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The 12 Commandments of Goal Setting

Many professionals have a basic idea of what they want to achieve in their careers. They may want to close more sales, earn a higher income, or move into a different job. However, somehow they do not achieve the success they desire. Why? Why is it that intelligent, motivated, hard-working individuals are not achieving the success they deserve? It is because they haven't set clear goals.

They may have a general idea of what they want to accomplish, but the mind does not work effectively with generalities. If you want to earn a higher income and you earn one more dollar, have you achieved your goal? No, of course you haven't. Because you were not specific about what you wanted to accomplish, your creative mind could not assist you in reaching your true objective.

In order to be effective, goals must be written down in the present tense using clear, specific, vivid words. For example, if your goal were to earn a salary of $50,000 per year, you would write. 'I now earn $50,000. per year in a job that is fulfilling and allows me to express myself creatively.'

Completing the following steps will help you set goals effectively so you can achieve positive results in your career.

1. Decide what you want to accomplish. The goal should be very specific. If you want to close more sales, how many more sales do you want to close? What do you want your closing ratio to be? If you want to move into a different job, what are the characteristics of that job?

2. Determine a deadline for accomplishment. A goal must have a deadline. If you do not have a date on it, the goal is only a wish or a dream.

3. Determine that the goal is believable to you. You must feel that the goal can be realized. If you believe it is impossible to achieve, you will never take the action necessary to make the goal a reality.

4. Where are you now? Take a current inventory. You will never know how far you have to go if you don't know where you already are.

5. What obstacles do you need to overcome? Is there something that may make it difficult to achieve your goal? Be aware of the obstacle so you can make plans to overcome it.

6. What knowledge will you need to acquire? Will you need to earn a professional designation or take certain courses? Will you need to research new markets?

7. What organizations and groups should you associate with? Are there certain groups of people that can make it easier for you to accomplish your goal? How can you become affiliated with them?

8. What are the benefits to you? Write down as many benefits as possible. The more benefits you can come up with, the more likely you will be to stick to the goal until it is achieved.

9. Develop an action plan. Determine the specific steps that will be necessary to achieve the goal. Start at the accomplishment of the goal and work backwards.

10. Visualize yourself accomplishing the goal. See yourself in clear detail as if you have already achieved the goal. If you want to close more sales, see yourself closing more sales easily. Do this over and over again until it becomes part of your subconscious mind.

11. Take daily action towards the goal. Dreams and goals require action. The best goal in the world will never materialize unless consistent action is taken.

12. Resolve to never quit. Decide that you will never give up, even when times get tough, until your goal is reached.

Taking the effort to complete the steps in goal setting is not easy. However, when you follow these steps, your success is almost assured.

Della Menechella is a speaker, author, and trainer who inspires people to achieve greater success from the inside out. She is a contributing author to Thriving in the Midst of Change and the author of the videotape The Twelve Commandments of Goal Setting. She can be reached at della@dellamenechella.com. Subscribe to free Peak Performance Pointers e-zine 'send blank e-mail to mailto:subscribe@dellamenechella.com.


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