When I talk to people about goal setting, I'm often surprised by their reactions. A lot of people tell me that they haven't gotten around to setting life-time goals and identifying their values and coming up with specific, measurable bench marks, etc...
They tell me that goal setting takes too much time and energy, and that it will require days and weeks of work and that once they have the goals they'll start to feel bad if they don't reach them.
Some of the time people tell me they do have goals, but when I ask them about what they are, they come up with vague wants and “Gee, I hope I get some day" items that change with each paycheck.
While life-time goal setting does require an initial investment of time and energy, the payoff is immediate and life changing. The good news, however, is that identifying and writing down even short term goals will give you the same benefits, and setting short term goals is a quick and effective way to develop momentum, build confidence and get some meaningful things accomplished.
If you want to see your life change in just 3 to 6 months, then follow these 5 quick rules for setting short term goals. As you'll see, accomplishing just one short term goal can change your life beyond your wildest dreams!
Secret #1: Grab a calendar. Pick a short term, manageable 3 to 6 month period to set your goals in. Short term goals tend to get you into action right away, are easier to visualize, and because of their short term nature they encourage you to set realistic, easy to accomplish goals.
Secret #2: Pick just 2 or 3 goals to work with. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to change every area of your life. Just pick a couple of areas that you want to begin changing in the next few months.
Secret #3: The goals you pick don’t have to be fully accomplished in the time period you’ve identified. This is the key! Rather, what you’re looking to do in the next 3 to 6 months is to simply develop momentum, establish a pattern, and begin getting you excited about your life again.
Great areas to set short term goals in are things like:
• Beginning or resuming an exercise routine and setting a goal to be so far along in the time frame you’ve set.
• Increasing your closing percentage by a reasonable amount.
• Having read or begun listening to a couple of books.
• Joined a dating site and begun dating again.
• Taking up or resuming a favorite hobby again.
Remember at the beginning I wrote that setting even short term goals can be a life-changing event? I know of someone who had a goal of finding and developing a serious relationship, and his short term goal was simply to join a dating site and begin dating. Well, he did that, met someone in 2 weeks, and now 6 months later, they are engaged to be married! You see, even short term goals can change your life!
Secret #4: Write your goals down. You’ve heard over and over again how much more effective goal setting is when you write your goals down. It’s totally true. Once you’ve identified your 2 or 3 goals, write down in detail what it is you want to accomplish, or what stage you want to be in at the end of the time period you’ve chosen.
Once you’ve done that, get a three by five card and write out an affirmation paragraph that describes in detail how you will feel once you’ve reached that goal. Keep it in the first person as if you’ve already accomplished that goal. Not: “I can’t wait to feel…” Rather: “It feels so good now that I’m…”
Secret #5: Make a list and start identify right now, today, what actions you can take to move you closer to your goals. Can you join a gym? Buy new walking shoes? Make 10 more cold calls today? Fill out a profile on a dating site? Take your kids to the park tonight?
Make a list of actions you can take today and take them!
Do the same thing tomorrow and get in the habit of taking an action each day to move you closer to your goals.
Follow this 5-Step method of setting short term goals and I guarantee you that your life WILL change 3 to 6 months from now.
About the Author:
Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales, works with business owners and inside sales reps nationwide teaching them the skills, strategies and techniques of Top 20% performance.