Do you ever dream about achieving big things for yourself? Do you think about how you could do better in something you are pursuing?
Do you wonder why you are not getting the result you want for yourself?
The true power of our own thoughts and words are often lost in today’s busy world that’s full of distraction. We all have thoughts during our day; positive thoughts or well wishes for ourselves but unfortunately they often get lost. This happens…
The phone rings… a text msg, email, facebook, you have to cook dinner or perhaps you just have another different thought and forget about that positive thought.
What has just happened?
You have just lost an opportunity to potentially achieve an objective. There is a way to ensure you capture your positive energy when it appears and put it to work for you so you can get the results you want.
There are 3 essential steps that lead to achieving great results for yourself. Here’s the first…
Intent is the real key and is the first step to getting real results. Being clear about your intent will make the process much easier. Intent is your aim, your purpose, your dream, your target and your objective. It must be clear.
Processing your positive thoughts and dreams into a clear intent is critical in this step and is all that is required. How?
You must write a goal. But, not just any goal. It must be a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
- S – Specific; The goal must be well defined and identify requirements.
- M – Measurable; You must be able to test the goal at the end
- A – Attainable; It is achievable? Am I in control of achieving this goal?
- R – Realistic; The goal should be within a reasonable capacity, ability and sensible time frame.
- T – Timely; The goal must have a deadline date.
Look at this goal – “I want play bass better”. When will you achieve this goal? How will you know that you have achieved it. Instead, consider this SMART goal:
“By my birthday in 2017, I will be able to perform the piece “Teen Town” on the bass at the original tempo.”
Did you click the link and have a quick listen to Teen Town? Then consider this: If you are a beginner, is this a realistic goal? Well, probably not – however, if you are highly motivated to develop your bass skills and have a strong personal desire to perform this piece, it IS still possible. You just need to allow yourself more time to get there. The revised goal is still a SMART goal but this time is rewritten:
“By my birthday in 2019, I will be able to perform the piece “Teen Town” on the bass at the original tempo.”
PRO TIP 1 – Instead of using any old date, use a date with an inbuilt event attached to to it. Eg: birthday, Melbourne Cup Day, Easter, Grand Final Day etc. This gives more emphasis on the goal and every time you remember the event, you’ll be reminded of your goal.
Here’s a few more examples of general goals rewritten as SMART goals:
- GENERAL – “I want to earn more money”
- SMART – “By Melbourne Cup Day, I have 20 gigs booked (or booked and played) that pay at least $200 each.”
- GENERAL – “I want to be better organised”
- SMART – “By end of term 1, I have created a complete list of all my projects and assignments with due dates as well as designed a weekly study timetable routine that accounts for school contact hours, extra-curricular activities and leisure time.”
- GENERAL – “I want to get fit”
- SMART – “By Tuesday 7th Feb 2017, I have decided which gym I would like to join, having visited 3 local gyms and made a decision to choose one. Within a week of that day, I have completed a fitness assessment and completed 2 workouts.”
PRO TIP 2 – Write your goals using present tense or the future perfect tense (indicates that an action will have been completed (finished or “perfected”) at some point in the future. )
There’s a lot of discussion about plans, making plans and planning.
Planning is critical, however plans need to be usable and practical as well as simple and accessible.
In my opinion, the best plans are no longer than one page.
This stage is where you take your goal and break it done into baby steps. You need a series of tasks and actions to achieve your goal and this stage is where you start to identify what is required.
How do you break it down?
Each person will have their own way. I like to start in 2 places simultaneously. Firstly, with the end in mind by working backwards. I ask myself this question – “In order to reach this step (or level) what do I have to be able to do before that?”
And secondly, at the beginning – “What’s the first thing I should do to achieve this goal?”
I’ll endeavour to create just as many steps as is required to accomplish my goal. Too many steps and it becomes too complicated. Not enough steps and you’ll lose focus and continuity towards your goal. It is a trial and error situation, until you find the format that works for you. But you must start somewhere. Start! How do you know if a lemon is sweet or too bitter? ‘Suck it and see.’
You will end up with a list of to-do’s that will be in some sequential order. The list does NOT need to be complete before you start. By using online planning and documentation tools, you can easily keep track of your goals, tasks and activities and modify them as required.
I have been using Mindmeister, which is a mind mapping tool since 2012 and is great for blocking out a plan in chunks. Details and specific tasks can be added later. Its a great tool to get your overall plan together and to keep track of everything in one place.
Looks like everyone is in agreement that action is the most important step in achieving a goal.
I find the best way to convert a task list into action is to assign each task a time and date in my calendar. Once it’s in the calendar, at that time just do the task. Too simple?