THE SEVEN STEPS OF GOAL SETTING
Step 1 of Goal Setting: Identify the goal.
In a goal setting – if you don’t identify a target, you will never hit it. When you identify a goal, it means that you write it down and describe it clearly. Don’t set any nebulous targets. If you want to have specific success, you must have specific targets. A goal “to increase my annual income” or “to spend more time on my spiritual life” is not specific. A specific goal would be “to increase my current income by 20 percent” or “to read the entire Bible from cover to maps.”
Step 2 of Goal Setting: List the benefits:
What’s in it for me? Once you identify a specific goal, you need to list the benefits you will receive when you reach that goal. Let’s face it, we only do the things we want to do and are willing to do. If there are no personal benefits, your motivation for completing the goal will be diminished. Remember that changing your life is not always easy, and you will hit some rough spots in the road as you move forward. You will need all the personal motivation you can muster, and understanding what’s in it for you is vitally important. Don’t skimp on this step!
Step 3 of Goal Setting: List the obstacles to overcome.
I believe I just mentioned that there might be some rough spots on your journey as you work to achieve your goals. Many of them can be anticipated, and if you can anticipate something, you can prepare yourself in advance to overcome it. So think it through and make a complete list of all the things that can prevent you from being successful. Ask a trusted friend who knows you well to help you finish the list.
Step 4 of Goal Setting: List the skills and knowledge required.
Knowledge gives us the power to accomplish things we would not otherwise be able to do. Skills give us the tools to take advantage of our knowledge. There is a direct relationship between knowing and doing. Successfully accomplishing your goals will require that powerful combination. For example, if your goal is to increase your proficiency on the computer, you will need to know specifically what the computer can do for you (knowledge). Once you know what you want the computer to do for you, the skills you will need to be successful must be identified. The skills might include learning to type on a keyboard with two hands instead of fingerpicking. This would trigger setting another goal of learning to type! Never forget that knowledge and skill will be required to successfully complete any goal.
Step 5 of Goal Setting: Identify the people and groups to work with.
We do a better job when we have the help of others. They can help us with knowledge and skill and can offer valuable advice we need to be successful. So when you set your goals, always consider the people and the groups you can work with that can help you be more successful.
Step 6 of Goal Setting: Develop a plan of action.
This is the most critical step. It involves thinking through the details of how you will achieve your goal. In my younger years, I was thirty-seven pounds overweight. I had put that weight on one bite at a time, and I was going to have to lose it the same way. That required a plan! Goal setting was – to lose my weight over a ten-month period and that was the first step of the plan. Thirty-seven pounds sounds like a lot, but when you realize it’s only 3.7 pounds a month over a ten-month period it sounds a lot better. So, I planned to lose 3.7 pounds a month for ten months. Then I included a daily running and exercise plan in the goal, as well as a diet that would limit my caloric intake.
With those details planned, I clearly knew how I was going to have to live each day to be successful. I prepared diligently to succeed. I stuck to my plan and ten months later I had lost thirty-seven pounds.
Step 7 of Goal Setting: Set a deadline for achievement.
In the example above, you notice I gave myself 10 months to lose the weight. I believe in goal setting, and all goals need a completion date to be effective. I was in the process of writing my first book, See You At the Top. Ten months is what I had left to complete my book by my goal date. When it struck me that I was not a good example of the very things I was teaching. Nobody who saw me was going to believe a word I said because I was not taking care of the health portion of my life. There was no way an overweight fat boy could effectively tell other people how to change their lives without first changing his own!
My integrity was on the line . . . so I sought help at Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s Aerobics Center, where Dr. Randy Martin told me the true state of my condition. With his help, I made my ten-month plan.
When you don’t set a deadline for completing your goals, you will not be accountable to yourself or anyone else. If you “don’t set a deadline for completing your goals, you will not be accountable to yourself or anyone else. Not accountable for your goals = you will not achieve them.
Excerpt From Born to Win by Zig Ziglar