Smart Goals

By: Dr. Nancy B. Irwin

We all know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different outcome.? So if you resolve to re-commit to any unfulfilled goal (lose 10 pounds, quit smoking, find a new job, etc.), I have some suggestions for taking the struggle out of the process.

Write your goals down.? You can write them in your journal, in your Palm Pilot, or on a cocktail napkin.? The physical act of writing anything down commands that “Google search engine" that is your subconscious mind to attract resources, information, anything you need to attain that goal.? Further, as soon as you attain one goal, create another.? Keep a constant “Things to Do List" for your life.

When writing your goals down, make them SMART:

Specific and Simple.? The subconscious, which is where all behavior comes from, needs clarity and precision.? Broad goals such as “I will be happier in 2006" are too vague. As yourself what specifically would make you happier? A new career?? Make that your goal.? The subconscious is a doer, not a thinker, and it must receive the bottom line, crystal clear bulleted targets: “I’m enrolling in law school." Or I’m being promoted to vice president." Or “I’m becoming a non-smoker." Don’t flood the engine of the subconscious with TMI (too much information) such as complex business plans and financial projections from the data processing department.

Measurable and Meaningful.? How will you know when you’ve gotten your goal? Make it easy for your subconscious to help you attain your goal. “I’m making $250,000 this year." “I’m doubling my sales quotas." These are “idiot proof" measures that anyone (including your subconscious) can recognize and applaud.

Your goals should be meaningful to you.? I can’t tell you how many people think they have no willpower or that they constantly self-sabotage. Actually, at the root of it all, they simply don’t want that goal.

Perhaps they keep failing the Bar Exam because they really don’t want to be an attorney…they’ve been trying to please their parents, or someone else.? Make sure your goals are in line with YOUR dreams, because it will show up in your work, in your health, in your heart, in your face, and in your life.

Achievable.? All Areas of your Life. Act as if you have it now.

There is no point in chasing after a goal that is unachievable (although with quantum physics, the unachievable is beginning to be a thing of the past).? It’s an unachievable goal for President George w. Bush to hold a third term. There are certain professional standards and limitations that we must honor, and allow them to guide us setting our goals.

Act as if you have it now, and it is simply a matter of time before it becomes reality.? This is not delusion …unless of course you are constantly affirming that you are the Queen of England.? You begin calling yourself to a higher level, clearing fears and obstacles out of your way, and summoning all the forces of the environment to fall in line with the new you.? It is rehearsal.? It’s training your subconscious to draw its attention to your goal to manifest it.? You will be shocked and amazed at how many “coincidences" begin occurring when you stand in your commitment.

Realistic and Responsible.? Our goals must be realistic.? I can hardly expect to become an attorney if I have not completed law school and passed the Bar Exam.? Our goals must be in line with our training, experience, as well as our desires.

Set responsible, ecological goals.? It may not be responsible to open a liquor store if your spouse is an alcoholic.? Rethink any goals that may damage the environment or cause others to suffer.

Timed and Toward.? Give your goal a deadline (first quarter of the next year by March, in 5 years, etc).? If you miss the deadline, no need to beat yourself up.? Simply reset it and re-commit.? Quantifying and qualifying goals keep us in action and fosters a fun, sportsmanlike spirit about it.? When we simply say:? “I’m becoming a better golfer," then losing just one stroke has technically made you a better golfer.? Setting a specific goal (“I’m consistently scoring within 3 points of par by the end of this year" gives you a healthy sense of urgency in attaining your goal.

You might consider designing a goal that moves toward something positive or pleasurable as opposed to moving from something negative or painful. When we want a new job just because we hate our current one, we will probably recreate the same misery, if not worse.? This is because we get what we focus on. For example, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream was not based on moving people away from racial injustice, oppression and discrimination, but rather it was toward brotherhood, equality, and freedom for everyone.? Use this as a map for a world of difference and power in your goal attainment.

So rather than focusing on losing 20 lbs. because you are a fat pig who can’t get your clothes, focus on overall health and fitness and fitting in that ideal suit size again.? The first mindset has a limitedArticle Search, negative charge (down) and the latter is positive (up) and limitless.? Where are there more possibilities:? in outer space or in the ground?

Now go out and get your goals!

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