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So far in this blog series you’ve already assessed what you really want. You’ve created a “vision”—a big picture, long-term vision of what you would ultimately like your existence to encompass—no limitations, just pure dream. But, sometimes this dream seems so far outside of your current reality that you can’t quite get yourself to believe it. Even after finding evidence that you can, in fact, achieve it, you still need to prove it to yourself by GETTING STARTED! It’s often that first step that’s the hardest part. The good news is that when the first step is onto a bridge to your dream, you can see right away that you will get there. 

We know this because we’ve experienced it. We’re really good at thinking big, without limitations, and really believing our dreams are ours for the taking. But, we’re so good at it that we find ourselves living in limbo—one foot here in the now and the other floating somewhere in the ether, trying to find firm ground in that dreamland in our minds. As you can imagine, this position can leave one quite unstable. 

So, the question is, “How can you take your dream out of the clouds and make it concrete?” as well as, “How can dreams be more believable and immediately attainable?” The solution is to break down your dream into more manageable chunks—separate tiers—creating a bridge between where you are and where you want to be.

Visions and dreams tend to be big-picture, long-term oriented. For them to feel attainable and for one not to get stuck “waiting” to enjoy life in the process, it’s important to build a bridge. The bridge consists of two parts, the beginning and the middle, where the “end” is your dream or goal. The first part is enjoying today. You “get on the bridge” by finding ways to make your life TODAY more like what you dream. The second part is getting prepared. This is where you work on YOURSELF along the journey to your dream so that you are who you need to be in order to be ready for living your dream. 

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Not all goals are created equal! Believe it or not there is a science to writing and creating your goals. Knowing how to create goals is one of the major differences between why some people are so effective in reaching their goals and why some are not. In fact, the “smart” goal principles have been popular for quite some time, first appearing in 1981 as presented by George Doran in a business journal. However, the principles behind “smart” goals can be found in books that are over a century old. Success leaves clues, and these goal setting principals have been proven successful. As you go through this section, take a look at your goals and make sure that they follow “smart” goal principles. If they do not, then make the necessary changes. 

SMART GOALS are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Framed. 

Specific: It is critical that your goals are as specific as possible. Many people set goals that are vague in nature and not precise. The problem with this is that it makes it hard to determine how to get to them and how to judge when we actually achieved them. For example, a statement like “I will be wealthy” or “I will lose weight” is too vague. Ask yourself, how will you know with certainty if and when you’ve reached your goal? In other words, you may reach your goals and still not know that you are there or you may find that you do not have the motivation because you really don’t know what you are striving for. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to have the goals say something specific like “I will lose 5 pounds in the next month” or “I will be making ten thousand dollars a month in a year.” At the end of the month or year it will be simple to take a look at your weight and look how much you are making and compare it to your goal. 

Measurable: As demonstrated in the above example, goals also need to be measurable. For example, if someone is going to school they may say, “I want to be more committed and involved in school,” but that may not be measurable. How would you be able to tell the goal has been reached? What is the criteria? This person could instead state clear objectives such as, “I will attend every class this month and study for an hour every day.” Another goal might be, “I will sign up for a student club or organization this week.” These goals are simple and concrete. Having goals that are measurable makes it easy for you to track your progress. 

Achievable: To build confidence your goals need to be reasonable and achievable. In other words, you do not want to set yourself up for failure, as it will not help you achieve your goals or stay motivated. For example, if a person is trying to write a book they may tell themselves, “I will start and finish the book in two weeks.” However, let’s say that the person has other responsibilities, such as a job, family, or life; is it reasonable for them to be able to write the whole book in two weeks? No. Especially if they’ve never considered all of the steps it takes. Instead, the person can take a look at their schedule, take all the steps required into account, and say, “I will write the outline for my book this week and dedicate two hours per day for the next two weeks. Then I will reassess my schedule and see how much more I have to go.” Again, it may be that the person finishes the book in two weeks because they get really inspired or ended up having more time that they initially anticipated. However, it is better to go above and beyond your goal than to make a goal that is not achievable and then have that demotivate you. 

Realistic: Another aspect of goals is that it needs to be realistic. With that said, we are big believers in thinking big and stretching reality. However, you do need to understand your capabilities and current abilities when you are making goals. For example, if your goal is to become a professional basketball player, and you're not currently playing on a team, never played a competitive sport, haven’t practiced very often and was not in the top tier of physical talent or ability, is your goal realistic? It is important to honestly evaluate yourself. Do you have the ability? Are you committed to making your goals a reality? Are you doing what it takes? Or can you adjust your goals to make them more realistic? Again, the point here is to build confidence and not set yourself up for failure. But, by all means, if you want to dream bigger and go for the “big time,” no matter what that is—then go for it! Just be sure you thoroughly understand everything it takes to be successful. 

Time Framed: One of the most important aspects of goals is to have a time frame. Having a set amount of time to achieve the goals gives the mind the structure that it needs to help you achieve them. For example, someone may want to change jobs, start school, or start their own business. However, if they truly look at it, they may find that they talk a lot about doing it, but never get anything done towards that goal because they have no time frame for it. For any goal to be effective it has to have a sense of urgency. Having a specific time frame gives you the motivation needed to get started and finish. For example, for a person that wants to go back to school, they may set a deadline for themselves to register for classes or for financial aid. A person looking to start a business may set a time frame for completing specific research, developing a business plan, and getting the business started. 

Remember, there are only two types of goals: the ones that we talk about but never do and the ones that we are truly committed to and will achieve. The difference between them is that the achievable ones are S.M.A.R.T. goals, while the other ones may just be a way of wasting time. 

Now take a look at your goals and ask yourself if they’re SMART! 

The importance of OUTCOMES 
When working on goals, there is a big difference between having a bunch of to-do’s and having a focus on outcomes. There are many people that stay busy, but are really not getting anywhere towards their goals. It’s like they have filled up their calendar but do not truly understand their direction or what is a priority. It reminds me of a hamster spinning their wheels and going around in circles. It’s not enough simply to do the motions—to make a list of tasks and chip away at it. Having a lot to do may make us feel busy and productive, but it can often be simply busy work and not productive towards our goals at all. What’s missing is an understanding of WHY you’re doing the task. 

What’s the OUTCOME you’re hoping to achieve? Simply a completed task is not the outcome. For example, if someone is in sales and tells themselves “I am going to make four phone calls a day this week” they may be able to make those four phone calls, but not actually achieve what they really wanted—which was to make two sales for the week. If the outcome is two sales a week, then that is his goal—and he’d probably need more than four phone calls. 

Here’s another example: someone is going to school and prepping for a test that has 20 words and definitions. They say their goal is to look over their words and definition every day for a week. However, that goal may not get them the outcome they’re looking for—an A on the test. It may serve them better if their goal is to memorize three words and definitions every day and review the ones that they learned the previous days so that by the end of the week they are guaranteed to know all the words. It may seem like a small change, but this small change can make the biggest difference on whether or not a person will achieve what they want. So, ask yourself are your goals focused on “busy work” or tasks, or are they goals that will help you create the outcomes you want?


Other posts in this Goal Setting Series include:
 


Comments

06/11/2016 9:50am

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Awesome that you put the Marketing Strategy in your farm. Using the Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time strategy is a good way to determine the things that you will put up in a business. Also the CSR in every employee and owners of the business. There are also a concrete ways to achieve all of these by considering other strategy like AIDA (awareness, interest, desire, and action). An interesting topic and I also want this on my next business.

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07/04/2016 6:41pm

It is true that in setting one's goals, one has to be smart about it. In that sense, it has to qualify in all these points: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time framed. Our professor in college often talked about this whenever he gives us a certain task; may it be a project or a paper. I totally agree with the idea that we do have to give importance on the outcomes or results of our work. There is no use if one works for long, but is not actually producing anything good. There is also a great need to work effectively.

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12/04/2016 3:47am

All the firms on the planet look for innovative strategies to promote their products so they reach out to their prospective customers.

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12/28/2016 1:43am

I am very much agree with this post. Whatever we do in our life, we must set our goals. However, we must set not just only goals but SMART goals. We must be realistic to what must be achieved. Please keep posting more inspirational articles. I am excited about your next post.

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01/04/2017 7:07am

You should always stay realistic and than you can achieve your goals. It is a good characteristic!

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01/13/2017 2:36pm

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That is very important to have goals and that would be great to achieve it.

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02/03/2017 1:49am

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02/05/2017 10:31pm

Its advantages incorporate diminishments of the sums required for initial installments, conceivably bring down loan fees, and in advance supports which are given to help take care of shutting expenses

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Government Housing Administration (FHA) has been a homebuyer's most loved since it was made by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was begun with the reason for helping first time purchasers.

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07/13/2017 2:06am

That'sthe explanation promoting that you just suited preparation in advance of developing. It is usually probable to jot down increased putting up using this type of.

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07/23/2017 2:47am

Agri marketing is good but most farmers don't earn much we need to get people out for agriculture and since we need to get them to work then we should give them mountain biking as an alternative to farming.

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10/02/2017 1:12am

Everyone should have these kind of goals for their farms.

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10/02/2017 2:17am

Good things come in life, not early but surely.

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    Author Jennifer Archibald

    Reflections of life and lessons learned in the fields of marketing and agriculture.  A place to shout from the roof tops our clients success and keep you up to date on industry trends.

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