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 Title: Introduction to "Make It Happen!"

 bulb  Summary: The introdcution to the goal setting book, "Make It Happen!" which discusses the art and technology of goal setting.

 Product: GoalTrak™ EV, GoalTrak™ CV, GoalTrak™ PV  Version: All


GoalTrak EV - Technology & Art

We call goal setting a Technology because it is a transferable body of knowledge. You can learn the basic elements of writing a goal statement and the 9-Step Process to set a goal. Once a goal is created, however, the implementation becomes an art. Although you do your best anticipating and preparing for events that will happen in the future, we all know THINGS HAPPEN! Things that we wish didn't or wouldn't get in the way of our dreams, but they do.

When we put a goal into action in the real world we have to make adjustments based on feedback, new information, results-to-date, etc. We make judgments and modify our action plan accordingly. This is a highly individualistic endeavor. The decisions and changes we make are subjective activities, pursued differently by different people making the implementation more of an art form than a science.

We would be arrogant if we tried to tell you exactly what you need to do to achieve your goal. It is your goal, your organization and your life, not ours! What works for us won't necessarily work for you, but that does not mean we cannot achieve the same results through different means. Remember, "different strokes for different folks"? Not only are we a diversely populated society/world, but we are also diverse in our personalities, skills, experiences and energies. We acknowledge these differences as we hope you do and accommodate for them in this process. Our purpose is to help you bring this Technology/Art into your life and your organization through integration, not imposition; and, to have goal setting become part of your individual and organizational thought processes.

The 9-Step Process
The nine principal elements of Goal Setting that we present here have been recognized and successfully implemented for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. They are not, however, a specific, integral part of our educational system. We are told to set goals, but we are not taught how. Most people are unaware that they have goals. Our intent is to provide information about these nine elements drawing from our professional, academic and personal experience. The sole purpose of this guide is to share HOW to set goals that are meaningful and motivating to the goal setter (you) which can be communicated to the others in your organization, giving them a clear picture of where you want the organization to be in the future. If you do an adequate job at writing a system of goals for your organization, you will improve your chances of achieving those goals and provide leadership for your people to follow.

Many of us have been told to set goals at some time in our lives. For those of us who have been involved in sports, it's a natural part of the training process. In our work lives we are told to set goals for improved productivity or increased sales. In our personal lives, the targets are usually career, family, and income. Nothing is wrong with this, but there is a problem lurking below the surface. In most of these instances we are not taught how to do this. How to set goals, how to make it happen.

Why all this fuss about goal setting? Why can't we just say we want to accomplish something, call it a goal and go do it? Unfortunately for most of us it's not that easy. The reasons are all around us. Many of the people we know and interact with, personally and in business, are just getting along. Think about it. Why are you using GoalTrak EV? Isn't there something you want but don't have yet? You are willing to put in the extra effort to get it. Isn't that why you buy self-help books, go to seminars, surf the web, listen to cassette tapes and CDs, and network with your peers?

We believe the majority of the people are trying, and trying very hard, each day. However, they are not achieving what they would like to achieve. Many are unsatisfied or unhappy. In fact, we've worked with many people who were highly successful in their field and found that they were disappointed with their own results! Were they perfectionists, trying to achieve the impossible? Maybe some were, but many simply wanted something else out of their work or their life which they weren't getting in their current situation. They discovered that they had other goals, but were having trouble identifying which ones to pursue and devising a plan of action to move them from where they were to where they wanted to be.

Other people are working each day without a thought for tomorrow. Some don't believe they can actually get something they WANT out of life; that they don't deserve it. Others are expending kilowatts of energy trying to get something going in their lives and in their workplace but they lack the knowledge and skill of goal setting. They waste precious time and money on activities that won't move them closer to their goals. In fact, they may be putting themselves on a backward track, making it extremely difficult to get back on the right track.

Business owners without written goals do this all the time. The President goes to a seminar, reads a book or article about a new gadget, or talks to a colleague over lunch and gets excited about the idea. She comes flying back to the plant and starts telling everyone about this new idea and how it is going to change things "around here". During the next few weeks lots of activity centers around this great new idea taking time away from the critical needs of the business. Customers have to leave messages because their rep is now in a meeting. The meeting runs late, the rep has to go home and the call isn't returned until the next day. One day, that's not so bad, you say? If the customer needed a quote or was having a problem, he'd probably vehemently disagree with you.

Multiply this times the number of people and interactions affected and you can quickly assess the impact of this one "great new idea". Is this bad or wrong? Not necessarily. The key question to ask is "what does this new idea/equipment do to our goals?" How does it fit in with where you said you wanted to be? Does it help you achieve your goals? If yes, then it's a good thing, just executed a bit prematurely. If no, then it's a major distraction taking you and your organization off it's present course. If you were on a plane from Maine to Texas, would you want the pilot to fly to Canada because there was a great jet stream that way? Of course not! That's absurd! Yes it is. And it is just as absurd to do this to yourself or your own business, yet we see people do it all of the time. Heck, we do it when we aren't careful and diligent about reaching the goals we set for ourselves.

Real world experience and scientific research indicates that these situations occur because the goals are not clearly defined, and perhaps just as important, they are not written. The simple act of writing down our goals improves our chance of achievement. Writing down your goals is a form of commitment. Some people resist goal setting for that reason. They don't want to be committed. If you fall into this category then ask yourself how badly you want the goal? If you want it badly enough, then how else are you going to get it if you don't commit to achieving it?

Other people fear failure. They don't set goals. If you go through this process and find the right goals that truly motivate you, you will have a tool to help you conquer your fear. Your goals will remind you that if and when something goes wrong or becomes difficult, it's only a setback and not a failure. Mistakes happen. Things go wrong. Plans sour. None of those translate to failure unless you want to interpret them that way. However, if you construct a system of goals that rejuvenates your love of life, of how you live, of your business, you galvanize your energy. You become excited about the future and you hop out of bed in the morning looking forward to the day. When you feel this way, you won't allow yourself to sit out of the game on the sidelines for very long. The goals you set are YOURS. No one else has the exact set of goals that you do and only you can make them happen. So, if you choose to stop, that is your choice. Sometimes we have to do so. At least it is YOUR choice and you now know that. Accepting personal responsibility for your goals is a powerful tool to raise your self-esteem. Once you do that, you'll look at failure differently. You'll know you have the power to make things happen in your life. When something goes wrong you can depend on yourself to do what you have to do and then return to achieving your goals.

In GoalTrak™ applications, we will address each step in the sequential order of application. A flow chart of the process is pictured here.

Links to the chapters for each of the nine steps are listed in Related Topics below.

 Related Topics:
 Author: Richard Lewine
 Published: January 15, 2006

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