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Is the Road to Hell Littered with Unfulfilled Goals?

By Noreen Sumpter

Goals are very important in life. They help you achieve great results. Having a goal is tantamount to making a promise to yourself. However, many make goals and forget a main ingredient: passion. Passion is the gas that runs the engine that manifests our goals. Many people set goals and do not believe that they will attain them. This lack of attainment is simply the lack of structure for attainment.

It's important to have a goal in life. However, it's twice as important to have structure. A structure that excites you, that gives you images of success. Understanding the SMART Model will help you create a structure that'll have you be successful.

S   Specific is precise, detailed goal or idea
M   Measurable is a project that you can gauge
A   Attainable is a project that is within your reach
R   Realistic is something within your physical and emotional reach
T   Timely is a project that has a beginning and an end date
When your goal is straightforward and it highlights what you want, it is only then that you can accomplish what you want. Now that you know what you want, your ideas are clear, focused, your efforts become definite and can now be easily and fluently executed.

So be specific: What, Why and How. What is it that you are going to do? Why is it important? How are you going to do it?

Goals that are not measurable are difficult to manage. Goals have a series of small steps that lead to the larger goal.

So obtain clarity about your goals, make them measurable, and then it becomes easier to see change occur. Change keeps you on track and helps you to reach your target, it also spurs your energy so that you become excited and reach your target.

Goal clarity is essential, when you are winning at your goals. You then begin to develop attitudes, abilities, skills and the financial capacity to reach them. Opportunities that were once overlooked are now available, bringing you closer to the achievement of your set goal.

If you set goals out of your reach, your commitment to accomplishing them will probably not be realized. You usually start with the best of intentions. It is said, "The best of intentions pave the path to Hell." However, your subconscious reminds you of that fact and stops you from doing your best, by creating reasons, thoughts and distractions that call you to failure.

Setting goals is not easy and may often be painful. Goals stretch you far beyond your norm and are constantly demanding of your best. When you're being your best and creating new commitments, that seem frightening and conjure up past experiences, and your goal might seem out of the realm of a tangible possibility. Goals are confronting and challenging.

One example: Your goal is to save $12,000 for a down payment on XYZ etc. Common sense tells you that you cannot save it in a week. Given your income and your other responsibilities, housing, food, transportation etc., saving $12,000 in a week might not be achievable. However, setting a goal of $120 a week over two years is much more achievable. Breaking $12,000 down into a manageable SMART process can and will garner better results.

The feeling of success is making the deposits and watching your money grow. This helps you remain motivated. However, this is the beginning of the steps that will allow you to enter the new game of down payment on and buying XYZ. Making the down payment starts a new phase of your goal.

Being realistic means assessing whether the goal that you set is a do-able goal. Does your goal meet you where you are presently? Setting a goal with the attitude of, "I'll never be successful," or "I cannot," is a fatalistic attitude. It is realistic and important to set goals that promote positive actions and provide you with great feelings of success.

How much do I make and what can I afford to save? What are my financial commitments? Am I willing to cut back on extravagancies, etc? Can I afford this? Can I afford not to? These are questions that need to be asked, answered honestly and realistically, before a goal can be made. Be sure to set goals that demand you to make some effort. Too difficult and you set yourself up for failure, too easy and you subconsciously send a message that you're not capable. Set the bar high enough that you are excited about your achievements.

Establishing a fulfillment date on your goal gives you a clear target. Set a time for the goal using weeks, months, years. When one does not have a time set, the commitment is too vague. It never gets started and you feel as though you have all the time in the world.

Your goals are exactly like games. All major successful games have a start and end time. Without a time limit, there's no urgency to start taking action. Time must be measurable, attainable and realistic.

Everyone will benefit from goals and objectives if they are smart, and SMART is the model to apply in setting and fulfilling your goals.

Noreen Sumpter is a certified Life and Personal Coach based in Brooklyn, New York. Her job is to challenge you, make you accountable, acknowledge your successes, celebrate them, and give you a place where you can be 100% yourself with no judgment and just live. Telephone 718-834-9450, e-mail or visit Noreen Sumpter
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