Tag Archives: goal setting

Setting Goals, Not Resolutions

“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind” – Seneca (Roman Stoic philosopher 4BC – 64AD)

The end of one year and the beginning of a new one is typically time for resolutions. This year, instead of resolutions, how about setting some goals instead?

What is the difference between resolutions and goals? Resolutions tend to be fairly non-specific generalities such as: “losing weight”, “getting organized” or “getting in shape”. However, goals tend to be specific and focused. Goals are: “I am going to lose 15 pounds by March 31st” or “I am going to run a 10K road race in May of 2010”. Resolutions are abstract, goals are concrete; resolutions are promises, goals are contracts.

Even though your life may be strewn with the wreckage of previous resolutions now abandoned, I want to encourage you to try it again this year, but this time take some time and set concrete goals for 2010. To assist you in developing a spirit of resolve as we face the future of a new year, here are 5 reasons you need to set goals for 2010 and 5 tips for setting effective goals.

Reasons to set goals.

  1. Goals establish direction for your life. If you never set a goal, how will you know where you are going?
  2. Goals identify results. If no goal exists, how do you measure your progress?
  3. Goals challenge you to grow. If you never set a goal, how do you move out of your comfort zone?
  4. Goal setting gives you confidence. Your frustration is immediately lowered when vagueness and doubt are replaced by focus and concentration.
  5. Goal setting is the foundation of success. A builder cannot construct a home without first outlining a blueprint. A pilot cannot fly a plane without first submitting a flight plan. A minister cannot deliver his sermon without first framing his message. You cannot design an extraordinary life without a solid foundation – goals.

Tips for setting goals.

  1. Goals must be specific. State clearly what success means. You will not “Eat better”, you will “limit your intake of saturated fats” or “consume 2000 calories per day”.
  2. Goals must be measurable. Have a clear target. You will not “lose weight”, you are going to “lose 25 pounds by June 1, 2010”.
  3. Goals must be reasonable. Make sure your goal is attainable. Don’t set a goal to sell $250,000 in 2010 if you’ve never sold more than $100,000 in one year. Have a reasonable basis to expect success.
  4. Goals must have a plan to attain them. If you set a goal to get 100 new customers in 2010, make sure you have in place a method that can generate 1.923 new customers per week or 8.333 new customers per month.
  5. Goals must be written down. A goal is nothing more than a wish until it is written down. Write your goals down on a 3”X 5” note card and keep it in your calendar or pocket. Written goals must then be taken out and reviewed daily, if not more often.

Clearly defined goals and strategies are the single most important structure in the long-term effectiveness, profitability and sustainability of your business or career. Focusing on one’s goals helps make life more enjoyable and gives one a greater sense of control in their life.

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Its almost 2010. Let’s get engaged!

Promotional products can be one of the pillars of your social media strategy in 2010.

Engagement is a fairly new marketing term which you will hear more about in 2010. Engagement is a marketing strategy that directly engages consumers and invites and encourages them to participate in the evolution of a companies’ brand or products.

Social Media is one of the pillars of engagement. By developing an on-line presence and reputation, you can create a positive feedback loop between you and your customer. Engagement, in its simplest form, is a conversation between you and your customer. But the question remains, how do you start the conversation and then keep it going?

Marketers have come to accept that there are four engagement methods including Platform (TV; online), Context (program; webpage), Message (ad or communication), and Experience (store/event). It is a good thing for all marketers that promotional products manage to fulfill all four of these methods.

  1. Platform – The physical presence of a product in their pocket, purse, auto or on their desk, etc.
  2. Context – The actual giving or presenting of the product to the targeted consumer.
  3. Message – The brand, logo or message that is imprinted on the product.
  4. Experience – (This is where it gets REALLY good) The on-going use and enjoyment of the product (and your message)

If your marketing plans for 2010 include a social media strategy (and they should), be sure part of the strategy includes promotional products. They can become an effective part of your overall strategy.

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Moments well spent

Brian Tracy, master organizer and goal setter, advises us all about the importance of the “now” –  the moment we lHourglassive in. He encourages us in every decision we make to always be mindful of our goals. One of his basic tenets of his program is that we must constantly order our activities so that we are always moving towards our goals. In other words, whatever we are doing at any particular moment in time, that activity should be bringing us closer to our goals.

Another important point he makes is; just because something is urgent does not mean it is important. We will always have to deal with life’s little emergencies – fires will always need to be put out. However, if you are spending too much time fighting fires, when do you have time to plant trees?

When are you going to read that book? When are you going to write that book? When are you going to take that class? When are you going to give that speech? Sing that song? Start that new business?

It is the activities we pursue in the present, the decisions we make every moment that create what we are and what we are to become. Moments well spent bring us closer to our long-term goals; closer to the important stuff. If you don’t have time during your day to actively pursue the important stuff, you may need to do some thinking about what is truly important. Good Luck!

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Two Days That Don’t Matter

Calendat page

There are two days in every week that one should never worry about; yesterday and tomorrow.

Yesterday no longer matters because it is dead and gone. No matter how much one would like to go back and change yesterday, it is forever beyond one’s control.

Tomorrow, with its uncertainties, promise or possible adversities is nothing more than a blank slate. Indeed, tomorrow is not promised to anybody, it is only a possibility.

The only day that matters is today. The awesome thing about today is that it is here, now, and one can actively do something about it. One can start a diet today, which if followed faithfully, will result in a much better tomorrow. However, that tomorrow will never come except for good decisions made during a continuing series of present moments. In order for any plan to work, one must keep in mind that the decisions made in the present will make themselves known only in the future. Each present moment, each decision, brings with it the possibility of bringing us towards the future that we envision or one which we will regret.

One can start writing a blog today. One can hire a new employee today. One can make amends for past offenses today. One can start a new marketing campaign today. All one has to do is decide today, here in the present – now.

I have been planning, for the past months, to start writing a weekly e-mail newsletter. I planned it yesterday (when my yesterdays were still today), I am going to send it out tomorrow. However, I am going to write it today.

What are positive steps are you going to take today to make your tomorrow a better day than yesterday? What vision of the future are you going to start creating today? What decisions can you make now? Good Luck!

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Looking through the fog of adversity

Many today are of the mind that we area going through some tough times right now. Many would be right.

Although the signs are that the economy may be improving (at least no longer deteriorating catastrophically, as we saw this past winter), it would not be unreasonable to feel as if one is experiencing some adversity right now.

The important question is: what are you going to do about it?

Complain? Who cares?

Get angry? At who?

Give up? Good for your competition, bad for your future.

When you’re in the midst of adversity, don’t look at where you are or how you got there; envision where you want to be, even if your vision seems unrealistic. See yourself beyond your current circumstances and envision yourself where you will be after you have weathered the storm.

When businesses or people are in the middle of adversity, they tend to behave in reaction to the circumstances as they are during that set point in time. That is, they can only see poor sales, poor cash flow, poor traffic patterns, etc. Many put in place short-term “fixes” to get them through. However, some of those “short-term” answer can have negative long-term effect on their business.

But an effective leader needs to look beyond the now. They see a future scenario where they have adapted to adversity and have achieved a new level of success for themselves and their business.Eye

Realize that whatever situation you’re in is temporary and it will pass, no matter how bad it may seem. When you envision what’s possible, you quickly discover that adversity actually can be an opportunity to make the changes you need to make to move to the next level.

Bad times can be a catalyst for change that allows you to re-invent yourself or your life circumstances. Adversity prepares you for something better.

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