Today I want to share with you a simple yet effective exercise for developing and writing meaningful goals.
If you’re reading this, you already have an interest in self-improvement and success. Much has been written about the power of goal-setting. Furthermore, it has been shown that writing down your goals increases the likelihood that you will be successful in your pursuit of your goals.
Okay, so we’ve all heard of the S.M.A.R.T. goal format. Here’s an easy exercise for writing down effective goals that fit into the S.M.A.R.T. format.
There are four basic steps in the process:
- The first part starts off with an action-verb…”increase, develop, obtain, complete, etc.”
- Follow this up with a statement of nouns – what it is you will impact.
- Next, include a time-bounded statement of accountability
- Finally, add a statement about what the outcome will achieve for you.
I have found it helpful to use the following format to make it easier to structure a goal statement:
- TO:________________ (Action Verb)
- WHAT: _________________ (Quantifiable & Measurable Statement)
- BY: ________________ (Time-Bounded “Deadline”)
- SO THAT: ________________ (What The Outcome Will Do For You)
Here is an example:
- To increase
- Profit Margins from 8% to 11%
- By the end of the 3rd fiscal quarter
- So that I may re-invest that money into the business and purchase the XYZ software package, which will lead to improved customer satisfaction.
The obvious follow-on to the goal statement is answering the question “How?” Answer this question by crafting specific strategies and tactics to insure the achievement of the goal. Be creative and consider different perspectives. You have written a powerful goal statement and you know exactly what it is that you want. That should fuel your success and provide the motivation for overcoming obstacles that will come up along the way. Revisit your goal statement periodically if you get stuck and don’t lose sight of the outcome you’ve committed to.