Having a goal seems like the easiest thing in the world, after all dreaming of our hearts desires is automatic. However, as Diana Scharf Hunt said ‘Goals are dreams with deadlines.’
So how do we create an effective goal?
There are several key elements that I believe make a goal very powerful.
Firstly write it down!
Why? Well in 1953 a group of Harvard students were asked which of them had a specific written goal, only 3% of them had. When revisited 20 years later that 3% had accumulated more wealth than the other 97% put together!
Then you have to be specific about what you want, saying you want a career in television is very different from saying that you want to be the most in-demand producer in the UK earning at least £500,000 pa. This helps you ensure you get what you want … and you get it the way you want to get it so that your ethics and values are not compromised.
The road leading to a goal does not separate you from the destination; it is essentially a part of it. ~ Charles DeLint
In addition to this the goal should be measurable … like a route that has been planned one stage at a time and it should contain statements that you can use as evidence to prove that you have achieved some, or all, of your goal.
You will also find it much easier to attain your goal if you are solely responsible for it, there is little point having a goal that states I will get a payrise as soon as my boss thinks I deserve one!
The next thing you need to do is ensure the goal is has a deadline and I recommend ‘future pacing’ your goal which means you are writing it as if you have already achieved it. It should go like the example given below.
It is the (insert date) and I am feeling (insert emotions) because (insert goal).
I achieved this by (list milestones on route)
When you future pace your goal you visualise it as a reality, increasing your positive outlook and using the law of attraction to draw it into your life.
How does this law of attraction work? Well, in a nutshell, it means you get what you focus on. This is common sense and scientific fact.
Scientifically speaking we are all subject to a barrage of information all the time, and our brains can only process a specific amount of that information at a time. So we have something called the reticular activating system that helps us to tune out ‘useless’ information and tune in to information that we need.
To put this in the context of your goal, if it states that you are working in television, your ears will ‘prick up’ every time something to do with this is mentioned, leading you to new opportunities.
Common sense wise if you think about a problem you are more likely to find the solution than if you don’t think about it!
Also if you have a more positive outlook you are more confident and attractive to others. For example if there are 2 people going for same job, both with the right experience and qualifications, but one with a future paced goal and therefore more confidence and focus, which would you hire???
Lastly, to make sure your goal really impacts your life - read it out, at least once a day, this keeps it fresh in your mind and strong in your heart.