Setting Goals to Win in 2014

Staff Writer

Wow the New Year is here!! Maybe it’s time to set up your goals for 2014 and if not now, when?

To get you in the goal setting mood here are some great words of advice on the topic from American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn – “If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us”.

One of the most proven and simplest formats for goal setting is the “SMART system”.

SMART stands for Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Relevant – Time Bound (or timeline)

  • Specific: Your goal must be clear and well defined. Don’t be vague. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up. Write it down and keep refining it until what you want to do is crystal clear. If you are planning on a big goal maybe it’s best to break it down into smaller steps towards that goal.
  • Measurable: Be specific. How will you and any others you share the goal with know the progress? Include precise numbers, figures and dates to measure your degree of success. You can’t manage what you can’t measure otherwise you will quickly lose your way.
  • Attainable: Make sure that it's possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will demoralise yourself.  On the flip side, resist the urge to set goals that are too easy. If achieving the goal is dependent on others you may need to reframe so it only depends on you. It’s also important to check what factors could prevent your goal achievement.
  • Relevant: Goals should be relevant to the direction you want in your life and/or career as well as the values you hold. Why is achieving the goal important? What effect will it have on you? Do this and you'll develop the focus you need to get ahead and do what you want.
  • Time Bound: Your goals must have a deadline or date. It’s critical to decide when you will have reached your goal(s). When you are working to a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come that much quicker. As mentioned earlier, if the goal is large consider breaking it down with stepped or incremental timelines.


Is It Important?

Once you have completed the first step it’s now time to really confirm that the goal is important to you. Is it a “goal for the sake of a goal” or is it something that you need or want to do. What will be the benefits of achieving the goal? What reward will you receive or get by achieving the goal?

Once you have your goals and are convinced they are “true” goals, you need to put together an Action Plan. That’s a list of the activities or steps (with deadlines) that you’ll need to complete to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

Write it Down

When you have satisfied yourself about the goal, write them down in a short and easy to read format. After all you’ll want to read and revisit the document every day! Print out the goals and place a copy on your bathroom mirror to read as you get ready for work each morning. Place another copy on your desk or office wall. How about using the document as your screen saver? Maybe an abbreviated copy in the car?

Some people I have worked with share the goal with a trusted friend or partner. They can be helpful in keeping you motivated and on track, particularly if you promise to send them weekly updates on your progress.

The Research Proves It

The more often you read and revisit the written goals or share the goals with others, the more likely you’ll actually do something about them (either due to guilt or motivation). Research recently conducted by psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews shows that people who wrote down their goals, shared this information with a friend, and sent weekly updates to that friend were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated goals. The same study by Mathews also revealed that an average of 76% of the study group who wrote down and shared their goals actually accomplished them.

You’ve got the outline now it’s up to you. Make this year huge. Set your goals then go for it!

Happy New Year.


Stephen Pead is a media industry sales and marketing veteran of 30 years with significant experience in sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in providing training and coaching for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]

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