Be A SMARTY Pants
Some things work. Some things do! In my drive for getting to that section of life I really want to be I am busy evaluating what works for me, and what doesn’t. Things that don’t work I politely but decisively remove from my thinking process (I will share some secrets with you on how to do that without endless affirmations and mishaps in a future article!). Sometimes things work partially and need some adjustment. One such principle I have adjusted to better suit me and my way of thinking is the (in)famous goal setting aide called S.M.A.R.T. This acronym is used to evaluate a goal set. It is a way to test the comprehensive development of a goal once it has been set.
Until I started putting my own twist on it, SMART did not work for me. The new SMARTY is dynamic and living. I use it not to evaluate the goal once I have defined it, I USE IT TO DEFINE THE GOAL AS I SET IT. May I share this twisted SMARTY version of goal setting with you.
S – SPECIAL DESTINATION
M – MEASURABLE PROGRESS
A – ACHIEVABLE PLANS
R – ROLE BASED
T – TIME RELATED
Y - YAHOO
SPECIAL DESTINATION: Specifically special. Drool worthy special is what I look for! Our brains cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined. Our brains remembered everything about us, everything we have thought, felt or did. This special capability of the brain is what successful goal achievers utilize in order to achieve what they want.
Creating a special destination for your arrival in the future will click all the minds resources into making that happen. What does that mean? This means our goal; our future vision should be compelling!! Attractive!! Desirable!! The more desirable our future is, the easier it will be to attain.
I draw pictures of where I want to be (No, really! On paper! With colour pens! The whole deal). There is something magical in drawing out my goal. I draw it, add to it until I know it’s a compelling future, somewhere I want to arrive, a SPECIAL DESTINATION. I know it is special when as I draw, I start to drool. Hahaha Yes, really. I look at that picture and I think – mmm it is delicious.
Here isa fantastic 8 min video by Patti Dobrowolski on “DRAWING YOUR FUTURE” for great tips and inspiration on this technique. Please check it out.
Whether you draw it, write it or just think it – The first step is to define a detailed, attractive future that is a desirable SPECIAL DESTINATION.
MEASUREABLE PROGRESS: As a runner Mile Markers are of great assistance. Mile Markers let you know how far you have come, and how much further is left to go. With that information, together with feedback from the body, I know how to pace myself for the remainder of the distance. When I set a desirable future, I set up a manner to measure my progress is increments of some sort.
We all need feedback! Measuring your progress lets you know where you are, what you have completed striving to your desirable future, and what is left. With constant feedback it is easy to adjust oneself / the team - to what is required to reach the special destination.
ACHIEVABLE PLANS: How does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time!! Motivation and enthusiasm is seriously challenged when the task is huge! If it appears impossible it will be! Break down the approach to your special destination in Mile Markers - One Bite at a time.
Your Special Destination vision shouldn’t just be a goal. It should be a methodical plan to achieving your goal. Steps, time frames and rest pauses. Running an ultra-marathon (50km) I break the distance up into a
chievable chunks. For me the race is always divided into 3 chunks. I am comfortable running 25km. I plan my pace as if I was training for 25km. Once reached, handy water points allow me a moment to celebrate. Mile poles indicate how far I have come. Admittedly I am tired, but not that tired I can run 12.5km. Awesome. That distance is the same as my morning jog! I start my morning jog! And when I get to those handy celebration points (Water table) around that 12.5km mark, I celebrate the fact that I have covered 37.5km! I evaluate what is left – 12.5km. A morning run left and that’s a piece of cake.
By breaking the distance up in such a manner, each phase/chunk is doable, possible! Even eating an elephant becomes possible, achievable! Isn’t that what you want? I want achievable plans and steps that carry me to my Special Destination.
ROLE BASED: Playing the correct role in your approach to the Special Destination is a vital aspect that is almost always overlooked. We live our lives from the roles we hold as true for ourselves. I play roles such as: I’m a man, a male, a dad, a brother, a son, a friend, a runner, a writer, a manager, a strategist, an entrepreneur, a sales consultant and so on.
The role we choose to reach our special destination should be relevant during our progress, and not based on the role that we will play when I reach the destination. For example, I want to build my own house. My special destination includes me living in my modern green house with all the technology required to live off the grid in a sustainable manner, a modern home owner. That will be the role I will play when I achieve my goal. On route to that goal, I need to be a Frugal Planner, A Builder, A Money Maker, An Accountant, An Employer. These are roles that I will use to get what I want in an efficient and effective manner! Should I neglect the Accountant role, I may go over budget. If I neglect the role of Employer, I may lose the people I need in order to do the actual building of the house. I need to manage the process like an employer, not like a home owner.
TIME RELATED: Goals left to infinity don’t get completed! Set deadlines. Set deadlines for each section of your progress. Work out a time line for your approach to your Special Destination. This is an important progress measurement tool that is easily overlooked. There is a mechanism in our brains that once the deadline has been set, the mind will prompt us, remind us, provoke us till we comply and complete the goal. It is built into our make-up, like reminders is part of outlook, but rarely utilized. Use time frames in your Achievable Plans to keep you driven and focused on the end result. Plan your time, and time will work for you!
YAHOO: The celebration should be equal to the size of the goal set. If it is a little goal, a pat on the back and personal congratulations to the image in the mirror is sufficient. Cupcakes and cream soda for one, up to a massive party with balloons and Champaign could be a way to celebrate reaching your Special Destination.
But, remember my ultra-marathon? I celebrated on the route too. This is a strategy to remain focused, positive and excited by use of Rest Pauses. Fatigue is a passion killer. It is a team breaker. You will be more productive and focused if you take planned and intermittent breaks. Use these opportunities to celebrate what you have already achieved. Be proud of what you did. Then, take a moment and focus on what is left to achieve. Plan it. Deadline it. Go Get It!