GPS (Part 3)
Now that we’ve established a specific goal(s) with an appropriate deadline, it’s time to begin the journey of achieving the goal. It’s important to know that the journey itself is equally important to the goal. I’ve always believed that the person we become throughout the goal setting process will always serve us well, regardless of whether or not we achieve the goal.
Below are Steps 3 and 4.
Step 3: Decide how you are going to measure your goal. Choosing a specific destination is the easy part. Now your job is to determine how you will adequately measure your goal. In other words, how will you know for certain that you are making progress toward your goal? Hoping or wishing that your goal will magically happen isn’t considered an effective measurement tool. Let’s take the previous goal of landing a sales job with a Fortune 500 company. Perhaps you could measure this goal by monitoring the number of phone calls you make each week to potential employers. Better yet, you could hire a career coach who will not only provide you with unique measurement tools, but will also serve as an accountability partner. Measuring your goals throughout the process will provide you with a sense of ownership.
Step 4: Make an action plan. Unlike the GPS in a car, your personal GPS isn’t going to provide you with a specific list of directions or actions that will get you to your destination. However, if you’ve established a specific goal and decided how you are going to measure it, the action piece will be easier than you think. Ask yourself this question…What do I absolutely need to do daily, weekly, and monthly to achieve my goal? Below are 4 daily practices that should be a part of your daily action plan.
#1 – Consistently review your goal
Whether you’ve written your goals on a notecards or saved them in a file on your computer, make it a daily habit to look at them at least once. Each time you read your goal you are focusing on what it is you want to achieve, which ultimately shapes the way you think. If you try to simply store the goals in your head, you are bound to forget them and they will lose their power.
#2 – Visualize your goals being completed
There is a reason why elite athletes faithfully practice visualization as part of their training. Take golf for example. The world’s top 5 golfers are typically separated by less than a stroke in terms of their scoring average. The difference maker is not necessarily improving their swing or trying a new set of clubs, but rather the mental edge they gain through the practice of visualization. Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers to ever play the game, was once quoted as saying…
“I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie. I first “see” where I want to finish, nice and white and sitting high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes, and I “see” the ball going there: its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there’s sort of a fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.”
If Jack Nicklaus can use visualization to perfect his golf game, why can’t we use it to perfect our game as drivers in life?
#3 – Daily Affirmations
Again harnessing the incredible power of the mind, affirmations are designed to reshape our driving glasses so that we can transform our limiting beliefs. Below are some examples of affirmations that would pertain to the sales goal I mentioned above.
I am confident that the right people are showing up in my life.
I am confident in my abilities and trust that there is a job perfectly suited for me.
It’s important to note that affirmations are always rendered useless if you fail to focus and believe what it is you are affirming. In other words, if you just “go through the motions” when reciting these affirmations void of any feeling, then you might as well spend your time doing something else.
Think of these affirmations as miniature mission statements.
Jack Canfield, who I mentioned previously as the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, understands the tremendous power of daily affirmations. Before the release of his first book ever reached the shelves, he wrote the following affirmation on the back of a business card…
I am so happy selling 1.5 million copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul by December 30, 1994.
His publisher laughed and told him he was insane to have such high expectations. In spite of this criticism, Jack Canfield went on to sell 1.3 million copies of the book by his target date. While some might say he failed by falling short of his goal, Jack responded to the critics by saying, “I can live with that kind of failure.”
#4 – Ask, Ask, Ask
Chances are, there is someone that you know (or know of) who has already achieved the goal you have set for yourself. So, why not ask them how they were able to achieve it? Most people love to share their successes with others. Not only will it provide you with added incentive, it will also give you some insight in terms of what your priorities should be. Success leaves clues, so you must become the detective and begin searching for the clues to your own success.