5 Ways to Make Your Goals Even SMARTer this Year

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In my post yesterday, I asked the question “How SMART are Your New Year’s Resolutions?”  We examined our goals to see if they were Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

Now that your goals are SMART, you may be wondering what the secrets are for turning them into reality.  That’s what I want to share with you in today’s post.  We’ve transformed our wishes and resolutions into real goals that we can actually accomplish, but how do we do that?

How do these goals that we’ve written down become a driving force in our lives that takes us down the path one step at a time?

5 Ways to Make Your Goals Even SMARTer this Year

It’s taken me a long time to figure out that I can create the perfect goals on a sheet of paper but unless these goals become part of me they are almost as useless as having no goals at all.  Never forget that your goals are exactly that – YOUR goals.

It’s your future, your road, your life that is impacted by the failure or success of these goals.  Writing goals that look great on paper, but are put into a drawer to be thought of no more, is pointless.  Your goals must be a reflection of the true you.

#1 How Will I Feel When I Accomplish this Goal?

What is it that you hope to attain through this goal?  What is it that this goal will bring into your life?  How will you feel when you cross this goal off your list?

Take a few minutes, close your eyes, and imagine what accomplishing this goal will look like in your life.  Stephen R. Covey says that

To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination.  It means to know where your’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.

Being able to clearly picture your destination, and attaching how you will feel when you reach it, is key to making your goals become a driving force in your life.

#2 Who Will I Have to Work with to Accomplish this Goal?

I’ve found that no matter how personal a goal may be there will always be others involved in accomplishing it.  As an entrepreneur, we must think about all of the people that will be part of making our goals become a reality.

How will you have to work with your employees, suppliers, clients, competitors, advertisers, investors, and so forth?  List out the people that will affected by your goal and plan how you will need to work with them.

#3 What Do I Have to Do to Accomplish this Goal?

As you have probably surmised already, spending this much time developing your goals means that a goal is much more than a simple to do list.  A goal is a conglomeration of many to do lists ordered to accomplish a greater task.

Spell out what you need to do for each goal to make it become a reality.  For example, you’ve set a goal to increase sales $100,000 this year from new customers.  What do you need to do to accomplish this goal?

If your average sales from existing customers is $1,000 each then you will need to bring in 100 new customers to reach this goal.  This means you need to bring in 2 new customers per week.

You may further need to define prospect meetings, number of leads, etc. depending on the goal.  Make sure the road to achieving the goal is clearly mapped out with everything you will need to do.

#4 Who Do I Have to Be to Accomplish this Goal?

Gandhi said that we must be the change that we want to see in the world.  In many ways, this applies to accomplishing our goals.  If our goals are really going to become a driving force in our lives then they will change who we are.

We must become the type of entrepreneurs, the type of people, who do the things and think the way that someone who has accomplished our goals does.  This could be becoming an effective salesperson, an attentive listener, an inspiring leader, or a compassionate person.

If we were already what we needed to be to accomplish our goals then we wouldn’t need to set those goals.  Unless we are willing to become the person that acts and thinks like the person who accomplishes our goals, we won’t.

#5 With Whom Will I Share Accomplishing this Goal?

Whose life will be impacted by accomplishing your goal?  Just like it is difficult to accomplish any goal without others, it is impossible to accomplish your goals without affecting others.

How will you impact the lives of those around you with your goals?  Earlier I asked you to close your eyes and imagine how you will feel when you’ve accomplished this goal.  Do the same for those around you.

Make your goals bigger than just yourself.  Expand your vision and enhance the lives of others.  These types of goals are always more rewarding than you can imagine.

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Brad's Big Feet Marketing helps people on a limited budget enlarge their online footprint using blogging & social media. His other blog, Marketplace Christianity, examines faith's role in how we earn and spend money.

Brad has written 95 awesome articles for us at Bradley A Harmon

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Alison Moore Smith January 11, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I'm a freakish Covey fan. Read 7 Habits in 1987. One of his sons and daughter-in-law were good friends of ours in college. In fact, my homeschooling book that is coming out this year is the application of his 7 habits to homeschooling.

Sound, time-tested principles to use for goal setting.

Glad to see you back in the saddle, Brad. Hope you had a great holiday.
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Brad Harmon January 12, 2010 at 10:02 pm

My wife finds listening to him extremely boring, but when we are on road trips I like to listen to him. He keeps my mind racing even if he is a bit monotonous to the ear. Is that your book in that you are the author, or just your book in the sense you are using it?

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whatawebsite January 11, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Hi Brad,

I like the Gandhi quote – a lot

Cheers

Will

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Brad Harmon January 12, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Gandhi is a fascinating person. It's a shame that his early experiences with Christianity are still the same experiences many have today in churches all across the United States and the world. I wonder what the world (or at least India) would have been like had he came across the true Christianity he was hungry for in his youth.

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@RodKirby January 12, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Hey, Brad, goals are interesting because (as you mentioned) there's a lot in accomplishing them. I find that keeping my goals in front of me whether it's on paper or in a document on my computer helps me to tackle them. Question #2 is very important because, as entrepreneurs, we feel like it's really all on us to make "it happen." Sometimes we have to reach out to those that are close to us, our networks, and communities to make it happen. And if we get the help we seek it's an epic win for them as well as us.

Great post man, keep up the good work!
My recent post 50 Free Resources to Help You Win in 2010

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Brad Harmon January 12, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Not only do we often feel like it is all on us, but those who are required to help us attain these goals often feel that it is all for us as well. It's why I think #2 and #5 go hand in hand. Our goals should create win-win situations, but if they are purely selfish in nature those that we need to help us accomplish them become more of an obstacle to hurdle rather than a sharer willingly helping us to succeed.

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Phillip Gibb January 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Great points.
It makes no sense to have goals without some sort of strategy and reward system. One has to visualize obtaining them to see the steps involved, especially those that can't be done alone. Maybe it to get 100 diggs that requires friends, a call to action and set of really good posts. Followed by a rel good slice of chocolate cake as a reward – I can see that cake right now, hmmmmm, lol
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Brad Harmon January 12, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Mmmm chocolate cake. That sounds so good in the middle of a 3 week fast. I don't think we use reward systems as much as we should as entrepreneurs. I use one for my 6 year old son and it works wonders, but I seem to reward myself randomly at will. I would be much more effective as an entrepreneur if I tied these rewards to goals. Great points.

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Jared P Little January 13, 2010 at 12:48 am

Begin with the end in mind. I love that I always start their and work back. I have some lofty goals but I stretch them out over years once I realized the time and effort and money it would take to do it. Know where you want to get it is so important. Very nice post Brad!

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Brad Harmon January 13, 2010 at 9:42 pm

It tends to be so much easier to accomplish our goals when we can visualize what it looks like when they are completed. Wayne Dyer says that when he starts a new book he has his publisher create a mock jacket cover. He wraps that cover around an existing book and puts it on his desk. He says it is easy at that point, he just has to fill in the middle. I like that.

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Brad Harmon January 13, 2010 at 9:42 pm

It tends to be so much easier to accomplish our goals when we can visualize what it looks like when they are completed. Wayne Dyer says that when he starts a new book he has his publisher create a mock jacket cover. He wraps that cover around an existing book and puts it on his desk. He says it is easy at that point, he just has to fill in the middle. I like that.

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Bradley J. Moore January 13, 2010 at 11:16 am

I always find it interesting that the very act of setting goals often starts the momentum. Even if I am not checking them every day, I always see that when I go back to look at them, many have come to fruition. It creates some kind of invisible intention that goes before us.

All the best to you in achieving your goals for 2010!

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Brad Harmon January 13, 2010 at 9:44 pm

I think that is especially true if you put in all the effort I described in this post and the previous one. Having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish is so critical to making the vision become reality. The Bible says that where there is no vision the people perish. I think that is true in our lives as entrepreneurs too.

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Nicholas Cardot January 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Those are great questions. I really like the way that you think about it. I also like that you're still thinking about it two weeks into the year. Many people, I'm sure, have already forgotten about their goals and resolutions for 2010.
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Brad Harmon January 20, 2010 at 7:19 am

I must confess that it's two weeks out because I have been off to a slow start in 2010 with posting after my holiday break, but I agree that the timing may be good for those who have already forgotten about their resolutions.

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Pete from gas grill reviews January 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I think number 4 is really true. I remember once reading that the hardest part of becoming a millionaire is not making the million, it’s becoming the person you need to be to earn a million.

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Brad Harmon January 15, 2011 at 3:27 am

It’s so easy to think about all of the things we need to do, but much harder to become the person that does them. Thanks for the comment Pete.

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