“People don’t plan to fail; sometimes they just fail to plan.”

One of the major steps of Stress-less Success is to the create goals that reinforce the vision you created in the first step. The most effective method of goal-setting that I know is the SMART Goals model. SMART is an acronym for:

Aligned and Action-oriented
Timed and Towards Your Vision

Starting with Specific, know that the more specific or defined you can get with your goals the better the results you will have. For example, let’s say that you have a goal of buying your dream home. The specifics may include items such as how much you are willing to pay; how far from your family, friends and work you are willing to be; and how many square feet you will need.

You can see by this example that there may be several sets of “sub-goals” that fulfill each of the primary goals. For example, if you want to spend $1,000,000 on your home, and you know that you need a 20 percent down-payment, then you would want sub-goals of figuring out to contribute, or cover, the down payment, as well as how to get the financing for the remaining principle.

Measurable is the next SMART piece and all this means is that you need to be able to have some type of measuring parameters on all your goals. Going back to the example of generating the down payment for buying your dream home, you need to be able to know where you are (How many $ you currently have access to) and where you need to be (Total amount of $ needed to make your down payment).

The next part of your SMART Goals is actually two in one. First is “Aligned” and this is a very important part of you fulfilling your vision. You want goals that are aligned with your vision. If you want to buy a house and that is a big part of your vision, then setting goals to buy cars, boats and airplanes might be fun, but they would be out of alignment with your vision. The more aligned your goals are with your vision, the more efficiently you will be in attaining your goals.

The other part of this is the Action-orientation of your goals. All your goals need to be written (Yes, you DO need to write them down!!) in action-oriented language. The whole purpose of having goals is to give you a plan, or a map, to living fully in your vision. Therefore, you need to be in action to get there. Be specific about what action you will take at what time. Going back again to the house buying scenario, the action steps could include calling lending companies to get approved for a mortgage, having a conversation with the seller of the house about financing the down payment, and/or cashing in some of savings/investments for your down payment.

Next is Realistic and that simply means to have a reality basis for your goals. It would be very unrealistic to think that wiggling your nose (which would be both specific and an action) three times a day (measurable) while you are wishing for $200,000 cash for your down payment would actually manifest anything. You are NOT a genie, nor is life a Hollywood scene, so you need to make your goals realistic.

The last step also has two parts. The first part is “Timed” which means that your goals need to be put on some type of time-table. If you had the specific and measurable goal of attaining the $200,000 you need for your down payment, then you need to add a time-line to that. For example, if you set the $200,000 goal to be attained over the course of 50 (timed) weeks, then you know that you would need to average $4,000 every week to achieve the goal.

The other part of this piece is “Towards Your Vision” which is just another reminder that this all to fulfill your vision and to live the life of your dreams. Stay focused on where you are going and you will get there. Get distracted and chances are slim that you will live in your vision.

If you find that your goals are going elsewhere, you may want to go back and re-examine your vision. The pathway to our vision is a journey and we often will be creating and re-creating our vision as we go along. Therefore there may be new parts of your vision revealed through each step of your Stress-less Success.

Just make sure that you are SMART with your goals, so set SMART goals!

© 2004 Ken Donaldson, Kenilee, Inc.

Author's Bio: 

I provide mental health counseling, marriage counseling and relationship counseling to help professionals and their families eliminate stress, maximize success and create extraordinary relationships at home, at work and in the community. As a mental health counselor, marriage counselor and relationship counselor my number one goal is to help people live their lives and relationships fully and completely. I've been offering counseling, coaching, and educational programs since 1987. My programs are focused on empowering people to have more successful lives, businesses and relationships. You'll always find FREE Life and Relationship Success Special Reports at http://kendonaldson.com/. I'm also the author of Marry YourSelf First! Say "I DO" to a Life of Passion, Power, Purpose and Prosperity http://www.marryyourselffirstbook.com/