Setting goals comes with the job for most leaders. You set goals for yourself, work with your team on setting their goals, and some of you,  work with your kids on setting goals. After all, in one form or another, goal setting is the practice of successful people. Unfortunately, the act of goal setting by itself does not guarantee goal achievement. Along with your determination and ability to say “NO”, these 7 tips can turn your goal setting into goal getting.

1. Be S.M.A.R.T.: Set S.M.A.R.T. goals. This goal setting acronym approach has been around for a long time and it still works! You increase your odds of reaching your goal if you answer yes to all of these as you set your goal:

· Specific – have I described details rather than general ideas of the goal?

· Measurable – can someone else measure and see that I have reached my goal?

· Attainable – is this goal actually reachable within the time frame allotted?

· Realistic – even if it is reachable, is it realistic? am I willing to do what it takes to reach it?

· Timeline – do I have a defined deadline for reaching this goal?

2. Document : If it’s not written down, it’s not going to happen. The act of writing your goal down creates a sense of commitment and also allows you to read it often. Reading your goal gives your mind more confidence that achieving it is possible.

3. Measure your progress : If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Period. Find a simple way to measure your progress on a weekly basis to allow you to make the shifts necessary to course correct along the way.

4. Know what’s in it for you: Why is this goal important to you? Think about what the benefits are to you in reaching this goal. What rewards are associated with reaching this goal? Do you want those rewards bad enough? If not, you are not going to stay committed to reaching this goal. The bigger the why, the greater chance to succeed. If the “what” is clear and the “why” is big enough, you will figure out the “how”.

5. Be accountable to someone: Get help. Don’t do it alone. Connect with a trusted advisor, mentor or better yet, hire a performance coach to help you through the process especially if you are pursuing a large or long-term goal. Being accountable to someone makes a huge difference.

6. No magic tricks: Resist magically turning excuses into reasons. I have witnessed people magically turn an excuse into a perfectly justifiable reason for not achieving a goal. This powerful magic trick can only be reversed by the magician who performed it. We are all magicians from time to time, guilty of accepting situations as final and giving up on goals. If you want to reach your goals (especially those worthwhile difficult ones) you must fight the urge to perform and leave the magic to Houdini.

7. Impress yourself: Set goals that stretch your comfort zone and make sure to “bite size” your goal into daily digestible actions. This will help you continually move forward one step at a time, as well as help you build momentum through accomplishing and impressing yourself daily.

LEAP of the day

  • Take a few minutes to crystallize your goals and write them down along with your deadline, your reward and your daily accountabilities. Improved goal setting will lead you to great achievements. How great? Well, that is up to you. The great thing about goals is, the more goals you reach, the more goals you want to get.
  • Set up a simple way to track and reward your progress. Remember, what gets measured…gets DONE!

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Source: Inspired by fellow coach Kevin Kearns.

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