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Are You Goal Oriented?

By: Janet Ford

Bruce Tracy stated in his book, The Power of Discipline: 7 Ways it can Change Your Life, “Self-discipline is the key to personal greatness. It is the magic quality that opens all doors for you, and makes everything else possible.” The single factor in success as a leader is having the discipline to set clear goals and accomplish them each day. Most of us think of goals as short term and long term to be accomplished over a period of months or years. But, the greatest moves forward are actually accomplished in our daily routines, tasks and yes, goals. Goals are not accomplished by what you will do over the next few months, but by what you do each day.

So, are you goal oriented or do you live life by the seat of your pants and any direction will do? If you’re in the “seat of the pants” group but want to make a change in your direction, below are three suggested actions to get your life turned around:

1. Determine what you want and develop a plan to achieve it: Why is this important? When we desire something, whether it’s a new car, dress or job, we must have a picture of what we want in mind. If a person walked onto a car lot without knowing the color, make or model of the car desired, the sales person would begin to try and sell them on what they wanted, or ask them to come back when they’ve made up their mind. Secondly, if you knew what type of car you wanted and didn’t have a plan for paying for it, the results would be the same. You’d drive away with the same ride you came in. It’s the same with goals for being a successful leader. When you have clear goals and a plan to achieve them, staying on track or “on target” is easy and, distractions are less effective.

2. Write your goals and plan for achieving them down: This sounds elementary, but it’s the simple acts that generate the greatest results! When something is written down, it triggers a different part of the brain that motivates you to accomplish the task. Those who are list makers understand this very well especially when it comes to getting things accomplished in a specific amount of time. List makers tend to get more done in a day than those who don’t make a list. There is a sense of accomplishment, success or meeting a goal when something written down is completed and, it works for both short and long term goals.

3. Determine a deadline: We all know that life happens unexpectedly which causes us to make changes in our plans. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t create deadlines for completion. Without a deadline, it’s easy to wonder off course and get distracted because time wasn’t written into the equation. In anything, there must be a time to start and a time to finish. Otherwise, we eventually run out of motivation and lose hope of accomplishment.

Take a little time to think about your goals on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Then, write them down and put them in a visible place to be read regularly. Don’t forget to put a deadline on each of your goals! Now, just get started!

Here are a few questions to think about:

  • Who or what is driving your next career move?

  • Do you have a written plan for your daily, weekly, monthly goals?

  • Are your deadlines realistic or do they need to be modified?

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