Jeff Hotchkiss

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Dec 07th
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BackHome | Toolbox | Life Skill Solutions | BeSMART Goal Setting

BeSMART Goal Setting

goal blocksMaking goals is more about designing a process than setting a destination. Believing in your ability to steer your life path intentionally releases tremendous emotional power. Goal setting and achieving is a cornerstone of well-being. It breeds a belief that builds on itself. Belief drives confidence and tenacity in the face of stress and challenges. Attacking goals in a measured, realistic way works. Adding genuine emotional excitement around a goal blazes the path to genuine progress. If you feel it you can heal it! Building in a desire to be of service to others will stoke the emotional energy even further.

A lot of people work with SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timely) goal setting. This is a solid framework to get desires clear, but SMART goals lack two critical components needed for success: (B) belief and (e) emotional fire. Add these crucial ingredients and you get what I call BeSMART goals.

Life situations tend to change over time. Framing a BeSMART path to the things you need puts both the conscious and subconscious mind to work, rigging the game for success. They adapt to the changes that are sure to come. They get you focused and confident in knowing that things are moving in the right direction.

Significant personal change usually only happens after some terrible event, loss or breakdown. I’m not sure why inertia keeps people seeking shelter in habit or delusion, but it does. Inertia can be converted to momentum pulling you forward when you really want it on an emotional level, then put the pieces into place to a point where you truly trust and believe in the process. It is the fuel that fires logic to connect the dots and the fuel to help you stay the course when the going gets tough.

Try these 7 steps to making BeSMART goals:
goals target1. Put your specific, realistic goals in writing*.
2. Divide each big goal into smaller, reachable steps.
3. Make a list of potential obstacles, and brainstorm ways around them.
4. Enlist the help of others.
5. Attach a STRONG emotional charge. Fall in love with the feeling of success.
6. Don't fear failure.
7. Reward yourself each step of the way.
(*see Win-list and Ulysses Contracts)

Sounds simple? It is. Easy? You bet. Then why are 90 percent of New Year’s resolutions forgotten within a week? Because roadblocks like these are real:
1. You don’t truly believe you can do it.
2. You have not broken your goal down to small enough steps.
3. Fear of failure keeps you from actually trying.

One way I discovered to break through roadblocks is to put deadlines on your dreams by building Ulysses Contracts. These one-page tools marry intentions to action. They define a policy under construction then build momentum so that authentic change happens. It takes time to change. We overestimate what we can accomplish quickly and underestimate what we can become in time. Use this strategy to visualize life the way you want it, and then start taking steps. A small step can lead to big success. A series of steps creates a pattern. The pattern changes and before you know it, you’re there! More about Ulysses Contracts later.
Decision overload is another problem a lot of us face. Modern living in a marketing-based society presents a ton of daily choices. Cognitive psychologists have determined that it takes a similar amount of energy to decide which toothpaste to buy as a does to pick a book to read. Obviously one choice is more important than the other, but without mindful awareness of what decisions are important the brain does not know the difference.

Insurance, healthcare, investments, education, are all examples of important decisions that demand attention. With all of the choices we are presented with it's easy to procrastinate and put things off. Life is busy, things change and time flies; there is no way to pay close attention to everything. Breaking decisions down into manageable chunks helps focus attention and prioritize choices.

Here are eight tips to ensuring BeSMART goal success:
goal finish1. Keep expectations realistic.
2. Make goals based on intrinsic motivations
3. Take action every day without taking on too much
4. Visualize the sight, smell, touch, sounds and feeling of success
5. Ignore your inner-critic. Start a dialogue with your inner-fan
6. When setbacks happen declare a breakdown, regroup and move on
7. Be flexible and fluid. Allow goals to redefine themselves
8. Step back and reevaluate regularly, staying focused on the big picture

BeSmart goals rig the game of life for success by putting you in front of decisions. Research shows that setting small achievable goals builds confidence based on competence. Stringing together a series of small wins leads to big changes we desire. BeSMART goals are more about rounding out your lifestyle. In this case the word goal could stand for, Get Out And Live!

Wisewords: “If at first you do succeed, try something harder.” ~Ann Landers


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