Tag Archives: smart goals

The Magic Formula For Creating Meaningful and Compelling Goals

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“What do I want?”

This is the most important and compelling question you can ask yourself, because without a clear answer to this question you are like a crewless boat in the middle of the ocean with no direction. You can put in a lot of effort into what you are doing, and you could be the best at what you do; but even then, without knowing what you want or where you are going, you could end up anywhere and likely it may be somewhere you don’t like.

Imagine going to a travel agent and saying, “I’d like a plane ticket please.” The agent then replies, “Absolutely! Where would you like to go?” And you respond by saying “I don’t know, just somewhere, anywhere!” The travel agent, being a helpful service person, wants nothing more than to be able to serve you; however, without clarity as to where you want to go, he is confused and doesn’t know how to serve you to your satisfaction, because where you end up may not be to your liking. Nevertheless, many people do just that, and then they turn around and blame the travel agent or give the agency a bad review because it performed poorly according to them.

Now imagine going to a restaurant and telling the waiter, “I’d like to have some dinner, please.” The waiter replies, “My pleasure! Here’s a menu for you. What would you like?” And you reply, “Oh, I don’t know, anything will do.” Again, the waiter, being a helpful service person, wants to serve you; but without clarity as to what you want he is unable to assist, so he looks at you with a confused look on his face in an effort to solicit a more specific response from you. You sigh impatiently and proceed to say, “Oh all right; look, I don’t want this… And I don’t want this… And I don’t want that….” and on and on you go, pointing at each item on the menu you don’t want and stating that you don’t want it. Now this happens to be a restaurant that prides on its wide variety of foods, so it takes you a very long time to go through the entire menu pointing out what you don’t want instead of what you do want, and by then the waiter is so confused that he still doesn’t know what it is that you do want!

It all sounds very silly doesn’t it?  Yet, many people go through life being unclear about what it is that they do want; in other words, without any goals; and like the example of the travel agent, they are lost or confused about where they are going.  Or they spend their days going on and on about what it is that they don’t want out of the menu of life (imagine how thick that menu is) instead of learning to focus and getting clear about what it is that they do want, and like the example of the restaurant, they spend months and often years without getting what they want because they were so focused on what they didn’t want instead.  And then they spend their lives complaining about this or that, or blaming this person or that person, or this circumstance or that circumstance, for not having a better lot in life, instead of taking responsibility. Can you imagine how long your personal waiter (your subconscious mind) has to wait and how much unnecessary junk it would have to sift through in order to get to what you actually do want?

As Earl Nightingale puts it in his book “The Strangest Secret”:

Think of a ship with the complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where the ship is going and how long it will take — it has a definite goal. And 9,999 times out of 10,000, it will get there. Now let’s take another ship — just like the first — only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go. I think you’ll agree that if it gets out of the harbor at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach — a derelict. It can’t go anyplace because it has no destination and no guidance. It’s the same with a human being.

So the first thing that we need to do in order to ensure we’re headed in the right direction is get clear about what it is that we want; in other words, we need a goal or outcome that is specific, measurable, achievable, and appropriate.  It must be something which we, and only we, desire, rather than something that society desires for us; in other words, it must be something for which we are 100% responsible from beginning to end. And it must be an outcome that is stated in the positive and something that we move towards rather than away from.  This is what is commonly known as “SMART Goals” or “Well Formed Outcomes.”

But having a goal, even if it meets the above criteria, is not enough. We must be able to keep the goal front and center, and we must be able to communicate the goal to our subconscious mind effectively, so that our subconscious can then do what it does best: serve us, and help us to achieve our goals following the past of least resistance.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing specific strategies to help you get clear about what you want following the “SMART Goals” model, as well as sharing strategies to embed these goals in your subconscious so that your probability of success is multiplied, so be sure to subscribe or follow me so you don’t miss any of it. It’s going to be a fun ride!

To your success!


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Achieve Your Goals Each And Every Time With This Simple Tip

I’m about to share with you a tip I recently learned which has the potential to change how you approach goals from now on.  If you’ve struggled with reaching your goals in the past, you’ll want to read this because it’s very likely that you’ve been going about it wrong.  What I’m about to share with you will not only explain why you’ve had difficulty in reaching your goals, it will also tell you what you can do about it.

Let’s start with this: Why do we set goals in the first place?  Generally, people set goals because they see their current situation as bad or wrong or as something that needs to be fixed.  They label their starting point, whatever it is, as bad, and they set goals so that they can turn their bad situation into a good situation.

But if we really think about it from an objective point of view, we’ll realize that our situation, whatever it is, is already good.  The only way a situation can be labeled as bad is if there is nothing good about it.  Imagine that you place your situation on a scale. A bad situation would register anything below zero.  So take any situation, no matter how bad you think it is, and place it on this imaginary scale.  Would it ever register below zero?  I doubt it.  If we’ve accomplished something, anything, whatever it is and no matter how small we think it is, it is already above zero and by definition, it is already good.

Now consider the emotional effect of saying “My situation is bad and I want to make it good,” versus saying “My situation is already good, and I just want to make it better.”  Which one has a better emotional effect?  Which one feels worse when you say it?  Which one has a more optimistic feel?  Which one produces better energy?  So let us begin here and agree that whatever our starting point, whatever our situation, it is already a good one, and we just want to move towards making it even better.  This shift in attitude towards viewing our situation as already good can make us feel more motivated and make us want to be more proactive in achieving our goals whereas before we might have felt ashamed, guilty, frustrated, angry, etc. and therefore unmotivated and inactive because we saw our situation as bad.

Now that that’s settled let us discuss what may prevent us from reaching our goals.  Let us say that I have a goal and set an actionable plan to double my income this year, and I make this a SMART goal, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.  It meets all the qualifications of a SMART goal, right?  But let’s think about this for a moment.  Doubling my income in and of itself is just that, an increased income, but in the grand scheme of things, it means absolutely nothing.  If I just imagine twice the amount of cash available to me sitting right there on my table, it has no effect on me.  The thought of more money alone does not even excite me.  More income in and of itself means nothing to most people.

Now if I imagine what I can do with that income, that would be a different story, wouldn’t it?  Now I can begin to feel a little more excited about the increased income because I now envision being able to afford better things, helping others in need, going on vacations, taking better care of my family, etc. This excites me.  There is a strong emotional connection to the goal, and so it seems more attractive to me and I feel more motivated to achieve it.

And herein lies the reason we may not have been achieving our goals in the past.  If our goals are not creating a strong emotional response in us, it is very possible, in fact probable, that we will give up on them midway. A goal that does not create a strong emotional response in us when we think about it is not even worth starting.  Our efforts will be half-efforts, and there will be no sense of urgency to complete it.  Is it possible to achieve a goal without having a strong emotional attachment to it?  Sure it is. But its achievement will probably not bring us much satisfaction, and we may realize that having accomplished that goal did not improve our situation at all, which was the very reason we set that goal to begin with.

Now I’m not saying that a worthy goal should not be pursued simply because it does not produce that strong emotional response in us; what I’m saying is that if we really want to pursue it, we must first ensure that it creates a strong emotional response in us.  That means that we may need to dig deeper or reframe our goal in such a way that it produces that response we’re looking for.  If we really want to set any goal and see it through to fruition in a way that will feel rewarding to us, we must do whatever it takes to create that strong emotional response when we think about it.

One final thought: we must make sure that we acknowledge any progress made in our working towards the achievement of any goal.  This is very important.  Sometimes we become disheartened or disappointed in ourselves because we did not reach the results we set off to achieve.  For instance, if we set a goal to lose 50 lbs. and we end up losing 20 by our deadline, does that mean it did not work? Does it mean we should give up? Does it mean that we’ve failed? Of course not! We made progress, and any progress towards the achievement of any goal is worth acknowledging and celebrating!  As Earl Nightingale states in his book “The Strangest Secret”:

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”

Therefore let us celebrate our success! Any progress we’ve made towards a goal that we set for ourselves automatically places us in the category of those who are successful.  So let us acknowledge our success, rewards ourselves for it, and keep pushing forward!

To your success!


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