Co-creating Your Ultimate Destiny Goals Worksheet for Making a Difference and Leaving a Legacy:
Chapter 4: Set S-M-A-R-T Goals
“Set priorities for your goals…. A major part of successful living lies in the ability to put first things first. Indeed, the reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first.” – Robert J. McKain
Now that you know how powerful the idea of expressing gratitude can be, we are going to look at the idea of creating a S-M-A-R-T goal.
S-M-A-R-T Goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Dated. This step involves making a list of goals that will lead you to unfold your potential and create the life you want. To begin, look back at the things you wrote down in Chapter 2. These were visions of what you want, your ideal life, and what your potential could become.
Review these visions and begin to make a list of goals that will move you toward them. Your first goals may involve starting something new, stopping a useless habit or activity, educating yourself in an area that interests you, doing research to help you make a decision or figuring out how to turn a problem into something positive.
There are hundreds of books, magazines, and journals on the subject of human potential—learning to learn, learning to speak, raising self-esteem, better communication, handling money and investments, developing your intuition, exploring spirituality, starting a business, raising children, restoring your health, discovering your creativity, developing your life purpose, building a financial legacy for a cause or achieving peace of mind. People you know and the Internet can be goldmines of helpful information.
Don’t avoid taking a path into your future just because it is new, you don’t understand how it works, or it sounds strange. On the other hand, be careful to evaluate all new information and its source. Also keep in mind that what is helpful for someone else may not be helpful for you.
As you write your goals—and they must be written—be sure they are specific. Avoid generalities like, “I want to get a better job,” “I want to improve my health,” or “I’m going to be more spiritual (more creative, more peaceful, etc.).” Instead, be specific and say, “I will have a job I enjoy, that uses my talent on a regular basis.”
Other examples of being specific are, “I will create a week’s worth of healthy meals and a grocery list of healthy foods to buy, then go shopping for them;” “I will read one book on spirituality (creativity, peacefulness) each month, and join a discussion group that explores this topic;” or “I will find a life coach or therapist to work with me to develop my spirituality (creativity, peacefulness).”
Next, make sure the goals you set are measurable. If your goal is to get a job in the field of music, it would be specific but not measurable. Transform that goal to something such as “I will call and then visit one musical group or studio each week to find out if they are looking for a musician and to learn at least one new aspect about the music business.” That is clearly a measurable goal. Once you’ve set your goals, track your performance. Get a calendar or planner with lots of room to make notes each day of what you actually do.
Some of your goals will be more easily attainable than others, and it is actually good to have some goals that present a significant challenge. They may even seem impossible from your current perspective. That’s okay—
as long as you can at least imagine that something could change that would allow you to achieve your goals or move you in the right direction.
It is best to set both short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals should be something you intend to accomplish within the next 90 days. Long-term goals typically involve more serious challenges and, thus, require more time. As you achieve the short-term goals, you will begin to experience a sense of satisfaction and success, which will help you transition to the long-term goals.
Long-range goals may not seem attainable when you begin. However, as you work toward them, you’ll begin to discover ways to reach them, and new conditions will emerge to help enable their fulfillment.
Realistic means that your goals are both authentic and important to you. If you have problems with your vision, it’s not realistic to set the goal of becoming an airplane pilot. Instead, try to determine a goal you can accomplish that allows for your physical limitations, if those limitations cannot be changed.
Nor is it realistic to set goals to please someone else. Goals should be yours. They should come from your desires and motivations. Having said this, if someone you care about insists that you improve your communication with them, you may take on a goal that is initially not your own, but will likely become yours as you experience the delight of discovering what good communication can do in your life.
Time-dated means that you want to accomplish them by a certain date. You are going to push—in a playful, effortless way—to reach them by your target date. In some cases, it may not matter if you miss the deadline, as
you can set a new time frame. However, if you are lax about the date again and again, it defeats the purpose of setting a time-frame for accomplishment.
Process-oriented goals—things that you do on a daily or weekly basis—may not necessarily have a completion date. Let’s say you have a goal to practice music, meditate or prepare healthy meals for one hour daily. Once it becomes a regular and enjoyable habit that you do willingly, you might stop reviewing and tracking it because it’s now part of your lifestyle.
The best way to become proficient at reaching goals is to write them down, track them, and keep working toward them.
Don’t worry about doing it “right.” There is no right or wrong, although certain guidelines like those above have been repeatedly proven. Finally, make your goals a priority in your life!