You start the year strong with renewed energy, enthusiasm and vigour, only to find your motivation dwindling as the months slip by. Well, you are certainly not alone. In fact, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 64% of those with a success goal stick to them past 1 month. After 6 months, 50% of them would have dropped out and a paltry 8% will stick to their plan past the 12 month milestone. If you are part of this sad statistic, perhaps it is time to see if you are saying the right things to yourself.
Announcing that you want to be the next Richard Branson or Warren Buffett is not going to cut it. You will firstly need some proper goals and the best place to start is the somewhat clichéd but still extremely practical principle of S.M.A.R.T. goals by management scholar, George T. Doran. Most professionals who have attended goal setting courses are familiar with this concept and I teach it extensively in my mental toughness programs. Here’s how you can put it to good use for your own success goals.
You will need to know what you want to accomplish with specificity. In other words, say “make $100,000 in 12 months” instead of “make more money”. Be as specific as possible. In addition, write down the specific reasons, purpose or benefits of achieving the goal.
If your goal is not measurable, it is not possible to know if you are making progress or not. Measuring your goal helps you stay on track and knowing if you are pushing hard enough. It also increases motivation by breaking your goals into smaller goals and achieving them.
If your goal is to become a billionaire in 5 years, you may need to give yourself a bit of a reality check. Honestly ask yourself if the goal is attainable within the set time frame. Goals that are too out of reach may be considered meaningless as you continually fall short. If you are not sure, ask a sales coach or a mentor who is already there to know how much progress you can make.
Relevant (or realistic)
This criterion stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter to you. A goal of “attending 30 webinars in 6 months” may be specific, measurable, attainable and time-bound but lacks relevance to your financial goals.
Time-Bound (or timely)
You must always give yourself a time frame to achieve your goal. A time bound goal gives a sense of urgency. Say by when, and what you want to achieve.
Remember, even if you cannot visualize your success yet in your mind, the most important thing is to have faith and get started anyway. As Martin Luther King aptly puts it, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase”.