Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Champions set clear goals.

Post 306 will focus on setting goals like a champion.

"A person without a goal is like a ship without a rudder." -- Denis Waitley

Powerful Goals Provide A Specific Target.
“Winners compare their achievements with their goals, while losers compare their achievements with those of other people.” - Nido Qubein

A goal is a target to shoot at, a result toward which effort is directed, an outcome to be achieved. A powerful goal describes what you’ll be doing when you achieve it. Goals focus your efforts. They tell you where to shoot and which way to go.
Suppose, for example, you want to practice archery but have no target. So you shoot at nothing in particular. Without the target, your learning is likely to be slow and your progress poor. Besides showing you where to shoot, goals provide immediate feedback so you can learn. Suppose while practicing archery, you shoot at the target but can’t see where the arrow hits. Suppose six-months after you shoot, you're told that the arrow hit the second ring. This delayed feedback won’t be of much use in helping to improve your shot.
Powerful goals give immediate feedback. The sooner the feedback, the better, because the information about your miss can be used to correct your next attempt.

Powerful Goals Create A Picture.
"If you want to reach a goal, you must 'see the reaching' in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal." -- Zig Ziglar

Vaguely defined goals such as "improving communications," or "earning more money" make them difficult to achieve because they don't provide a clear picture of exactly what you're aiming for. What does "improved communications" look like? How do you know when you've achieved it? Communications with whom? If you talk about world affairs with your partner over breakfast, have you succeeded in improving communications?
Without a clear picture of the target, it’s easy to miss it. Do this a few times and you’ll feel frustrated, that you’re constantly falling short in your life. To be powerful, the target must be clear enough that you can see yourself achieving the goal.
The clearer the picture, the more magnetic its draw. The more you’re able to see yourself achieving the goal, the greater its power. "Having more fun" can be translated into a specific image, such as laughing with friends while playing volleyball at the beach. Picture yourself in such a scene and try it on, so you can begin to imagine what being there feels like.

Powerful Goals Say When
"When it's obvious that a goal can’t be reached, don't adjust the goal -- adjust the action steps." - Chinese Proverb

Timelines help to bring the pieces together. Goals with no specific completion date make it impossible to set a timeline for planning and completing action steps. Such open-ended goals weaken motivation and encourage procrastination. Timelines must be realistic if the goal is to be powerful. Unrealistically short deadlines can trigger panic, provoking a "Why bother?" attitude, and generally generating a negative perspective. However, a deadline that’s too short is usually better than no deadline at all. Unrealistic deadlines are usually easy to spot thus giving you an opportunity to readjust them to a more realistic time frame.

Victor Borge tells a story about the man who invented a new soft drink. He started with a drink called '1Up' but after meeting with no success he went on to invent '2Up', then '3Up', each time without success. He continued on all the way to '6Up' finally dying in despair, a broken failure. "But", shouts Borge, "He don't know how close he got!"

Brian Tracy cautions that when you first set a new, big goal and begin moving towards it, your progress will often be quite slow. You may be frustrated and think of giving up. The bigger your goal, the further away it will seem. You may have to work on it for a long time before you see any progress at all. But this is all part of the process of achieving your goal. Be guided by the 20/80 rule. . . . For the first 80% of the time that you’re working toward your goal, you’ll only cover about 20% of the distance. However, if you persist and refuse to give up, you’ll accomplish the final 80% of your goal in the last 20% of the time that you spend working on it.

So, set your mind on achieving a definite outcome and see how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass. “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” according to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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