How to Set and Achieve Realistic and Effective (SMART) Goals (Part Two)

Published: 09th September 2005
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How to Set and Achieve Realistic and Effective (SMART) Goals - Part Two

How to Set the Right Goals to Achieve What YOU really Want out of Life?

by Craig Lock

Well now is a good time of year to start setting goals for

the coming

year and put them into practice (forgotten your new years

ones already?)


What is really important to you right now in your

life? In other words, what do you really value? The

main headings are: PEOPLE- THINGS- OTHER, e.g.

career. Also finances. That word MONEY again!

Areas of goals:

These can be divided into short, medium and

long-term; these respectively being six months,

one/two years and five plus years. Also divide them

into balanced components, being: personal, family,

social and work goals. Then break them down further into:

* Spiritual

* Mental

* Physical

* Financial

* Family

* Community/School

Remember that over-concentration on one of your

goals will not ensure success. A car can only run well

if all the tyres are inflated to the correct pressure...

and if it has four wheels!

The art of goalsetting is to balance all of these areas.

If one area is out of proportion in your wheel of life,

it affects everything else. Your wheel of life should

be rounded evenly and balanced, so that it gives a

smooth ride. Unlike mine. Currently my social life is

pathetic; so I am joining "rent-a-friend", as I'm way

too obsessed with my work, my writing and spend

far too much time focussed on it... instead of

having more FUN !

A thought...

Perhaps it's about time I slowed down in my article

submissions and set a goal of using that time for pure relaxation! How's that for a goal?


1. Give yourself permission to dream and desire. Put

aside (asmuch as you can) all reason and logic. If you

don't have a goal, you have nothing to aim for and

no plan of action. Without a goalyou are just kicking

a ball around. Think creatively by using your

imagination in setting targets.

2. Make a master dream list. It is important to write

down everything you want and need. Every place you

want to go and everything you would like to become

or achieve. These need not be high ideals, but

genuine wants, eg. putting food on the table (most

important for "starving" writers - hint hint, say no

more, say no more!), a new car, beach house,

swimming pool, yacht. A "proper job" for

writers like me, perhaps!

3. Aim high: Stretch yourself to your limit and you

will achieve more than you believed possible. The

higher the level of conscious goals, the greater their motivating power.

4. Prioritise your Goals. Start off with some easy goals

to get you in the 'habit of achieving'. Know where

you are now and how you got there. (" How the s...

did I get where I am now?). Look at yourself and learn

from others. These goals must be compatible

with your inner values. Values are what we hold to

be important at the deepest level of our being. Doing

this will make them far more likely to be achieved.

5. Set a time limit for achieving them. It's important

to set a deadline...but it doesn't have to be "set in concrete". Don't let something drag on for three years that could have been achieved in one year. Set short-term goals: tomorrow, next week, next month. Also set long range goals which will require

vision, courage and foresight. Finally, set your

ultimate goals like, becoming an All Black or Springbok

(these are rugby football players from New Zealand

and South Africa for "ignorant Americans"- oops, er,

sorry!), a Judge, or some grand purpose, etc.... as

long as that is what you really desire. List the steps

needed or smaller goals required to be achieved on

the path to your ultimate goal. By breaking them

down they will seem more attainable and once each

minor goal is attained will bring you closer to the

ultimate goal. List the skills, qualifications or traits

you will need to achieve them.

6. Be inspired: Receive regular inspiration and

enthusiasm through reading and other motivational

material (like this book- PLUG, PLUG). Also helpful is

frequent contact with a person or people who inspire

and enthuse you.

7. Focus on your goal like a laser and go after it every

day Don't be discouraged - sometimes "one step

backwards comes before a leap forward". "Dare to

be different to others", if that is just being "the real"

YOU. Don't allow the future to act on you. Act on

the future. Don't see yourself as a powerless victim

of circumstances, but rather as one having many

choices to take any path you CHOOSE to move your

life forward. N.B. Goals should be written down and

regularly reviewed. This makes for focussing ones

thoughts and COMMITMENT in seeing them through.

Write each goal on a list and as you achieve it, tick it

off and enter a new goal. Act immediately on your

short-term goals, as only ACTION will get you there.

Have balance in your dreams and be honest and

realistic with yourself. A goal is either meaningful in

itself or as a means to an end.

More Goal Tips

* Start first with your longer term goals and break

them down; if you start with short term goals you

will end up with more of the same.

* Focus first on the overall outcome, not how you

will achieve the goal or you will limit yourself.Then the amazing power of your creative imagination (in the form of your subconscious mind) will come up with the plan on HOW to achieve your goals. The answer may come to you immediately or take a while... and then come to you in unexpected moments, like in the shower. Usually at times when you are most relaxed.

* Don't be obsessive about goals - don't fret, but let them happen, don't force them. (I must earn that one and let "life take it's course"!). "Easy does it" + persistence, of course.

* Be flexible and be aware of the unexpected, which

may be a stepping stone to your goal in disguise.

* Involve your spouse/partner/those "nearest and

dearest to you" in goal setting.Shared family goals

have more meaning and the commitment to achieving

them is greater.



"We should all be concerned about visualising the

future, because we will have to spend the rest of

our lives there."

- anon

Visualisation is the technique

used by top sportspeople to achieve results.

Successful people make things happen and use the

process of Goal Setting. Ask yourself whether you are

a goal-setter or goal-getter? You are not as stuck down

in a rut as you may think. You have far more choices

than you could ever imagine.


"The important thing is to identify what you need

to do AND THEN DO IT!"

* Which?

What do you really want? Break down into needs

and wants, e.g.. yacht, pool, new car, beach house,

holiday. Also set tangible and intangible goals.

* Why?

If it is not planned, it doesn't happen.

* When?

Goals must have a time frame. Long range goals

should have checkpoints and a completion date.

Who? Goals involve others :

# Business (the boss, manager)

# Personal (wife/husband/partner)

* How?

What is the blueprint? You can't build without plans.

The reason why you must have specific goals. Don't


A. Involve others.

B. State goals in terms of measurable results.

C. Set target dates.

D. Be specific.

Criteria for Setting EFFECTIVE Goals


# Should make you enthusiastic and excite you.

# Must be truly your OWN goals - meaningful to YOU


# Must be based on real desires.

# Must be consistent with your values

and be purposeful.

# Must be written down.

# Must lift our sights, yet be realistic and


# Must be specific and measurable.

# Must be compatible with your other goals.

# Must have a starting and completion date.

# Keep written goals in front of you.

# Should be dynamic, but not set in





- list possible goals

- don't analyse at this stage


- personal/family/work (use headings from

the Wheel of Life).


- relate to what you value and rank.


- make specific and clear, use the KISS principle ("keep

it simple, stupid"). Oops, sorry my dear reader!

Remember that goals are dreams which come true.

Most people give up on their dreams too soon or,

like me in the past, don't aim high enough and

achieve them too easily and quickly. Except in


N.B: The essence of goal setting is:




I really believe that. This entire planning process might

take a few days.


1. If it's not in writing, it is not a goal. It is a New

Year resolution.

2. If it's not specific, it's not a goal.

3. 'Goals must be believable, inspirational and


4. An effective goal is an exciting challenge.

5. Goals must be adjusted to new information.

6. Dynamic goals guide our choices.

7. Don't set short-term goals for longer than

ninety days.

8. Maintain a balance between long-term and

short-term goals.

9. Include your loved ones in your goals.

10. Set goals in all areas of your life.

11. Your goals must harmonise with your life.

12. Review your goals regularly.

13. Set vivid goals.

14. Don't chisel your goals in granite/set in


15. Reach out into the future.

16. Have a set of goals for every day,

and review results every night.

17. Train yourself to crave your goals.

18. Set activity goals, not production goals


19. Understand luck, and make it work

for you.


If you don't break your yearly objectives down into

first quarterly and then monthly/weekly/daily activity

targets, you cannot keep on track. Marathon runners

keep going not by focusing on the whole course,

but on the next drink station, the bottom of the hill,

and when the pain comes, the next lamp post.

The plans we make to achieve our dreams are the

blueprints for success. A written plan focuses the

mind on goals. Intermediate steps move one step

by step closer to success.

You should regularly review whether you are on

track (e.g.. monthly, quarterly, yearly). Goal setting

must be an ongoing process. Goals that are no

longer meaningful must be replaced by ones that are.

" A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single


- Mao Tse Tung

I really like that one. No wonder I repeat it so often

(the first signs of impending

senility, perhaps???).

Mark Spitz, the American swimmer, won nothing at

the Mexico Olympics in 1968. Bitterly disappointed,

he dreamt of winning 7 goal medals at the next

Olympics in Munich in 1972 and set a target of the

times he would achieve in each event. He won those

seven medals with times within 100th of a second

of what he had said he would do. He developed his

plan and a rigorous training regime. His goal became

an obsession which overcame everything else...yet

Mark Spitz became a legend and achieved greatness.

Thomas Edison tried 2000 times to invent a light

bulb. He didn't see it as 2000 failures, but rather

as a process to be gone through. He didn't take it

personally, but saw his efforts as 2000 ways that did

not work. Every time an idea didn't work, it got Edison

a step closer to his ultimate goal - SUCCESS. That is

what kept him going. In a word, PERSISTENCE.

Even countries have set goals. After being defeated

in World War II, Germany was totally devastated.

However, Germany is now one of the economic

giants of Europe. Another defeated nation, Japan,

which only had 0.3 of the world's land and 3 of

the population now has 10 of the global trade.

The nation's leaders set goals for these countries

after the war, which seemed impossible at the time,

but were achieved.

The motto: Forget the mistakes of the past and

press on to the greater achievements of the future.

Remember that setting a new goal is the first step

towards a positive plan of action; because without

a goal you have no target, nothing to aim for.

"Challenges are a chance to boost motivation, seize

them like gold dust."


Set SMART goals

S - specific

M - measurable

A - achievable

R - realistic and

T- goals with a time-frame.

There is nothing more exciting and inspirational than

new goals. Our attitude to ourselves determines our

ability to set and achieve goals. Whatever your self-image,

you project it to other people and it becomes a

self-fulfilling prophecy.

With a positive attitude ( the subject of the following

chapter) and a good self image, our enthusiasm for

challenges will be heightened, as well as for life in

general. This results in greater job satisfaction, as

well as living an emotionally healthy life filled with

meaning and purpose.

Remember, negative attitudes in other people can

easily block your goals. I don't expect people to

understand what I'm trying to achieve in my personal

goals; but I'm getting there. Slowly! They are MINE

alone and I believe are right for ME! Raise your

sights high and dare to be different. In our society

we are conditioned to follow the leader. N.B: Follow

your own heart in setting your goals.

If you've set goals, but have had difficulty with your

goals in the last 3 months, it may be because of

the following:

1. Your goals were not realistic.

2. Your goals were not clear and specific.

3. Your goals were not written in the present tense.

E.g.. 'I have now cleared all my short term debts

and I have saved X$ (or pounds')...'I now weigh

my ideal body weight of...' Well done "Jumbo"!

4. You weren't really committed to your goals

and/or they were not appropriate for you.

A final few words of wisdom (even if I say so myself)

to end off this chapter...





"There are those people who make it happen, those

who watch it happen, and those who don't even

know it happened."


Craig Lock




"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

- Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe (German philosopher)




As the ancient Chinese philosopher said so well,

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with a ...

broken fan belt and a flat tyre"...

er sorry...

a single step.

"A wish is just a wish,

A New Years Resolution is just a resolution.

Goals have deadlines and are the stepping stones down the


the stair-case to your dreams."

- Craig Lock

There is a rich tapestry of talent in every human soul, that flows through (and from), the Source of our Being, the Spirit of God, Life. So don't spend your days stringing and tuning your instrument; start making and playing your unique tunes of music right now.

- Craig Lock

Authors Note:

Craig Lock has studied and written extensively in the field

of self help. This extract is from Craig's first published

book HANDBOOK TO SURVIVE - a collection of writings on

various subjects to help every man or woman survive in a rapidly changing, uncertain world. To order 'Handbook' click on

or email Craig at

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