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Goal Kicker – The home run to Christmas
October 01, 2011

The home run to Christmas – make the most of it!

It’s hard to believe it, but three quarters of the year has passed us by and we’re now on the home run – or downhill slide – to Christmas and the next exciting round of new year’s resolutions.

So, the question is … how are your goals going for 2011?

If they’re on the right track, well great! Keep it up. But if you’re like most people, then your 2011 goals are still a long way away, or perhaps your priorities have changed?

Now, it’s easy to think that the year’s as good as gone and start on the downward spiral to next year and start with a new set of goals for 2012. But that isn’t a very satisfying outcome, so why not take this opportunity to invigorate your goals and set out to achieve something spectacular on the home stretch to 2012.

So, now is a good time to look at your goals from 2011 and analyse, review, plan and re-try. And more importantly, set yourself some goals NOW that are achievable in the next three months, so that you CAN achieve them and so you can truly end this year on a high note.

Advantage of Writing Goals

Here’s a Guest post by Jack Lundee, writer of Everything Left and Supporter of all things green and progressive, on the advantage of writing goals.

Whether you’re a professional boxer like Victor Oritz, or a prominent hedge fund manager like Daniel Zwirn, setting goals is important for achieving ultimate victory. But before you can really move forward on anything, you should have a written plan.

Surprisingly enough, only five percent of the American population actually has a written plan for success. Having all your aspirations in writing is beneficial for many different reasons.

To begin with, you’ll always have a reminder of what it is that you’re trying to do. A majority of goal setters and dreamers tend to lose sight of what it is they’re trying to accomplish. This is applicable to both short term and long term goals. Forgetting what to do in the short run can cost you over the long haul.

Next, by having written goals, you’re able to track your own progress. Similarly, it will help you to foresee obstacles and challenges that you may not have anticipated at first. You can set different timelines according to circumstance and standards. For instance, a florist will find that sales will increase towards the beginning of each year (Spring and Summer). When setting financial goals and future expenses, one can always go back and look at past records to find out exactly how much revenue was generated, along with other things like flower type and buyer demographic.

This is thinking from a business perspective, but the same can be applied to personal goals. Particularly, people find themselves making self-generated fitness regimens. And although they may base their plans on research, tracking progress and manipulating workouts will ultimately get you to where you want to be.

In accordance, it’s necessary to figure out just how long your goals are going to take. Time is one of the most important resources when it comes to properly aligning your goals. In order to achieve success, you must be ware of your time constraints. If you’re looking to train for your first boxing match ever, you’ll probably want to record everything, including each hour down to the dot. Having a written record of each various exercise along with time practiced can really give you a quantitative number of hours for success.

Lastly, writing down goals will effectively enhance the thinking process, and really help you grasp what it is that you’re trying to do. The same principle can be applied to a personal journal. Writing gives us an advantage over distracting technologies like computers. Most people would be surprised at the quality of work that comes out of writing down personal goals.

In order to really be the best at what we do, we must accept that failure will be a part of our road to triumph. But learning from your failures will ultimately help you to improve upon past goal setting methods and reach your final destination. We can always learn from our failed trials by having the capability to review exactly what it was that we did wrong. This will serve as a constant reminder of what we need to really do to be successful.

Some useful tools

Now, there are 2 FREE tools I’m going to share with you that can help you on your way – the “Success/ Failure Analysis” tool and the “Goal Progress Review” tool. These are both freely available on our website – or follow the links below.

The Success Failure Analysis

The ToolBOX on the website contains FREE forms, templates and worksheets for all your goal setting needs. In the ”Life Planning Workbook” you’ll find the ‘Success/ Failure Analysis’ tool.

This tool consists of 3 pages.

The first page of the tool is a template for performing a detailed Success/ Failure analysis for a particular task or event, and you can use this page in a couple of different ways.

  • You can record the details of 2 tasks on this page – one success and one failure.
  • Or you can just use one page per event being analysed and chose the relevant column to complete, whether the task was a success or failure.
  • Or you can use one page per event being analysed, and use both columns if some aspects of the task were a success and others were a failure. This is a good approach if there is no definite success or failure status for a particular task.
It doesn’t matter how you use this first page, the important thing is to use the prompts to get down all the relevant information on why the task was a success or a failure. The second page of the tool is a summary page. This is where you write down all the lessons learnt from all your successes and failures. This page shows you YOUR pattern of success – and this is the pattern you need to follow. This page also shows you your pattern of failure – the actions you need to avoid if you want to succeed.

The third page of the tool offers a great explanation on how to complete Page 1 of the tool [the detailed analysis] and includes some trigger questions for you to get to the heart of WHY you succeeded or failed.

The one thing this page doesn’t trigger though is the issue of ‘blame’ – it wasn’t MY fault!

If you want to blame someone or something, then blame them! [not actually to their face though]. BUT, always realise that even if you think someone or something else is to blame for your failures, YOU are still the only person in control of what YOU do. So instead of thinking, “It’s not my fault”, start thinking “How could I have managed that situation better?”.

People who fall into a pattern of blame will also fall into a pattern of failure. But like failure, LEARN from you tendency to blame and learn how to recognise when someone is going to let you down. Ultimately, YOU are the some responsible for your success or failure.

Conversely, during a Success Analysis, you also need to be honest about people who were instrumental in your success and what you can learn from them. For more information on reviewing progress and past performances, refer to the “”How to Achieve” tab on the NavBar, and read through the sections on monitoring goal progress.

Goal Progress Review

In the ”Life Planning Workbook” you’ll also find a Goal Progress Review.

It’s important to review the progress of your goals for several reasons:

  • To see whether you are achieving the deadlines on tasks required to achieve your end goal.
  • To make sure you’re still actually heading in the right direction towards your goal.
  • To make any necessary adjustments to your action plan so that it is still achievable.
  • As motivation – to see what you’ve achieved and that you’re that much closer to achieving your end goal.
It’s also a great way to learn from any mini-successes and failures you may have encountered along the way!

The Goal Progress Review provides a number of prompts to trigger your thoughts on how you are progressing. Now, we adopt the “SMARTer” goal format for setting goals – so our Goal Progress Review tool gets you to review each of these elements to guarantee that your goals stay smart.

So first of all, measureyour goal progress - goals need to be able to be measured so you can monitor progress. How you measure your goal (eg ranking system, actual measure such as weight, etc) should be established at the start of the goal setting process, along with your starting measurement. By determining your current measurement and comparing it with your starting point, you will be able to see whether or not you have progressed towards your goal.

Secondly, are you using your Action Plan - your action plan is your road map to achieving your goal, which is your end destination. If you’re not using your map, how do you expect to get there? Think about how you have set up your action plan and whether there is another method that will suit you better.

You also need to look at whether you’re achieving the deadlines on your action items – if not, why not? Deadlines are there for a reason – to keep up momentum! Perhaps your deadlines were unrealistic (don’t worry, this is common!) or your time has been directed to other more urgent activities – either way, think about why so you can adjust your action plan.

Thirdly, is the goal still relevant - Goals are established based on your situation at the time of setting them. If there has been a significant change in your life, you need to consider whether you are you still able to achieve this goal – or whether you still WANT to. Remember, goals MUST be relevant otherwise you won’t have the motivation to achieve them. Remind yourself why this goal is really important to you, and ask whether this is still the case.

And finally, consider your resourcing - is your level of resourcing (money, time, information, support) adequate? Identify any additional resource needs and where/ how you might find them.

For more information on progress reviews for your goals, refer to the “”How to Achieve” tab on the NavBar.

There are also some great commercial programs you can use to help you keep track of your goals – and if you really have trouble trying to juggle career, family and life in general as well as trying to remember to work on your goals, then I recommend you try one of them.

You could try GoalPro - it’s goal setting software, probably the most feature-rich application in the self-help industry. GoalPro includes the ability for you to easily track your goal progress and can send you friendly reminders to take action when action is overdue – so give it a go if you have trouble keeping up with your goal plan. There is a 30 day free trial too, so why not take up this offer and see if it helps your goal progress.

There’s also Goals On Track which is Web-based goal setting software that tracks goals, tasks, progress & time.

Anyway, I hope you decide to crank it up for the home run to 2012 and don’t take the downward slide. Take the time to analyse, review and re-plan (or keep your plan on track) – and achieve those goals.

Best regards

Sam Sander
Achieve Goal Setting Success
Your Money and Finance
The Success Squid

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