Creating Long Term Goals
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One of the
habits often practiced by highly successful people is the habit of
regular goal setting. There is a reason for that. Long
term goals compel you to work with discipline and concentration
rather than going about your job mindlessly and routinely. Goal-setting
is a discipline that helps you focus.
This doesn´t mean that you can´t do your job without goals. You can,
and many salespeople do. But the discipline of goal setting forces you
to think about what you do. It moves you out of the realm of being
reactive -- doing what other people want you to do -- to being
proactive -- doing what you want to do.
Ours is a world that is more and more full of stuff to do; interesting
things, multiple tasks and unlimited opportunities. Over the course of
your career, you are going to be presented with thousands of
opportunities and literally millions of decisions. If you´re going to
maintain your sanity and have any kind of life, you need to focus on
the most important of that chorus of possibilities crying out for your
attention. That´s what long term goals help you to do.
Here´s how to go about creating long-term goals.
1. Select an area on which to concentrate.
Since we are talking about long term goals -- say 10 or more years into
the future -- you should be working with fundamental aspects of your
life. I often suggest that people think first about these five areas of
Pick one area, work on it, and then move on to another area until you
have all five fundamental aspects of your life covered with long-term
4. Relationships (social)
2. Brainstorm (Daydream).
Next, daydream about what you´d like to achieve with respect to that
part of your life or job. Kick back, relax, and begin to list on a
piece of paper all the things you´d like to accomplish in the area on
which you´re focusing. Create a list of your dreams. Don´t edit or
judge what you´ve written, rather, just make a long list of your
dreams. Keep the time frame in mind. We´re not talking about next
month. These are long term, decades ahead, lifetime-ish sorts of
Nobody else can do this for you because no one really knows your
situation and your aspirations better than you do.
Here´s an example. Let´s say that you are thinking about your career,
and you´ve begun to daydream about what you´d like to accomplish in
that area. You write these things down:
- make a lot more money
- become one of the top
- advance into management
- successfully go into business
- become a vice-president of
If you´ve done a good job daydreaming, you probably have a long list of
things you´d like to accomplish. Unfortunately, you can´t do
everything. You just don´t have enough time and energy to do everything
you'd like to do. And, some of your possibilities, your day dreams, may
be mutually exclusive. So, you must prioritize and select those things
that are most important to you.
There´s no formula for this, other than to think carefully about each
of your daydreams, compare them to your situation, and select those
that you feel are the most important to you. Remember to apply a dose
of realism to this process.
In our example, let´s say that you´ve decided to focus on two career
1. to make a lot more money,
2. to move into management.
This step requires you to turn your daydreams, which are often pretty
vague at this point, into specific, achievable goals.
Let´s take the first of the two examples, "to make a lot more money."
What´s a lot more? After some reflection, you think along these lines:
"I made $50,000 last year. But I think I´m potentially a lot better
than that. Good salespeople make over six figures in today’s economy. I
can be at that level." Your goal then becomes much more specific when
you say, "I will consistently earn an annual income in the range of the
best salespeople in the country - at this point, that´s over $100,000 a
Your earlier, vague goal of "making a lot more money" has now been
turned into something very specific -- "Consistently earning over
$100,000 a year."
This is a key step in the process because the specific detail of the
goal is part of what gives it power. If your goals are vague and
abstract, they have less power to shape and direct your behavior.
You should now have a piece of paper with your specific, prioritized
goals written on it. When you've reached that point, you're ready for
the next step.
Because the power of a goal is to direct your behavior, it´s very
important that you write your goals exactly as you want them to be. You
will direct a great deal of your time and effort toward achieving that
goal. So, it behooves you to make sure the goal is right.
Once you have created written, specific goals, take a moment to apply
some criteria to them. See if they measure up to the following
questions. If so, good. If not, rewrite them to meet the criteria.
a. Are they specific? Does each
goal specify, in detail, exactly what you want to accomplish? Can you
make it more specific than what it already is?
b. Are they realistic? Deciding
to be elected president of the United States may be a worthwhile goal,
but it may not be realistic for you. This is where your daydreams meet
reality. Your goals should be a stretch and require you to work hard to
accomplish them, but they shouldn´t be so optimistic that you have no
realistic chance of achieving them.
c. Are they measurable? Can
somebody else tell whether or not you have achieved your goal? Have you
stated it in measurable terms? Back to the example. To make a lot more
money may be realistic, but it's not measurable. What´s "a lot more?"
By turning that phrase into a measurable unit, "$100,000," you have
made your goal measurable.
d. Do they have a specific time frame?
Every goal should have a deadline for completion. That helps put power
into it. A goal with no deadline has little motivational power. For
each goal, specify the date by which the goal will be attained.
e. Are they worthwhile? You can
spend years of your life working to achieve goals that, upon
reflection, were not worth it. Don´t let that happen to you. Rather,
consider, before you commit to it, whether or not this goal is
worthwhile. Is it a good thing? Will you be proud of accomplishing it
after the fact? If so, good. You are now ready to commit to your goal.
At this point, you will have created a set of long-term goals
of the five fundamental aspects of your life. Good work. You´ll find
them to be a major force in helping you focus your life and your
energies. Now, place them someplace where you can review them every few
months, and keep track of your progress.
About the Author
Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written ten books, presented in 47 states and eight countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine. Check out our Sales Resource Center for 455 sales training programs for every sales person at every level.
You may contact Dave at The DaCo Corporation, PO Box 523, Comstock Park, MI 49321, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-05-24 14:15:34 in Personal Articles