What will you have accomplished by the end of this year? Where will your business be? What will you have gained in personal achievement? Finally, what will you do to make sure your resolutions won’t be broken before Valentine’s Day?
Goal setting is only a prelude to action – it doesn’t get goals; goal getting does.
What do goal getters do differently from ordinary goal setters? Here are seven action steps that can turn you from a goal setter into a goal getter.
Step #1: Write your goals down.
A study conducted by Yale University in 1956 showed that the top 3 percent of the graduating class were systematic writers of goals. A follow-up study 30 years later, in 1986, showed that this same 3 percent was significantly more successful than the rest of the class – and, again, the main difference was that they were still writing goals.
A part of a regular program of writing down your dreams and plans should be writing down your goals. The top achieving Yale graduates didn’t just set their goals; they wrote their goals. As we turn more and more to instant and digital forms of communication, don’t neglect writing by hand – doing so helps us crystallize our goals.
Step #2: Make specific goals.
Goal getters don’t plan to upgrade their job skills; they see themselves completing a class in selling skills or management. They don’t decide to play better tennis; they imagine themselves hitting a more accurate forehand.
Step #3: State your goals positively.
Our minds conceptualize in pictures and we literally cannot visualize a negative word in a statement correctly. If you tell yourself, “I will not lose my composure with an angry customer,” or, “I will not lose this key account,” what your mind sees is you blowing your top and losing the key account. Goal getters use positive statements to get a clear picture of their goals: “I will be sympathetic to my disappointed customers and I will close the key account.”
Step #4: Set well-rounded goals.
Goal getters keep their lives in balance by setting goals in all important areas of their lives: family, financial, social, physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental.
Step #5: Put goals into time frames.
Develop a five-year plan, a one-year plan, and a quarterly plan – and don’t be afraid to revise all these plans throughout the year. It’s a good idea to break your goals down into action steps and enter each step into your daily planning calendar.
Step #6: Keep score.
Whether it’s completing a class assignment, winning a tennis match, or upselling a high-ticket customer, count your wins every day, small and large, in all areas of your life. You can use your losses to help you make accurate assessments.
Step #7: Let your goals grow from the power of your own dreams.
Write reams of dreams. Everything you’ve ever wanted. Every place you’ve ever wanted to go. All the people you’ve ever wanted to meet. All the things and events you’ve wanted to see and do. All the accomplishments you’ve ever wanted to be remembered for. Write them down. Let yourself get silly. Write unrealistic dreams, write selfish dreams, write sharing dreams. All the truly great accomplishments of life began, at some time, with a dream that managed not to get muffled by society and the mocking taunts of “It’ll never happen.”
Goal getters set goals and have the stubbornness, tenacity, and persistence to hold onto a goal until it is achieved. If you can put these seven steps for reaching your goals into action for yourself, you can turn goal setting into goal getting in your life.