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Monday, September 5, 2011

The 5 “C’s” of Goal Setting

“One of the amazing things we have been given as humans is
 the unquenchable desire to have dreams of a better life, and
 the ability to establish goals to live out those dreams."
- Jim Rohn

Setting goals? Check ‘em against the “5 C’s” and adjust accordingly.

If your goals aren’t clear, you won’t be able to measure your progress -- much less know when you have achieved them. Clear goals are quantifiable (use numbers whenever appropriate) and have set deadlines for completion. Here’s a good example of a clear goal: To compete in the July 4th 10K race and complete it in one hour (or less).

You have to believe that you can achieve your goal in the time allotted.

To be motivated, you need goals that aren’t too easy. And, beyond motivation to achieve them, once you have achieved them, you won’t have accomplished much. On the other hand, don’t set goals that are too difficult; you’ll lose confidence in your ability to reach them and you’ll miss benchmarks. Your goals need to be a “stretch” but not too big a stretch.

The only way to achieve a realistic goal is to be committed to reaching it. The two critical factors in supporting your commitment are the size of the gain and your confidence in your ability to reach it.

Sometimes goals involve sub-steps that involve learning or training to complete on route to achieving the overall goal. When setting deadlines, make sure you take the learning curve into account. For example in the example above -- the 10K race – you will have to learn how to run shorter distances and build up to the full 10K before working on a faster 10K. In regards to the learning curve, you will probably move more quickly at the end (once you have mastered the distance and are just trying to improve time) than you did at the beginning when you were just starting to train.

"Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning;
 they are an incentive to keep you going all day. Goals tend to
 tap the deeper resources and draw the best out of life."
- Harvey Mackay

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