Today I received my 4th newsletter from two women whom I feel are amazingly talented. I happily read their information because I believe they have made some brilliant choices in their business career, and give solid advice.
Today’s message came from Denise Gosnell, Publisher of the newsletter for Business Thrival, Inc, and I feel it is worth sharing with you if you are also a person who loves to create. Remember that not everything you will read is something you are going to agree with, but keep your heart and mind open to the possibilities these ideas can bring to your life.
Denise shared how her house was struck by lightening in June, and sadly, it sounds like the entire house is in total ruin from smoke and fire damage. My heart goes out to she and her family, and as there often is in any painful situation, she discovered a silver lining – the same way you can if you look for it.
While rummaging through the wreckage of her family home. She discovered memories of something she once loved and how it propelled her thinking in a way that created success for her so she wanted to share it. The concepts were found in a book called The Creative Entrepreneur, that I wanted to share this with you in her words. Thank you Denise!
This 5-step process is timeless, and can be taught to your children too if you have them.
Step 1 – Make Sure Your Goal Is “SMART”
The first thing you should do is figure out what you want to accomplish, at least at a high level. Start by just writing down what your goals is, such as “I want a new car”. Don’t worry about it being perfect. You just want to capture the essence of the goal.
Once you’ve written down a rough draft of the goal, re-write your goal to make sure it is SMART, which stands for “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely”.
For “Specific”, your goal needs to be more than just a broad statement like “new car”. A more specific goal for “new car” would be “a new Lexus ES 330”.
Once you have re-written your goal to be specific, it’s time to see if the goal is “Measurable”. In other words, will you know exactly when you have reached it? The example “new Lexus ES 330” is very measurable, because you will know exactly when it has happened. Revise your goal until it is measurable.
You next evaluate the goal to see if it is “Attainable”, and revise it accordingly. Attainable just means whether you can ever really achieve it. If your goal was “fly using my bare hands”, then it wouldn’t meet the “attainable” test, because it is something that just isn’t possible.
Next, you need to confirm that your goal is “Realistic”. Realistic just means whether or not it is feasible for you to make it happen like you’ve stated, such as in a certain time frame. For example, if you had a goal to buy the Lexus ES 330 tomorrow when your bank account was empty, it would not pass the realistic test either. If your goal is not realistic, then re-write it until it is realistic.
The final element of the SMART test is to make sure your goal is “Timely”. In order to ever feel like you’re making progress, your goal needs to be short term in nature, such as one week, one month, or one quarter.
With my daughter Victoria, the goal we set was to win a new DVD player as a prize by the end of the Carnival at the 4th of July at the Grand Hotel where we were on vacation last year. That goal is certainly specific. It is also measurable, because we would know we reached it by redeeming enough tokens to “win” it.
At first, the goal didn’t seem like it was attainable or realistic, because it took 500 tokens to win the DVD player. After all, it was the grand prize out of hundreds of prizes.
But my daughter, husband, and I calculated that if each of us played the carnival games together (and not just my daughter), we could rack up 3 times as many tokens, and could still win enough before the day was up. So we refined it to be attainable, and also realistic.
And it was definitely timely, because we set the goal for just one day, before the carnival ended. So we refined our goal until it met the SMART test.
Step 2 – Figure Out The Series of Steps that Will Get You There
Once you know that your goal is SMART, you can then break it down into a series of steps that will allow you to reach that end result. For example, we figured out the exact steps we needed to take to win the DVD player from the carnival, down to how many games we needed to win in order to get the right number of tokens, and how fast we would then run to the prize counter.
And while my example is just for a simple goal, even the most complex goal can be broken down into a series of basic steps.
Step 3 – Envision What It Will Be Like To Achieve That Goal
In this step, you should envision what it will feel like to reach that goal. You can talk about it out loud, picture it in your head, and/or write it down on paper.
This is important because once you can actually envision what it feels like to reach the goal, it makes it so much easier and fun to actually take the steps to get there.
In my example, my daughter and I talked about what we would do with the new DVD player, and how it would be so nice to play all her favorite movies on it and carry it everywhere.
Step 4 – Take Action One Step At A Time, But With Passion
Once you’ve broken down the goal down into a series of small steps, and have envisioned what it will be like to achieve it, you should start taking action. Start working on those steps that you wrote down, and follow them, step-by-step.
This is where so many people get hung up. They just do it at 50%, and fall off track, and just give up. If you’re going to set a goal, give it your 100%. And then during those times when you fall off track, just get back on track as fast as you can, and pursue the goal with renewed passion.
But the key is to just keep taking action, in the right direction toward your goal.
In my example, my husband and daughter and I played over 50 carnival games that day to collect our 500 tokens. We played game after game after game. And we had so much fun doing it.
We created our plan, followed it, and accomplished it. We were so proud of ourselves, and I was so excited to see Victoria go redeem that grand prize from hundreds of other kids. And that leads to the last step, which is to “Celebrate” your accomplishment.
Step 5 – Celebrate
In this step, take a moment to celebrate what you just accomplished. Don’t be too quick to just mark it off the list and move on.
Pause for a moment and reflect on what you just did. Pat yourself on the back. If it is your child, pat them on the back or give them a high five. Tell them they are a winner, and that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.
That’s what I did with my daughter. I recapped our entire day to her and said something like this: “Victoria, I’m so proud that we worked so hard to win that DVD player. We set our goal, and we figured out how to reach it, and we did it. See, I told you that you can do anything you set your mind to, and we just proved it, together.”
And even a year later, our daughter (now 5) still talks about how we won that DVD player at the carnival. The DVD player didn’t even work after we won it, but that didn’t stop her excitement about how we worked so hard to achieve the goal – and how we accomplished something we set our minds to.
So there you go – a complete process you can use for setting and achieving your own goals. Now it’s your turn. Have fun, and share your stories.
If you would like more help in being creative I would check out the book, and remember, there may be some things in it that don’t appeal to you and if so, take from it what you want to and leave the rest.
If you found this post helpful please remember to share it with your friends! Blessings!
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