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GAINMORE Advantedge Potential to Performance Success System – Goals

SMARTening up Your Goals

SMARTening up your goals – Gain your Goal Setting Advantage For far too long, consultants, trainers, gurus and leaders have been misleading us about goal setting. We keep hearing the same myth that people with written goals achieve greater success in life. I fell afoul of this story myself – after all, it came from the pages of a famous author and I’ve seen it repeated again and again – most recently in an article published by the Professional Golfers Association. The trouble is that this story becomes linked with the concept of setting SMART goals, for which there is some evidence, but written goals? So, I felt that it was time to set the record a little straighter and based on just a little bit of real research… Goal-setting is one of those things that people, it seems, are near unanimous on its importance to life, career, success, achievement. And there are a great many speakers who advocate goal-setting. The latest ‘fad’ in this is The Secret – Rhonda Byrne’s now famous TV/Film Documentary which, in a nutshell, purports that people who envision what they want will attract its actualization into their life. Now, I’m not going to detract from this appealing idea because there is something in it – but it isn’t new by any means, it’s been written in the Bible for several hundred years. There are others including Zig Ziglar and Anthony Robbins – both of whom quote an oft-used story about the effectiveness of goal-setting: This is the Yale Study of 1953 – some say it is Harvard, and some challenge the year – it matters not, since the study is an urban myth. Let me remind you of […]

Where are you leading you to? 7 steps to your new goal

You already know that you really need to have a clear goal in your personal development as a leader. Without a goal you don’t know where you are going. And that’s exactly where you will end up… drifting somewhere… maybe it’ll be great, maybe it’ll be a waste of your time. Here are the 7 steps to your new leadership development goal:

Who is in your Inner Circle?

The people closest to you can raise you up or tear you down. Take a long hard look at those who are in your inner circle and fill it, if necessary with people who build you up.

Develop SMART goals in each area of your life.

Know specifically what your goal is, know how you will measure it, make sure that you can attain it (with the help of your inner circle). Make sure your goal is realistic (if someone else has done it, it is!) And put your stake in the ground for time. When will you achieve this goal? Can it change, sure it can… you can move the goal posts anytime you like.

Breakdown your bigger, longer term goals into smaller, shorter term chunks.

Any goal worth having is going to take time to reach. Breaking it down into smaller steps makes it much more manageable. I recommend that you “think week’ – after all you can pretty well predict a week ahead. But a month… that’s tough, all sorts of things could happen in a month. For example, establish steps that you will have completed by Friday each week (time to celebrate at the weekend!)

Work with an accountability partner. Check with your inner circle regularly to review your progress.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could trust yourself to […]

Outcome goals – some issues

So our SMART goals are useful and will benefit. The problem facing many people with regard to ‘Outcome’ goals is that there is an element that is outside the power of the individual.
An example of the potential issues with an ‘outcome’ goal comes from a rather sad testimony from one particular research participant:
“My goal was to have $3 million in the bank for my retirement by age 55. I achieved my goal with great satisfaction early at age 43. Unfortunately my bank was at the centre of a fraud and went under. 16 years later, I am still working and slowly rebuilding my goal. So, goals are important and we need to know what we want to achieve in life – just choose a goal only including yourself and don’t leave all of it in one place.”
Outcome goals are most often subject to others and to the environment. The greater the attainability of a goal through yourself only – I.e. Your own performance – the more you are in control of goal achievement. Goals that have a high dependence on others and/or external circumstances are considerably more difficult to influence.
As an extreme example, one survey participant has goal to win the lottery! Now there are certain things that you can do to increase the likelihood of this becoming reality, buying tickets is a useful component, but how many? Interestingly, another participant who had a ‘money’ goal did indeed achieve their goal – through winning the lottery! Though that wasn’t the original plan and they rated themselves ‘somewhat satisfied’ in having completely achieved their goal.
Whilst touching on monetary goals, another participant reminds us that being specific about your goal is important:
“My goal was to be […]

Why set goals?

Few people would argue that you do not need goals, though some try. We’ve learned what is a goal, and we’ve learned the theory behind why they need to be SMART. We also know about the goal setting process. But where is the evidence that we really need to set goals?
Edwin Lock and Gary Latham have undertaken a great deal of leading research about goals and goal-setting and neatly suggest that setting goals implies dissatisfaction with the current condition and a desire to attain an outcome Locke and Latham, 2006.
Why Specific and Stretching?

In Locke and Latham’s 2006 study and previous articles, there is an emphasis on the positive relationship between goal difficulty and performance. Locke and Latham, 1990; Locke and Latham, 2002. That is, the more difficult the goal is to achieve, the higher the level of performance is manifest – albeit moderated by commitment to the goal. Earlier studies had already identified that specific and difficult goals led to greater performance than easy and/or vague goals Latham and Lee, 1986
Commitment to achieving a goal – Attainable and Realistic

Hollenbeck and Klein, 1987 suggest that an individual’s commitment to a goal (building on Locke’s research and many others) is dependent on a combination of the expectancy that the individual has of achieving success, and the difficulty of achieving the goal. In the commonly used mnemonic, SMART goals, this is usually considered as the ‘AR’ of SMART – Attainable and Realistic. Though Hollenbeck and Klein help point out that when we set a goal, it may well seem that the goal is attainable – I can do everything that I need to do to achieve this and am prepared for the cost in time, […]

What is goal setting?

So, now we know what a goal is… Inadvertently, or deliberately, people asking us when young “what do you want to be…” have set us on a process of goal-setting. They are asking us to peer in our mind’s eye into the distant future and describe our goal. With little worldly experience, we most likely think of people we admire that through their job demonstrate what is valuable to our young minds.
What would you like to achieve in X years that having achieved it will satisfy your personal values? Would you ask a ten year old that question? No? It’s unlikely that they would understand – but with the massive leaps in education and increasing pressure on children to know a whole lot more than the current generation of mature adults, they may well be asking you that question and be surprised if you can’t answer it. I digress, but we are effectively asking that when we say “what would you like to be…”
Goal-setting is a process by which we choose our intended result, decide what we want to achieve in the longer-term AND determine HOW we are going to attain the goal (i.e., the strategy). Therein lies the problem for many people in regard to goal-setting… the process necessarily includes the strategy to achieve the goal. When relatives with kind intentions ask “what do you want to be…” the strategy they advise to achieve whatever you said, invariably refers back to the need to study hard, be a good child, don’t answer back and above all… “Eat your greens!” As you get older, the advice may become more specific and even, more useful. You begin to discover which areas of knowledge and skill […]

What is a goal?

Now we know that a goal needs to be SMART. Hold on just a moment though, what do we mean by a ‘goal’? Everyone at some point in their life has heard that it is important for us to have goals. Goals provide you a map to your future, whether in business, life, and career or indeed sport. It seems obvious, but a football team playing without a goal to aim for is just kicking a ball around. But, other than the more obvious physical goals as the target of a particular game, what exactly is a goal? And how do you know when you have achieved it? Is it even very important to have goals? A sporting goal is a useful analogy though; here we are more interested in the non-sporting variety.
The OED definition of a goal is “an aim or a desired result”. That’s useful, but I prefer the Wikipedia version which defines a goal as “a specific, intended result of strategy.” They amount, ultimately to the same thing: the intended achievement of a desired result. The dictionary definition, however, suggests that the goal exists with or without you. Why is this important? I hear some question already. Let me share an example:
On the horizon is a mountain, its peak visible on this glorious day. It is your goal. You are aiming to reach the peak of this mountain. According to the dictionary the goal is the mountain peak. According to the encyclopedia, the intended result is that you reach the mountain peak as a result of the journey (intended strategy) you are making.
What’s important, the existence of the goal or the journey to its attainment?
Let me refer briefly back to soccer… […]

SMARTening up your goals

For far too long, consultants, trainers, gurus and leaders have been misleading us about goal setting. We keep hearing the same myth that people with written goals achieve greater success in life. I fell afoul of this story myself – after all, it came from the pages of a famous author and I’ve seen it repeated again and again – most recently in an article published by the Professional Golfers Association. The trouble is that this story becomes linked with the concept of setting SMART goals, for which there is some evidence, but written goals? So, I felt that it was time to set the record a little straighter and based on just a little bit of real research…

Goal-setting is one of those things that people, it seems, are near unanimous on its importance to life, career, success, achievement. And there are a great many speakers who advocate goal-setting. The latest ‘fad’ in this is The Secret – Rhonda Byrne’s now famous TV/Film Documentary which, in a nutshell, purports that people who envision what they want will attract its actualization into their life. Now, I’m not going to detract from this appealing idea because there is something in it – but it isn’t new by any means, it’s been written in the Bible for several hundred years. There are others including Zig Ziglar and Anthony Robbins – both of whom quote an oft-used story about the effectiveness of goal-setting: This is the Yale Study of 1953 – some say it is Harvard, and some challenge the year – it matters not, since the study is an urban myth. Let me remind you of the story, you may have heard variations and the precise percentages […]

SMARTening Up Your Goals

Smartening Up Your Goals – Gain Your Goal Setting Advantage//