Some people seem like natural born leaders, but most of us develop into a leader. We hone our skills, learn from our mistakes, and, God willing, grow as leaders.
Tony Robbins said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” If you have no goals, you may actually reach them. Goals are a way to measure success both personally and professionally. But setting goals can be difficult without some basic tools to follow. I have always used the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting approach.
S-Specific. A specific goal has a greater chance of success than a general goal. An example of a general goal is to get back in shape. A more specific goal would include exercising 5 days a week with 3 days a week of cardio and 2 days of weight training. The keys to this step are to answer the 6 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Which, and Why.
M-Measurable. You must be able to measure your progress and see that you are making strides in the right direction. To determine if it is measurable, ask yourself these questions…How much? How many? How will I know I have attained my goal?
A-Attainable. Your goal must be reachable. Most goals can be accomplished but you must set up a step by step plan and establish measurable timetables that allow you to succeed.
R-Realistic. This seems logical but in many cases, it isn’t. How realistic would it be for me to set a goal of becoming the President of the United States? (not that I would ever want that job). We must look at what we are willing and able to achieve.
T-Timelines. This is such an important aspect of goal-setting. Set a timeline to reach your goal and then start working backwards to identify sub-goals that you will need to complete to reach your major goal. Put together these dates so you can measure your progress. Reward yourself when you check them off.
One of the more important benefits of setting goals isn’t actually achieving your goal. It is the skills and learning you develop during the process that helps shape you as a leader and as an achiever. When executed properly, it gives us a road map to success, whether that is professionally or personally.
Abraham Lincoln is a great example of someone who persevered despite several setbacks. He failed in business, was defeated in the State House, lost elections in both houses of the United States Congress before finally becoming president of the United States in 1860. Set goals, learn from mistakes, and use setbacks as a learning process. Success will come your way when you can see the finish line.
Question: What is your method for goal setting? You can leave a comment by clicking here.