self-reliance Sensitivity Sensuality Serenity Service Sexuality Sharing Shrewdness Significance Silence Silliness Simplicity Sincerity Skillfulness Solidarity Solitude Soundness Speed 19 | P a g e

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321. 322. 323. 324. 325. 326. 327. 328. 329. 330. 331. 332. 333. 334. 335. 336. 337. 338. 339. 340. 341. 342. 343. 344. 345. 346. Spirit Spirituality Spontaneity Spunk Stability Stealth Stillness Strength Structure Success Support Supremacy Surprise Sympathy Synergy Teamwork Temperance Thankfulness Thoroughness Thoughtfulness Thrift Tidiness Timeliness Traditionalism Tranquility Transcendence 20 | P a g e

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347. 348. 349. 350. 351. 352. 353. 354. 355. 356. 357. 358. 359. 360. 361. 362. 363. 364. 365. 366. 367. 368. 369. 370. 371. 372. Trust Trustworthiness Truth Understanding Unflappability Uniqueness Unity Usefulness Utility Valor Variety Victory Vigor Virtue Vision Vitality Vivacity Warmth Watchfulness Wealth Willfulness Willingness Winning Wisdom Wittiness Wonder 21 | P a g e

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373. 374. Youthfulness Zeal

You don’t have to choose values from this list; you can make up your own. This list is just to get you thinking.

2. Lifetime

On your second page, list what you want to accomplish, experience, or become in the course of your lifetime.

This list is one that you can add to at any time. I have moved my lifetime goal list to my workbook. Whenever I see something that looks really cool, I can add that to my list. In my workbook, my lifetime goal list keeps on growing and growing until I have pages filled with things that I would like to accomplish, experience, or be.

3. Six Months to Live

On your third page you write down all the things that you would want to do if you had six months to live.

The benefit of this page is that it helps you refocus. I find that when I write this list, it is often very different from the lifetime goal list, and it gives me a new perspective on my 22 | P a g e

Creating Effective Goals
goals. If I had only six months to live, maybe I would spend more time with my family. Maybe I would want to travel, and swim with the dolphins in New Zealand. These goals are often different than lifetime goals and are also important to keep in mind while planning your life.

4. One Year Goals

For this final page, you can look at your other pages to create a list of goals that you would like to accomplish this year. Be sure to take some goals from your list of lifetime goals, and plan to achieve them in the next year. Remember that these are goals, and so must be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timed. Define your goals carefully.

If you have not already done so, take ten minutes to complete each goal sheet: Values, Lifetime, Six Months to Live, and One Year Goals.

Congratulations on completing these goal sheets! You have taken the first step to a more productive lifestyle in which you will be able to accomplish your goals. Choosing your Top Four or Five Goals Once you have completed these four sheets, you assess what you have written and you choose your top goals for to work on for that month. For my top goals, I only choose goals on which I am willing to work an hour a week. If you are not willing to spend one hour a week on each of your top goals, then clearly these goals are not that important to you at this time.

Now that you have selected your top goals, you have a couple of options on how you want to proceed that are outlined below.

When I complete these four sheets, I then take a business card and I write down my top goals. I don’t write the entire goal out; I just write a brief note that reminds me what my 23 | P a g e

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goal is. For instance, if my goal is to have tomatoes grow in my garden this summer, I might just write “Garden.” Then, every day for the month, I look at my business card once in the morning. I put a copy of the business card on my To Do list so that I see it many times during the day.

Another approach to your top four goals is to write them out a certain number of times every day. You can also say them aloud every day. Some people record their goals on tape and listen to them every day while doing other activities, such as exercising, driving, or falling asleep in bed at night.

You can tell other people what your goals are to get support. It is best to tell other people your ‘stop goals,’ because people will definitely want to tell you to stop detrimental habits. Don’t tell people your ‘get goals’ because you might be ridiculed, or they might be envious of your high aspirations. Using other people to help achieve your goals is a valuable tool, but it depends on the people around you and how supportive their attitudes are.

Another useful tool is visualization. Imagine how things will be when you accomplish the goal. The more vivid your imagination, the more effective your visualization will be. How will people treat you? What will it feel like? Where will you be? What time of day is it?

You can use any of these tools in conjunction with each other.

Habits

Frequently, my goals are something that I want to become a habit. Once I have achieved my goal and created a new habit, I can take it off my top goals list. For example, I like to eat right. If I have slipped into poor eating habits lately, then eating a balanced diet could be on my top goals. When healthy eating is once more a positive habit in my life, then I can take it off my list.

Speaking of habits, I want to reiterate that this really is the key to success. We are the result of what we repeatedly do. So I spend a lot of time figuring out what my habits should be. I call them success habits. For me, this is as important as goal setting.

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I redo my top goals (that I keep on business cards in strategic locations) every month or every six weeks. Be sure to keep your top four goals up to date: but don’t change them until you have accomplished your goal or formed your new habit.

Some Final Notes on Goals

Make sure that every action in your life supports your goals. Use your workbook to track your progress on your goals.

Some goals that I have are too big or too daunting. For these, I break them down into smaller parts. One big goal becomes a series of smaller subgoals. A side benefit of this is often the subgoals can be done simultaneously or the subgoals are different enough that I can spend more combined time on them than I would one any one single goal (This is a time trick – variety helps sometimes).

I also like to break big goals down into smaller time blocks since I can often do something in a short time. If I have 5 minutes, it is better to be working on a subgoal for a top priority project than unimportant busywork that is not moving me towards my larger goal.

Start writing here.

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