A clear plan lets you know what to do in order to achieve your desired outcomes and to make your vision a reality. Goals serve three primary purposes. They direct your efforts, attention and resources towards goal-relevant activities and away from goal-irrelevant ones. They energize you. More important goals lead to greater effort than lower level goals; “put your money where your mouth is”. Finally goals affect your persistence, if you really want IT you’ll keep trying, correcting and moving forward until you get what you want or decide it is no longer important relative to your vision. To spell out a clear plan create SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic, Time-lined).
- Specific: Being specific about the details of what and how (your actions and behaviors) is crucial because it gives you a lighted path to follow.
- Measurable: Measurable goals identifies when success is attained.
- Action-based: The actions or behaviors that you want to be doing on a consistent basis in 3 months. Each week, you can take new incremental steps that will to you move closer and closer to your goals. Gradual change leads to lasting change.
- Realistic: If your goal is realistic, success will follow. Quick wins and victories are important. Being successful at achieving one goal helps you to move forward with other goals. You don’t need to do it all at once.
- Time-lined: Being specific about the details of what, how and when is crucial because it gives you a timeline in which to accomplish the goal. Set goals in 3- month periods to keep moving towards your vision. At least monthly, check your progress toward your goals to celebrate your achievements (big and small) and readjust if they are not challenging enough, are too difficult at a point in time, or if a major disruption emerges.
Example of a vision and related SMART goals
|My Vision: My fitness business is thriving, with full classes at least 4 times a day. “Record keeping is a bear” to keep up with so many students. Many people are benefiting from enjoying their experience at my fitness studio and tell others about this. I have help in the studio teaching and feel confident to leave “my baby” so that I can balance my life with friends, music, art and my family. I feel good about myself and share that with others.|
|My Motivators: It feels good to know what I am here for, it reminds me to stay connected. I want to keep my word to myself and others.|
|My Resources: Joy, self-expression, love, freedom & independence, integrity. Knowing what I am good at, I am experienced and have trained many teachers. My academic degree. I am good at writing, intuitive, and at seeing the potential in others. My enthusiasm and sense of inspiration. I want to live out my values|
|My Challenges: My confidence wavers. Specter of depression. ADD tendencies. Can be cautious/tentative. Cycle through emotions, up and down.|
|Strategies I use to address challenges: Not to take everything personally. Living out my values. Reach out to colleagues. Remind myself of my strengths. Taking time to be proactive and attending to deadlines.|
1. I have completed my advanced certification by September 1.
2. Attendance at the studio has increased two-fold (10 students per class average) by August 30.
3. Twice a week I am playing with my band.
4. Once a week I am doing partner yoga with my husband.
5. Three time a month I am attending professional networking events.