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Pick SMART And Reach Goals To Motivate Yourself To Success

Pick SMART And Reach Goals To Motivate Yourself To Success

I’m sure you have all heard about setting goals that are “SMART”: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. It’s an incredibly effective way to set a goal as it keeps you accountable: it is realistic, it has a deadline, you first have to make sure it is attainable and within your abilities, and you must have a way to measure your success (or lack thereof).

However, some people have issues with SMART goals. They find them constraining and un-motivating as it does not leave room for the big life goals that move us forward. Goals that are not specific are incredibly motivating. Goals like: Become an expert on XX, Be a Famous Fiction Author, etc. These types of goals are necessary to give life passion, a fire – to propel you forward. The goal many not be measurable enough, but it feels amazing to have such a goal. That is where the REACH goal comes in.

A Reach goal is an ultimate end goal that moves you. It need not have a deadline or even be terribly specific, but it must motivate you – it has to get you going every day. It has to make you want it. And it is that drive that is often missing from the SMART goal, which often makes life just seem like an endless to do list. So, to make your goals more effective, couple SMART goals with a Reach goal.

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This is what you do:

Find a life goal that motivates you

You can have more than one, but definitely less than 10. Usually 5 reach goals are enough for a lifetime. These are the goals you want to have accomplished by the end of your life. These are the goals you will the most proud. These are the goals to fuel you.

Write the reach goals down – and look at them every day

It’s easy to think that with such motivating goals, you’d constantly be reminded of them, right? But it’s actually pretty easy to forget our reach goals. It’s very easy that during the chaos of everyday life we get caught up in the motions and completely forget the goals that will move us to greatness. So write them down, and look at them. Every day. This is the motivation part.

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Pick a couple of SMART goals for each Reach goal

Most people can easily pick a couple of reach goals. What is hard is making them happen and that is where the SMART goals come in. It’s now time to write down the goals that will get you to take action. Go to your list of reach goals and under each of them, write down a couple of SMART goals that will help propel you forward. Follow the directions and make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

Write the SMART goals down – and look at them every day

Your SMART goals will change constantly while your reach goals will remain the same. As you accomplish one SMART goal after another, you will add a new goal to the list. I recommend you carry a piece of paper where there is plenty of room to add and cross out your SMART goals as you go along, but not too big where it will be difficult to carry. Look at this list daily.

Make each goal work for you

The purpose of the reach goal is to motivate you. So when you look at the paper with the goals, imagine yourself attaining the reach goal. Visualize how amazing it will be to achieve the goal. Think of how good it will feel. Believe in your ability to accomplish the reach goal. Let it fuel and drive you. Feel the goal running through your veins.

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Then, look at the SMART goal and let them guide you and narrow your focus. Make plans around the SMART goals, commit yourself to them. Believe you are capable of achieving these goals. Write any necessary steps in your daily to-do list. Look at the SMART goals constantly to make sure you’re on the right track.

Let the reach goals fuel you and then let the SMART goals take the wheel to drive you forward.

The more you visualize yourself achieving the reach goal, the more you believe you can do it, the more your life will steer in that direction. The more you focus on achieving the SMART goals, the more you guarantee the reach goals will happen, and the more motivated you will become to continue doing more.

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So if you find yourself demotivated by your SMART goals, it’s time to think up some reach goals. If you find yourself constantly day dreaming about achievement but never getting any work done, it’s time to pick some SMART goals. If you combine both, your goal-achieving ability will be unstoppable!

Featured photo credit: flick user: Rachel Kramer via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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