Top 5 – To Mastering Goal Setting

We can all have the best of intentions in setting our goals but why is it they don’t get achieved?  Is it being distracted by unforseen events in our life or the goals being unstructured or forgotten or maybe they end up in the too hard basket?  Whatever the case there is a sure fire way to get you back on track.

Goal setting is powerful, Gold Medallist Kerri Pottharst recently wrote in her blog on the subject of goal setting, “Back in 1997, my Ultimate Big Picture was to win the Gold Medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. I had to dream HUGE to paint the picture of Olympic Gold. At the time, we’d never even beaten the Brazilians who were hot favourites to win. We hadn’t even won an event, let alone a World Championship. Most athletes in this situation would have dreamed of just winning a medal. We didn’t. Our vision was Gold, and to my amazement, we got it! ”

Not only is it powerful, goal setting is a proven and very effective motivational tool to assist you in achieving your goals. It has been extensively researched since the 1960’s and there exists a framework to help you structure your goals optimising your opportunity to succeed.

There are many different ways to set goals but a popular and effective method is the SMART acronym which is detailed in our TOP 5 to Mastering Goal Setting.   At Happening People, when we complete corporate training programs on Goal Setting we include two extra letters to spell the acronym SMARTAS and have included this as an extra TOP 5 point just for you!

1. S – Specific
The goal needs to describe exactly what needs to be achieved. It needs to be clear and concise and incorporate the six ‘w’ questions (Who, What, Where, When, Which and Why?”). For example you could write ‘I want to run a half marathon soon’ or you could be more specific and write “I will run the Melbourne Half Marathon on the 14th of October 2012 within a runtime of 2.5 hours”. Suddenly the goal is very clear with a sense of purpose and propels you to action.

2. M – Measurable
This needs to measure progress and success along the way and at arrival. When you measure your progress you stay on track. You can’t just spring out of bed on the 14th of October and run a half marathon, you need to prepare.  So if your final goal is to run the Melbourne Half Marathon you need to set fitness goals along the way towards that October date.

3. A – Attractive
Do you have the commitment to make your dream come true? Or does it need a little adjustment?  When your goals are aligned to your values you’ll achieve them without any internal conflict.

4. R – Realistic
Goals need to be realistic and they need to address the skills, knowledge and abilities you currently have and will need.  When we’re kids we think we can do anything. As adults we learn that while we can have a lot, we can’t have it all at the same time. It’s important to honestly evaluate yourself. For example, you may want to leave your job as an Accountant to be an astronaut but do you have the capabilities to be one and if not how will you get them?

5. T – Time Bound
Have you set a deadline and is it realistic? A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to the goal there’s no sense of urgency and without urgency there is little motivation to see the goal achieved.

6. A – Agreed
When writing your goals you need to consider others involved and have their support, for example if you want a secondment into a different role at work you are more likely to achieve that goal if you have the support of your manager.  Same if you want to take the family on a yacht and sail around the world.  If your partner suffers from sea sickness it might be worth considering a different mode of transport. When we consider any goal it needs to challenge and stretch you.
7.  S – Stretching

The goal needs to be within reach.  This one is fairly obvious but there can be a tendency to get ‘carried away’ and set goals that are too much of a stretch for us and will ultimately lead to disappointment, set yourself up for success not failure.
Goals which require you to stretch can be motivational but goals which are out of reach might be demotivating.  At the same time if you consider the goal to be ‘easy’ it may be boring.  So increasing sales by 1% maybe easy,  10% maybe a stretch and 50% maybe out of reach.

Goal Setting is an acquired skill. Happening People are the leaders in Goal Setting ! Our international award winning organisation has steered many  individuals and companies to achieving their goals!

Call Happening People on 1800 68 67 69 or go to



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2 responses to “Top 5 – To Mastering Goal Setting

  1. Pingback: Top 5 – How to Let Go and Enjoy the Festivities While You Work | Happening People Blog

  2. Pingback: TOP 5 – How to Plan Your Career | Happening People Blog

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