Building A Better You – How to use the Skill of Goal Setting during this difficult time to build a better future for yourself.

No one is sure exactly when this emergency will be all over but one thing that everyone seems convinced of is that when we do emerge it will be to a very changed world.

The normal we knew is gone and the likelihood is that most of us will have to create a new normal for ourselves. It is as if we are being given the opportunity and the challenge to press the reset button on our lives. For many of us this reset will not be a matter of choice as we may be compelled to start out on a new path because the job we were in or the business we had, will simply not exist anymore. Most of us do not have a lot of control over the current situation around us but what each one of us has control over is the attitude with which we face the task of rebuilding our lives and businesses when this is all over. 

A positive mindset is absolutely crucial for our new beginning. With so much devastation all around us, it can be difficult to remain positive but we really need to be convinced that having a positive affirmative mindset really will help us to build a better future. Let us try to squeeze every ounce of positivity out of this current situation and use that positivity to work on making whatever we do as successful as it is possible to be.  

It has been shown time and time again that the single most important factor in being successful in any endeavour is effective Goal Setting. Perhaps this has never been more true than in our current circumstances where the road ahead seems so unclear for so many and people are so uncertain and fearful about what the future holds for themselves and their families. 

Most of us are going to struggle in some way to rebuild our lives in this new future and using the following Goal Setting Technique will help to achieve clarity about what we really want from our lives and will help us to be in as much control of our lives as is possible in these difficult times. 

Set SMART Goals

The SMART Goal Setting technique will help us to become clear about what we really want and enable us to make a better plan to go from where we are now to where we want to be. It is a good idea to set goals for various different aspects of our life, health, wealth, relationships, business, wellbeing etc. These goals need to be written down and read every single morning. It is really important to do at least one positive thing each day to move us closer to achieving each of our Goals. 

S = Specific. 

When you go about setting any goal or target for yourself it is really important to become as clear as you can in your own mind about what you want to achieve. If you are shooting at a target you will never be successful if you are not certain where the target is actually located.  Spend as much time as you want thinking and becoming clear about what exactly it is that you want out of life, going forward. Then write it down somewhere you will see it every day. This is a hugely important step because while an idea remains in our head, it stays simply that, a thought or an idea, but when we write it down it somehow becomes crystallised and very real and is out there in the real world. 

M= Measurable

Whatever goal you set must have a measurable outcome. If your goal is business related, write down as clearly as you can where you want your business to be in three months, six months, one year or five years. If your goal is financial, write down exactly how you want your finances to look . The clearer you are about what you want, the more likely you are to achieve it.  Establish definite criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. This is how you know know when you have achieved your goals. A goal without a measurable outcome is like a sports competition without a scoreboard or scorekeeper. Put target dates and numbers on all your goals.

A= Achievable

Goals should be achievable; they should stretch you slightly so you feel challenged but defined well enough so that you can achieve them. You must possess, or be willing to attain, the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities needed to achieve the goal. We live in an age where the knowledge available to us via the Internet is almost limitless. We can upskill and retrain many times during our lives in a way that was virtually impossible just a generation or two ago. 

You can meet almost any goal you set for yourself when you plan your steps wisely and establish a timeframe that allows you to carry out those steps. As you carry out your plan, you can achieve so much that prior to this may have seemed very difficult when you started. On the other hand, if a goal is actually impossible to achieve, you most likely will get very discouraged and not even try to accomplish it. Achievable goals motivate us. Impossible goals demotivate us.

R = Relevant

Will this goal that you are setting REALLY make a difference? Goals need to be relevant to the situation at hand. 

For example, in a business setting, team members who see the relevancy to themselves and own the goals, are more likely to be successful. A goal must be something that you and your team are both willing and able to work towards. Good questions for relevancy are: Why is this important to me? To my team? To the company? Can this be accomplished? For personal goals the same criteria applies, will the achievement of this goal make life better for myself and my family. If I can answer YES to this question, very little extra motivation is required. 

T= Timebound

A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, by what date do you want to lose it ? “Someday” simply will not work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, eg “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal and have completed the first step towards achieving that goal.

So, go ahead write down your goals using this framework, make your detailed plan for achieving those goals and get to work on your plan immediately.