Before you can score, you must first have a goal. —Greek Proverb
Happy New Year to you and yours!
What would it take for you to look back on 2017 and say it was the most amazing year of your life? Imagine it’s December 31st and you are talking to a friend that you have not seen in a while, and when that friend inquires about your 2017, you say, “This was the most amazing year of my life because…!” Whatever your answers would be, let these be your goals for 2017. Today I’ll share how you can set and score epic goals in 2017 using the 4Ws of goal setting.
Setting Smart Goals to Win
In my upcoming book, Keys to Win at Life: 100 Proven Ways to Handle Life’s Challenges, key #19 is Setting Smart Goals to Win. If you are going to win at life, you need to learn how to set and achieve smart goals. Success expert, Brian Tracy, often says: “Success is goals and all else is complementary.” Successful people set goals in writing for their future and make plans to achieve them. When we set goals, these ought to be smart and compelling goals. A smart and compelling goal is one that is specific, clearly written with the end in mind, and backed by strong reasons for its accomplishment in a given time period. It is also a goal that you will act on. If you do not plan to act on it, it’s not a smart goal.
Benefits of Goal Setting
There are many benefits to setting goals including:
- clarity for decision-making
- peace of mind,
- having clearer focus,
- makes your use of time more efficient ,
- enables you to live purposefully.
If you are working on an initiative, setting goals helps you to explain to others what you are trying to do, and therefore what they need to do to contribute or support your initiative.
The 4Ws of Smart Goal Setting
Here are the 4Ws of setting smart goals which you can execute in 2017. Try not to set too many goals. 5-12 goals are ideal, make little goals and big goals. On this list identify the main 1 or 2 that you must achieve no matter what for 2017. I call these your engine goals without which the car of your life cannot move.
Start with a “What” and clearly describe it
Identify what you want to be, do and have materially, spiritually, emotionally, relationally, financially, academically etc and be specific. Do not just say, “I want a house,” be specific and say, “I want a 4 bedroom house in x area or that will cost x$. For those who are Christians, take the time to pray and let your goals reflect God’s will for your life. Set a quiet time, time in solitude and document these desires.
State the “Why” for your goals
Your reasons are the oxygen that keeps your goals breathing especially in the hard times. State 1-5 compelling reasons why you want to achieve that desire no matter what in 2017. For example one of my goals in 2017 is to publish my third book, “Keys to Win at Life” and my reasons for that are:
- to achieve personal purpose
- to create impact and income,
- to equip people to win at life,
- to see lives changed locally and globally ,
- to establish a platform for greater impact.
With these reasons in mind, it will be harder to give up when obstacles come my way in achieving this goal.
“Write” your goals to increase your chances of success
In 1979, interviewers asked new graduates from the Harvard MBA Program about their goals and found that:
- 84% had no specific goals at all
- 13% had goals but they were not committed to paper
- 3% had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them
In 1989, the interviewers again interviewed the graduates of that class. Here are the results 10 years later:
- The 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all.
- Even more staggering – the three percent who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.
Let’s all write our goals with plans to achieve them to increase our chances of success.
Establish “When” you want to achieve your goal
A goal without a timeline is a mere wish. Set a timeline for your goals. Successful people think long-term. You should think in 5-10 year blocks and set goals for those time periods. Your one year goals should be in line with those long-term goals. By stating the “when” you will establish a measure of accountability and this will help you to act with greater efficiency. For example, I publish my third book by January 30, 2017. Notice in this, that I also write the goal as if it is already accomplished. This is an expression of faith. I start with the end in mind believing it is done. However, if the timeline is passed and the goal is not met, just set a new timeline. Tracy reminds us that “there is no such thing as an unreasonable goal, only unreasonable timelines.”
One of the most useful things I have done is to set 100 day timelines for my goals at the start of the year. Then I break up the goals and activities to be done each month, each week and each day. This has enabled me to be quite efficient and productive. This technique has enabled me to achieve at least 80% of my goals annually. It works!
Daily Goal Setting Challenge
One of the reasons people often do not achieve their goals is that they write them and forget them. Goals must be kept in sight to be achieved. With this in mind, I want to encourage you to join our 2017 Success Habits Challenge to practice five habits of which one of them is daily rewriting your goals from memory. Read here for more details and sign up for the challenge here. It’s not too late.
Goal Setting Resources
Below are three resources that will help you to score your goals in 2017.
– Michael Hyatt’s 7 APPS TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS AND BUILD NEW HABITS – – A blog article
– Brian Tracy’s – How to Develop a Habit in 7 Steps | Brian Tracy – A YouTube Video
– Brian Tracy’s Daily Habits of Successful People: It’s All About Routine – A YouTube Video
Can you hear the shouts? You’ve scored at least 80% of your goals in 2017!! Be sure to celebrate your goals when you achieve them and keep on setting smart goals to win at life! Has this information been helpful? Feel free to share this article with your friends on social media (instagram, facebook, twitter etc) and comment on the blog. Share it and let’s equip more people to win at life!
 Mark McCormack. What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School.1986