The Secret to Setting and
Achieving Your Goals
By Linda Nacif
Melissa was a
stellar agent in a small real estate agency. After years of being
the top earner in her company, she moved from that small agency into
one of the largest real estate firms in the country. Melissa felt
like she was moving up in the world and had high expectations to
achieve even more in her new job. Unfortunately, after a few months
of lackluster sales, Melissa felt like she wasn’t living up to it.
She couldn’t understand why – she was doing the same kind of
prospecting, honing her closing skills and working longer hours. But
she didn’t know exactly what her objective was. Melissa was missing
a goal. She was trying to achieve a vague dream, without a map or
action plan to reach it.
There’s no big
secret to achieving what you want out of life. The way to make your
goals a reality is by empowering yourself with intellectual,
emotional and practical tools, and converting them into habits. Here
are the seven tools you need to achieve your professional or
Define your dream:
Many of us dream about getting a promotion, earning more money or
changing careers. Have you ever asked yourself why it is that once
you have the promotion, the additional spending money or the new
job, why you still aren’t happy? The reason is probably because you
haven’t defined what your dream really is. It might not be the
promotion, but just recognition for a job well done; nor the extra
cash but the means to surround your family with comfort; and
changing careers, could be because you think that a new career will
give you the excitement and enthusiasm you have lost.
It’s not until
you know what your dream truly is that you will be able to do the
work necessary to achieve it and receive the satisfaction and
rewards you deserve. Now, without censoring yourself, say out loud:
“My dream is…”
Convert your dream into a goal:
The difference between a dream and a goal is a written date. Writing
down a specific goal and a date forces us to do things we might
never have done. It permits us to measure our progress and keep us
focused on reaching that dream.
Get a pen and
paper and write down your specific dream or goal, along with the
date when you are going to achieve it. If you won’t commit to paper
and pen, you won’t be able to commit to the reality of accomplishing
the task when faced with challenges. Write it down in your calendar
or PDA so that you can keep track of your progress and make the
efforts necessary to reach it.
goal on post-it notes
and put them everywhere: Each morning and evening before you
go to sleep, read your goal. Envision yourself as that successful
person. Feel the luxury of that new car. Smell the ocean from your
dream vacation. See yourself sitting at the desk of your own
company. Make that goal yours in your mind. When you write down your
goal, make sure that it is specific and motivates you.
“On April 30, 2008, I, Henry Smith, have been promoted to regional
sales manager. I am in charge of a productive sales team, where each
member is respectful of my position. My job is fulfilling and
challenges me. I have the ability to balance the life I have at work
and the life I have at home. I feel confident, secure and free to be
Make a list
of your assets and resources: An asset could encompass your
education, experience, or personality; it could include the people
you know, your bank account, your personal appearance and even your
car. If you have a hard time coming up with your assets, ask your
friends, colleagues and family about your good qualities.
pursuit for a promotion to regional sales manager, he might say he
is hard-working, determined, honest, organized and intelligent. He
also has a good sense of humor and likes people. All of these
qualities would be good for a manager.
resources, such as the people you know, your education and
experience can help you achieve your goal. Henry knows that his
neighbor Sam works in the same industry. He’s talked to him about
sports, but has never brought up talk about their industry or asked
how Sam got to his position as vice president. Perhaps Sam would be
willing to help, or knows someone who could. Your education is
another resource – does your school have an alumni association or
networking events that you could attend? Do you need additional
education to make your goal a reality?
Write down the obstacles:
The moment you
set a goal, you and others will find a million reasons why you can’t
or shouldn’t go after it. Contrary to a popular book, you will not
attract obstacles or the naysayers, just because you are aware of
them. In fact, the purpose of preempting barriers will facilitate
your recognizing them when they occur and not use them as excuses to
an obstacle list could include:
afraid of failure.”
“I am too
old for the job and no one will promote me.”
“I am too
busy with my home life to put the time into getting promoted.”
“I am not
experienced enough to lead a large staff.”
It is obvious
that Henry wants something but is sabotaging himself with negative
self-talk. Before he begins his action plan, Henry needs to work on
his belief system and find out where it comes from.
Write down why you want this goal.
Do you deserve to be happy and have what you want? What are you
willing to sacrifice to achieve it? Do you want this more than
anything else and are you willing to face anything to achieve it? If
your “why” isn’t strong enough, you will not achieve your goal and
will be able to blame the perceived obstacles.
should look something like this: “I want to become regional vice
president because I want to proud of my accomplishments. I want my
family and friends to feel happy about my achievements. I want to do
more for myself and my family, and by accomplishing this goal, I can
provide them with the lifestyle they deserve.”
Write your action plan.
A book is read
from the first page to the last, but goals are set from the end and
work up to the beginning. Where do you want to be in twenty years,
ten, three, one year, a month from now?
Most of us
spend our time on putting out fires, helping others and dealing with
life’s daily activities, many of which have nothing to do with our
dreams. From now on I want you to focus, focus, focus. Everything
you do should lead you to achieving your goal. Notice how you spend
your money and what percent goes towards achieving that goal.
Now you know
what your goal really is, you have written down the exact date and
possess a strong action plan. Who do you have to call? What do you
have to read? What do you have to buy? Who do you have to be so that
you can take back your power? Guess what? It’s no secret - you are
already that person…it’s just a matter of time!
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