The “Secret” is a load of crap – not my words – but I get Larry Winget’s point. Just because you think about success doesn’t mean you will be successful. Success in any undertaking is hard work. Which is why most people aren’t as successful as they could be because they aren’t willing to put in the effort. Success is a planned event. If you aren’t willing to put in the time than don’t waste your time. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so. Success and being successful is a planned event.
“A good goal is like a strenuous exercise … it makes you stretch” – Mary Kay Ash
Dreams are goals with timelines. Here are some basic guidelines on setting goals. Remember to always start with the end in mind and walk your plan backwards to the here-and-now. Think of the plan as setting a SMART target.
S – Specific: Write down what you want to achieve. Don’t generalize. As Dr. Phil would say – “You’ve got to name it to claim it”. If you want to lose weight – how much weight? If you want to save money – how much money?
M – Measurable: You’ve got to be able to measure your progress. Break your target down into bite size pieces. What results do you expect to see in a week, month or in a 3-month period? If you don’t measure your progress you’ll never know if your plan is going to get the desired results. Anyone can eat an elephant – one bite at a time.
A – Attainable: Don’t set yourself up for failure. Don’t commit to completing a task in 20 minutes if you think it might take 40. Keep in mind that it’s not a sprint – it’s a marathon – be patient.
R – Realistic: To lose 20 pounds in a week might not be healthy or realistic. To lose one pound in a week may be more in line. The task must be do-able. If you think you can – or can’t accomplish the task – you’re right. You need to become your biggest cheer leader. (The little train that could)
T – Time-based: An expected date of completion is a great motivator. It helps us to create a sense of urgency. It gives us a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Keep in mind that there may be some unexpected road blocks along the way and you may have to adjust your time-line to account for those delays and detours.
Be sure to commit your plan to writing. It will give you something to refer back if you find yourself getting sidetracked or lose sight of why you are doing it in the first place. By putting it in writing you’ve given your plan the same status that you’d give any contractual agreement. Think of your written plan as a contract you’ve made with yourself.
“Planning is as natural to the process of success as its absence is to the process of failure.” – Robin Sieger
The “Secret” is – there is no secret. Nothing worthwhile achieving comes by chance. Have a plan and work your plan. Set a SMART target. – Cheers, 🙂