There are three principal criteria that need to be adhered to in every goal you set. But first, as a word of caution, most people don’t really set goals at all. Instead, they only have a vague notion of what they are trying to do. Many have been seduced to believe the Law of Attraction will somehow hand them what they are dreaming about.
Actually the Law of Attraction is a powerful force (a law actually) and does work all of the time. The problem is most people don’t know how to apply it.
Here are some time tested techniques that have been proven to work all of the time.
Focus on the Vital.
The first is that every goal is based upon Vital Drivers that you can influence. Certainly you’ll know you can impact any driver that’s within your own direct area of responsibility. But, sometimes you may find yourself tempted to set goals which are in the direct control of one of your colleagues.
Sometimes that’s okay because you may very well may be able to apply some leverage to someone else’s drivers. For example, perhaps you’re in sales and you commit to a goal which is going to increase gross profit margin. That’s fine since you may have the ability to sell your company’s products or services for a higher than normal price. Another department that can directly influence gross profit margin would be production or purchasing. Individuals in those departments can increase gross profit margin by lowering the cost of goods sold. In this example, both departments can influence the vital driver.
However, you will want to resist committing to goals that you really cannot influence. For example, if you are in the accounting department the probability of you being able to impact gross profit margin is very slight.
Sadly, many people will make commitment to “goals” which they have no chance of hitting or even influencing. Odd, but true.
Commit to a Measurable Result.
The second criteria is to make certain every goal is stated as a result. Committing to “trying harder” is not a goal. Committing to producing a specific result is a goal that you have a high probability of actually achieving.
It is interesting and highly discouraging that most think hard work is all that is required. These are the same individuals who complain when someone, who seemingly did not work very hard, actually wins the prize.
It is a dead give-away of a hard-working complainer who is constantly saying, “but, I tried really hard.”
Accept the Accountability.
Third, you want to make certain that you are accountable for the outcome. This simply means that you have “ownership” of the goal. You’ll want to resist the temptation to commit to something that you really cannot control. By doing so you risk setting yourself up for certain failure.
It is unfortunate that poor performance and blaming others has become so acceptable. Mediocrity has become the norm.
Don’t settle for it.
If you say, “I will”, accept the accountability for it and deliver. Those that do are the winners and the ones that, in the end, are going to continue to be on the top.