15. The best system for setting goals

Would you like to be more successful? Would you like to make more money? Would you like to take more exciting vacations? Would you like to have more security for you and your family? You can have everything you ever wanted. All you have to do is one thing.

What is the one thing it takes to be successful? In order to evaluate this question it is first necessary to understand what "success" is and what all successful people have in common. It is probably safe to assume that you want to be more successful.

By definition, success is the realization of a worthy goal. Success is different for every individual. For some people, an annual income of $25,000 would be a success, for another it may be $225,000. Whatever it may be for you, there are specific characteristics that you must have in common with other successful people in order to achieve true success.
A goal is the one thing - the single most important factor in achieving success. Without a realistic goal, you will never know when you have reached your success level.

The goal must be realistic, measurable and obtainable. As time passes, your goal can always be adjusted upward. However, if your initial goal is to be worth $1,000,000 by the year end and you are currently only worth $100,000 with an annual income of $50,000 a year and this is November, you most likely will never be able to reach it and therefore, it is unrealistic.

Biting off a job in small portions makes the eventual achievement of the total task seem easier and manageable. That is why a 90-day goal is so effective. Successful people set a goal, re-evaluate their goal, and scale it upward toward an even greater accomplishment.

So many people never get anywhere in their lives because they don't know where they are trying to go. If you don't have a destination you will have no reason to make plans? If you don't know where you are going, you won't be able to help anyone else reach their destination?

Several years ago there was a study done at Harvard University. The graduating class was polled and it was found that only 3 percent of the class had any clear goals set for their future. Twenty years later, the researchers followed up on that same graduating class. The 3 percent who had clearly defined goals accomplished more and made more money than the other 97 percent combined!

Once you get into a habit of goal-setting, you will wonder how you ever managed to accomplish anything before.

The best goal is a 90-day SMART goal. The SMART system works - it has stood the test of time. SMART is shorthand for the five characteristics of a well-designed goal.

S = specific. When a goals is specific, it tells you exactly what you have to do, when, and how much. Because the goal is specific, you can easily measure your progress. A 90-day sales objective is specific.

M = measurable. What good is a goal that you can't measure? If your goal is not measurable, you never know whether you are making progress toward successful completion. A 90-day sales objective is measurable.

A = attainable. A goal must be realistic and attainable. The best goal is one that requires you to stretch a bit to achieve it. That is, the goal is neither out of reach nor below standard performance. If a goal is set too high or too low it become meaningless. A 90-day sales objective is attainable.

R = relevant. Eighty percent of productivity comes from only 20 percent of your activities. Relevant goals address the 20 percent. A 90-day sale goal will give you a long list of benefits when it is achieved.

T = time limit. A goal must have starting point, ending point, and fixed duration. Commitment to a deadline helps to focus your efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date. A goal without a deadline for completion tends to be overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise. A 90-day sales goal has a very clear time limit.

What about long range goals?

A five year sales goal is much more attainable if it is worked on 90-days at a time. Set your long range goals - but break them down into 90-day increments.

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