Goal setting always gets to be pretty popular this time of year. You hear a lot of techniques about how to do it and one of the most common ways is the SMART technique. I’m not writing about that here, because it’s so overused now, I don’t think you’ll care.
No matter what you use, the new year always kicks us off with a great start, right? But then somehow you lose interest. There is this cycle that we seem to get into and it goes a little something like this:
- Day 1: Whoo hoo, yeah, I’m on it this time. I’m going to [your goal here] –>
- Day 3: This is great. I can’t believe how this is changing [enter positive results] for me! I will definitely keep this up. — >
- Day 5: You know what, I’m just going to take a little bitty break…I’ll come back to it, I promise! — >
- Day 10: What was that thing I was trying to do again?
- Day 20: Start over again or drop it completely..
Part of the reason this happens is that we haven’t really developed for ourselves a tangible, exciting “why” and “what”. What I mean by this is the vision of what we want to get to and why we’re doing it was never really that clear and constant.
You see, when you are setting a goal, it’s important to identify the most clear picture possible of what you want. And doing this early in the process is one of the best ways to I learned this training in NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) when I studied with a celebrated master pracititioner, Susan Stageman, for over a year.
Yes, it took me that long to really get it and start applying the techniques . I can be kind of hard-headed, as my mom used to say. There were so many good ones, but the one that has stuck with me forever is called creating a “well-formed outcome” (WFO).
This is a very powerful way to set long-term and short-term goals so that they STICK…and really, that’s what we set them for in the first place.
So I’m going to share with you my criteria for remembering the WFO in 5 simple steps. Maybe this will keep your goal setting from being so boring. ;). I call it the PLEAS approach (as in, can I have another goal, “pleas”):
State the goal in positive terms. Describe the present situation and compare it with the desired future goal. Make sure you can see yourself having obtained the goal.
Line up the goal with your values and beliefs. For me this means lining up what I’ve asked for, or stated, to be sure it is in the will of what God has for my life. I pray and ask for spiritual guidance around the goal. You may line it up however you see fit. It’s important that your goals are a good fit with what’s important to you.
Describe the goal using “sensory” terms. What will let you know that you have attained that desired state? This is a critical piece – think in terms of what you will hear, see, and feel when you have success.
Consider if the goal is right for you in all areas of your life. Is there something that may hold you back? Is this goal right for you right now, in this place where you are?
Self-initiated & Maintained
Self-initiated and maintained. Your goal must be something that you can initiate and maintain. It must not be something dependent on other people. Make sure that your goal reflects things that you can directly affect.
If your goal, or outcome is set each time with these criteria in mind, you will have crystal-clear vision that you can hang on to and it will get you past those tough times when you’re ready to let go. OR it will bring you back to what you wanted in the first place…SUCCESS!
Share one of your clear outcomes in the comments below.
About the Author: Tanya Smith of Be Promotable is a premier personal branding & marketing coach. Her creative genius has unlocked the potential of many women solopreneurs, helping them to reinvent themselves as power players in their startup business. Claim your free instant access to a free multimedia downloads including 10 Branding Mistakes Made by Solopreneurs and 5 Secrets to Successfully Starting a Solo Business While Working Full Time at: www.bepromotable.com