Do you have a goal, something you really want to have – do, but find that you cannot motivate yourself? It’s too much work and you feel lost at the daunting idea of planning your steps? Just saying I have a dream, or I would like to have this will not be of service for you to succeed. Setting yourself up for success means to achieve goals, hence you need to know what you want and what you need to do to reach your them, and be successful.
If you want things to happen, you need to set goals. To accomplish your goals, however, you need to know how to set them. You can’t simply say, “I want” and expect it to happen. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, and ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between there are some very well defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish.
The literature shows many ways to set goals – one thing is that they have to be SMART:
Do you always apply the rule? The simple fact is that for goals to be powerful, they should be clear, realistic and motivating. The internet is full of articles explaining how to set SMART goals, but what literature hardly helps you with is in the process before you can speak your goal out loud. To set goals you need to just want something, you need to know and understand the goal setting process.
The Five Golden Rules
I want to share with you a model that is simple, and will support you not only when describing your goals and setting an action plan, but is also a great model to keep you on track and motivated. The GROW model is a 4 step model that is not only great for setting goals, but you can also use it as a diagnostic tool, when managing meetings or you need to make an important decision, and there are many factors that play a role.
Spend some time looking at the things you want, what you have and the resources you need to achieve your goals.
- Reflect on your Goals
Reflect on issues like: What do I want, have or be? For how long have you been thinking about these goals? Am I moving into the direction of my dreams? How far am I? How much energy do I want to spend in achieving these goals? And are my goals measurable goals with deadlines?
Write them down and make sure your goal is clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don’t provide sufficient direction. Remember, you need goals to show you the way. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up.
- Look at your Reality
Before you can start achieving your goals you need to reflect on where are you now regarding your goals. What is the situation today and what do you have: skills, resources, time, etc. You also need to know what are the elements you are missing and what are the thoughts you have about yourself and your goals and what do you need to know, including your feelings and believes before you can draft an action plan.
To help you here are some questions you can ask yourself: What is stopping me from moving forward? What do I need to have or learn? What is my present situation? What do I need to let go? Who might be involved – might be benefited or get damaged?
Write your answers down and move to the next step.
- Step out of the box and discover what are the Obstacles and Opportunities
To be successful you need to stay motivated and there is nothing more demotivating than finding obstacles every step along the way, that is why you need to think about all the real and possible obstacles. After you identified the obstacles, consider the positive and possible elements. This will help to see opportunities in the obstacles.
The following questions are a few questions that will support you in discovering possible obstacles: Do I have the time and energy to invest in my goals? Am I going to enjoy the process? How do I manage setbacks and do I procrastinate? Now have a look at your opportunities. Be creative, be effective, and let your imagination fly. One of the questions you can ask yourself is: What if…?
Think of questions like: what if I start my own business? What kind of business? What if we expand our production, what are the market opportunities?
- Make the shopping list – answer the W questions
Once you know your options you open up to opportunities and possibilities. Look at all your answers. You are now ready to draft an action plan. When planning be practical, ingenious and willing to let things happen.
Think of issues like: what resources are there, you need and can use now? What is the very first step you need to take? And the second? Will others suggest the same steps? What are the benefits of taking these steps? What if this does not work, what are my other options? Who is doing what and when? How do we keep track of the process?
- Choose for elements that motivate you
When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you. This means, making sure that they are relevant to you, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture, then the chances of you putting in the work to make them happen are slim. Motivation is key to achieving goals.
Goal Setting Also Valuable in Business
This model will serve you well with any project you are working on. It is simple, not only for you but for your team members as well. Include the people who are working with you from the beginning of the process. Enjoy the brainstorming sessions as many things will happen and many ideas will come afloat. You do not need to solve them all at once; you can come back later to use them. Another benefit of this model is that roles will be defined and people will have ownership. Resources will be allocated only when needed increasing efficiency and saving you a lot of money and time. When you use this model you will be in a good position to evaluate progress, performance, efficiency and keep steering where you want to be.