I love questions! The really powerful ones should stop a person in their tracks and make think and ponder. By this, I mean those questions should have the power to change your life, not like the basic questions, i.e. “What’s your favorite color?”

The problem these days we don’t take the time to use our imagination and look ahead at what could be. We’re too busy looking at the current situation and “what is”. The problem with this is if we never look ahead we will always get “what is”, which most of us are not happy with!

So what’s a person to do?

I would strongly suggest that you either print this article, or at least write these following questions on a blank piece of paper. These questions presume that you have a strong to change something in your life.

1. What do you want? (target)
2. Where are you now?
3. What steps are needed to get you there? (goals)
4. Why now?
5. Who will I have to be to get there?
6. When get there…then what?
7. What do I want to keep the same (in my life)?

I know, these questions may seem simplistic at first, but as a good friend of mine, T. Harv Ever says, “Most people don’t get what they want, because they don’t know what they want.” This first question is probably the most powerful, if answered correctly.

To answer the first and third question I recommend the SMARTER goal method. This takes the SMART goal method and adds a twist.

Specific - A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six "W" questions:

• Who: Who is involved?
• What: What do I want to accomplish?
• Where: Identify a location.
• When: Establish a time frame.
• Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
• Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

Measurable - Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as......How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable - When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

Realistic - To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress. A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labor of love.

Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.

Tangible - A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the senses, that is, taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing. When your goal is tangible, or when you tie an tangible goal to a intangible goal, you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and thus attainable.

Intangible goals are your goals for the internal changes required to reach more tangible goals. They are the personality characteristics and the behavior patterns you must develop to pave the way to success in your career or for reaching some other long-term goal. Since intangible goals are vital for improving your effectiveness, give close attention to tangible ways for measuring them.

Evaluate - Your goals are not set in stone and will change from time to time. Constant evaluation of your goals is essential to reaching your goals. Change factors must be taken into consideration during your evaluation. Factors such as change in volunteer status, change in family or job responsibilities, or change in available resources may affect your stated goals.

Re-do - After a careful evaluation then you should re-do the goals that need changing and continue the SMARTER goal setting process.

Goal development and goal setting is process that changes and needs evaluation. The process of developing, initiating and following through on the SMARTER goals setting model is cyclical and should be continually worked on. As a sectional staff member, your personal and organizational goals should be examined critically at least once a year.

You’ll notice that I classify “what you want” as the target and your action steps as your goal. Here’s why. You desire, what you want to change is a fix point, that is a target. In order to get there you must take action, and most likely massive action.

So, how to hold yourself accountable for these actions? That’s where the goals come in. The goals are the actions you take in order to progress towards your target. For example, if you wanted to release 10 lbs of fat (that would be your target) your goal would be to reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories per day and increase your output (exercise) by 500 calories per day.

As long as you hit your goals, your target automatically gets closer to you. DO you see the power in this?

By using these 7 mental strength questions and by applying the SMARTER target process you’ll be able to make magnificent changes in any part of your life.

Author's Bio: 

Gregg Swanson is a mental strength coach and owner of Warrior Mind Coach and Training. To receive a complimentary copy of his e-book “Powerful Secrets to Creating The Mind Strength of a Warrior” please visit: http://warriormindcoach.com