By Antonio Graceffo
“I believe in setting some easily attainable goals. Then, once I have achieved them, I can move on to harder and harder goals.” Said Steve Martin. “First I want to become the master of time space and dimension. Then, I want to go to Europe.”
We all know that the only way to get anything done in life is by setting goals. But setting goals can be a tricky business. What if you set a goal of earning one million dollars this week? You probably won’t reach that goal. And if you fail, this will discourage you from trying next week. In fact, if the goal we set is too high, we won’t even begin to try and reach it.
So, in setting goals, we have to be realistic.
“My goal this week is to lay on the couch.”
Yipee! By Sunday afternoon, after the Jets game, you were a success.
This goal is attainable, but not particularly challenging. Achieving this goal won’t necessarily lead us to success.
When setting goals, use the acronym SMACT.
Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Challenging and must include a time limit.
Specific: “I want to do really well” is not a good goal. How are you defining “really well?” I want to get rich” is not a specific goal. How are you defining rich? A specific goal could mean the exact dollar amount you hope to earn for the week, month, or year. Or, it could be the number of sales you hope to make, or the number of calls, presentations, or doors you want to do. If you don’t set a specific goal, how will you know weather or not you have achieved it?
Measurable: Goals must be measurable. “I want to make more phone calls” is not enough. You must state the number of calls you wish to make. Setting your goals as numbers allows you to measure and monitor. You can track your progress. You can compare yesterday to today. And you can measure your percentage increase and improvement. Set goals as measurable parameters and you will feel a great sense of satisfaction when you achieve them.
Attainable: your goals must be attainable. If your goal is too high, you will fail. You will be discouraged from trying next time. By setting a series of attainable goals, you build your self-confidence and your self-esteem. Each time you set a new goal, you can make it slightly higher than the previous goal. This way, you are always striving for an attainable win.
Challenging: Goals must be challenging. You are setting goals to help motivate yourself to succeed and improve. If your goals are all things you have already done. Then you are not challenging yourself to improve to go the extra mile. Each time you achieve a goal, set the next goal slightly higher. Challenge yourself to fulfill your full potential.
Time limit: Goals must have time limits. It is not enough to say that you will do this or that, because then it is not a goal, it is a dream. And ten years later of you still haven’t achieved this goal, you can kid yourself into believing you will achieve it next year. By setting a time limit for your goal, you allow yourself to see the finish line. You will be able to pour on that extra burst of speed and energy to reach your deadline. Also you force yourself to admit that you have failed if you don’t meet a deadline.
If you fail to meet a deadline, you can reassess your goals and see if they were too challenging or if the deadline was too tight. Or maybe the problem was that you were too lazy or unfocused. Find out why you failed, reassess your goals and your behavior, and start all over again.
Remember in sales, it doesn’t matter what you did on your biggest day. It matters what you do on your average day.
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