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Imagine, just for a moment, what sports would be like without goals or goalposts. In football, the Quarterback would have nowhere to throw to and the running back, nowhere to run to. In baseball, there would be no bases or a home plate… a person would hit the ball, and then just stand there. Imagine what basketball might be like! Players would run from one end of the court to the other, aimlessly. They would have no baskets to shoot at, and would dribble from one side to the other. And that’s just the players. What about the onlookers? At what point would they cheer? If there were no goals or goalposts, at what point would the crowd applaud, whistle and shout? More than that, what parties would they go to after the game? There would be no parties for the fans to go celebrate at all! In short, a world of sports without goals would be pointless, aimless, and no fun at all.
Think, just for a moment, about the average American who does not have any goals. Having a life without goals, might be just as aimless, just as pointless, as a sport without them. What about the sales professional, who doesn’t have any goals either? Yet, the average salesperson does not make a habit of writing goals. Most don’t know how to write an effective goal, or even know what a goal is at all! There would be many more celebrations, many more parties and cheering going on, if each and every salesperson knew how to create effective goals!
I would wager that most of us know a person who doesn’t have any goals. In all probability they are unsuccessful, unhappy, or struggle in life. They go to work, clock in, do a day’s work, and clock out. Afterwards they go home and have dinner, pop open a beer and watch television. Because they do not have any goals, their existence is just like sports without goals or goalposts… drab, boring, useless and totally and utterly unexciting. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this approach to life; however they would be much happier if they spent half an hour, between dinner and television, and formulated some goals! Even if they spent only ten minutes, their lives would be that much more engaging and enriching!
For those of you who have friends and acquaintances that do not have goals, here is your chance to give them a helping hand. For those of you who have friends and acquaintances that never seem to be able to achieve their ‘goals’, here is your opportunity to give them a “Success 101 Tutorial” and reinvigorate them with the correct approach to writing goals!
To write an effective goal, your goal must have five basic elements. Without all five elements, it is just a wish, a fancy, or a daydream. Here are the five elements that all effective goals contain, using the G.O.A.L.S. acronym:
Gauged: There are regular increments by which the progress can be measured.
Obtainable: The goal can be realistically achieved in the given amount of time.
Action oriented: The first word is an action word that will assist in fulfilling the goal.
Lettered out: The goals is clearly defined with who, what, where, when, why and how.
Scheduled: There is a time limit for the goal to be achieved.
A great example of an effective goal can found in one of America’s favorite sports, football. Every football player who sets foot on the football field, has a crystal clear goal in mind:
Carry or pass the football one hundred yards to score as many touchdowns as possible, within four quarters of game time.
Let’s take a close look at this goal and examine each of the five components:
Gauged: There are one hundred yards for the team to travel. Progress can be measured by which goal line they are on.
Obtainable: It is entirely possible to take the ball one hundred yards within the time given, which is four quarters of game time.
Action oriented: To carry or pass the ball, are the actions which will assist in accomplishing this goal.
Lettered out: This goal is clear, concise, and fully explained.
Scheduled: The football player has four quarters of game time to score as many touchdowns as possible, which is fifteen minutes of game time per quarter, sixty minutes in all.
No wonder athletes are generally successful in life! From the time the begin playing sports, they feel the celebration, the victory, and the rewards that come from attaining goals! How can we take this formula, and apply it to our own lives? Easy. First we establish our own goals by writing them down on a sheet of paper, and then posting them up on a wall. We want our goals to be something worthwhile, which will benefit us, our company, and our loved ones. We want to establish short term goals, medium term goals, and long term goals to get the most out of our efforts.
Once we have established our goals and posted them on a wall, the second thing we will want to do is set an appropriate reward for each goal. What would you like to do? Where would you like to go? What would you like to have? Write a reward below each goal, and you will know what’s in it for you. Generally speaking, the bigger the goals are, the bigger the rewards should be.
The most important part of the G.O.A.L.S. and Reward system is: Once you achieve your goal… make sure you reward yourself. After all, that’s the most fun part!
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