We've just gone from "the Holiday Season" to the "Goal Setting Season." Each year, about the time we turn our calendars to a New Year, we hear a lot about goal setting (even though it is sometimes disguised as information about making your New Year's Resolutions). While the research and polls show that most people don't set goals, most everyone thinks about it at this time of the year.
It is a funny thing. People will say, "You really need goals." But when you ask them what theirs are, they sheepishly reply, "I don't have them, but everyone really should."
There are many reasons why people don't set goals. Some of the biggest reasons are:
? People don't know how
? People have set them in the past but didn't reach them
? People are afraid of failure
Of course setting goals is just an exercise that we know helps us achieve goals. So, while we all want to achieve goals, many of us don't even set them.
The Real Objective
Think about it. Is goal setting really the objective? No. What we really want is goal achievement. Goal setting is a part of the recipe, so while we need to learn this skill, it is just part of your solution. The biggest missing ingredient in most people's goal achievement recipe is faith, conviction, and lack of doubt. In other words, a deep seated, in the gut belief.
The fact is that most of us don't achieve our goals (however clearly or vaguely they are set) because we don't ultimately believe that we can reach the goal. That is why I believe the first step to successful goal achievement, regardless of your process or the steps you follow in setting your goals, is to absolutely believe that you can (will) accomplish it.
Driving a Ferrari doesn't make you a race car driver. Having the best paints, canvas, brushes and easel doesn't mean you will paint masterpieces. And having the best goal setting process won't guarantee goal achievement either.
But belief will.
The Size of the Goal
Much is written about how big goals should be. They should always be big enough to stretch us ? how much we should stretch depends in large part on what we can believe. If I have a total conviction that I am capable of and will reach the larger goal, then it is fine. Because without belief, you won't hit the goal, regardless of what it is.
David Schwartz wrote in The Magic of Thinking Big, "Believe Big. The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success. Remember this, too! Big ideas and big plans are often easier -- certainly no more difficult -- than small ideas and small plans."
It is a known fact that our beliefs become our reality. Most of us accept this as truth, but haven't applied it to goal setting. Beliefs lead to actions which lead to results. If you believe, you will act in accordance. If you feel your belief wavering, act as if your belief was strong and your belief will become stronger.
So rather than starting with a goal setting process; start from a state of belief. Begin by thinking about things you want to achieve, and believe you can and will achieve. Then write them down, and follow the process or format of your choice.
Start with belief ? be it for your personal, family, financial, professional or business goals ? and you will have taken the most important step towards achieving your goals.
Kevin is Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (http://KevinEikenberry.com), a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. Kevin publishes Unleash Your Potential, a free weekly ezine designed to provide ideas, tools, techniques and inspiration to enhance your professional skills. Go to http://www.kevineikenberry.com/uypw/index.asp to learn more and subscribe.