Earlier this week I talked about the importance of writing down your goals to make them happen but perhaps we need to back up and little bit and just talk about how to set goals.
There is the classic business approach which believes in the importance of S.M.A.R.T. goals.
What are Smart Goals? Darrell Zahorsky of Small Business Information helps us understand:
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for the 5 steps of specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals. It’s a simple tool used by businesses to go beyond the realm of fuzzy goal-setting into an actionable plan for results.
Check out this how-to video on setting SMART goals from Decision Skills
Another, more modern approach to goal setting comes to us via INC magazine, from Adam Kreek, who is an entrepreneur, a motivational speaker, and winner of a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with his Canadian rowing team.
Rather than setting SMART goals, Adam has developed a C.L.E.A.R. system:
Collaborative (Goals should encourage employees to work together collaboratively and in teams)
Limited (Goals should be limited in both scope and duration)
Emotional (Goals should make an emotional connection to employees, tapping into their energy and passion)
Appreciable (Large goals should be broken down into smaller goals so they can be accomplished more quickly and easily for long-term gain)
Refinable (Set goals with a headstrong and steadfast objective, but as new situations or information arise, give yourself permission to refine and modify your goals)
I like the idea of a limited goal – one that is focused and specific but as a writer, collaborative and emotional goals involving others may not be practical; unless you plan on delegating portions of your marketing and promotional efforts. Delegation is a good thing!
However, the thing I like most about Adam’s goal setting approach is that goals should be refinable. So often we get a goal in our mind and run up against some resistance and rather than make modifications to our goals we just throw up our hands and give up.
A third approach to setting goals is the Chris Brogan way. His goals are set at the beginning of the year and are boiled down to just three words.
Rather than write out long resolutions that are abandoned mid-January, Chris selects three very specific words that are the frame work of his year. Each thing he does, each meeting he takes, and each person he connects with have to have some baring on the three words he has selected.
Here is a bit of advice from Chris:
The first point I’d like to make is that it rarely works for you if you create a phrase. “Do the work,” for instance, is a great thing to think about, but it kind of wastes two words. If you just wrote “work,” you’d still get the gist of the intention. That frees up two words for something else.
Secondly, I’ve heard from people over the past 8 years who have told me that vague words rarely help. “Focus” is on a lot of people’s 3 words lists and people report back that it doesn’t help them. Why? Because the word “focus” is a bit too, well, unfocused. It’s a word in search of a problem.
Last, I believe with all my heart that negative words aren’t especially helpful. It’s really hard to rally to a word or mission that starts with “Don’t.”
So, if I were to give you some recommendations, pick three words that can be packed with depth. Pick words that will be your own.
Okay, so whether your goals are SMART or CLEAR or boiled down to three words, you have to set some goals. Wishing that you could be on Ellen DeGeneres talking about your latest book is just that…a wish. Unless you put down the goal in writing, identify the pieces of the puzzle that will be necessary to achieve your goal and set a time line to make it happen, it will just be a “nice-to-have” that never happens.
A dream is a wish your heart makes, but a goal is tangible, concrete, specific, and actionable.
Does your goal seem too big? Well, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Break down the goal into smaller more manageable goals and then apply the same process of being specific and setting time frames to each task.
I understand how difficult it can be when you are setting goals, especially goals that you know will have many moving parts, will involve time, perhaps money and decisions that can be difficult to make.
I understand because I have been working on a huge goal for the better part of a year. I have wanted to update my Halo website for quite some time and it was a goal that seemed insurmountable.
Determining the layout and the different page functions, writing content, selecting images, and working with a web developer was a process but at the end of the day, I am proud of what we achieved. Check out our new website: Halo Publishing.
Remember, each step you take gets you closer to your final goal.
Bottom line: Setting specific goals for self-publishing and promoting your book is a necessary part of the process. But you aren’t alone. We can help – give us a call.