Achievement tastes sweet but requires sweat. Technically defined as the process or fact of achieving something, it is related to the drive to improve or reach excellent standards no matter the field we are talking about. Goals can be as diverse as human beings pursuing them. But according to Stephen Gribben in his Key Coaching Models book, all of them share the same way to achievement through five unmistakable steps to be carefully followed.
Step 1: Set your goal
The difference between those who may wish and hope and those who actually believe and expect is the focus, the drive, and the direction coming from having a specific set goal. Without a goal, there is no real sense of achievement. Goals need to be defined. And written just to start. Because according to research conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews from Dominican University in California, a written goal is 42 percent more likely to happen.
At first sight, setting goals may seem easy. We formulate what we want, and we go for it. However, from wishing to achieving, there is a whole process of techniques to bear in mind and follow.
SMART is a well-known criterion for goal-setting established by Peter Drucker in his book The Practice of Management. Fostering Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound objectives, however, this concept has been outsmarted by the ART in the SMART model. Because sometimes, even SMART goals get lost what clearly leads to a counterproductive lack of motivation and drive. So what to do in this situation? Reframing the goal by using the ART in the SMART model what quicky re-energizes the whole goal-setting process. When motivation is what failed, the A of Attainable should be transformed into an A of Amazing. An Amazing goal is a goal that instantly gives us the push and the will to fully pursue it. When the goal was simply not too Realistic as to be achievable, reformulating it into a Ridiculous objective much more comfortable to be grasped and followed can be a great reinvigorating idea. Finally, Time-preferred instead of Time-bound may be the best way to make people and goals flexible enough to successfully ‘breathe’ and achieve.
With several claims of authorship and significant contributions by Graham Alexander, Alan Fine, and Sir John Whitmore, the GROW model is a beginners way to address goal-achievement. This model makes us reflect not just on the formulation of our Goal, but on the current Reality about this goal, the different Option that will work best for the achievement of this goal and the What next or subsequent actions to be taken towards the achievement of this goal.
Step 2: Analyse the ultimate benefits and impacts
Watered with motivation, achievers can passionately work for internal reasons that go beyond purely external drivers, pursuing goals with energy and resilience. Analyzing the ultimate benefits and impacts of a goal, center the focus on the Why behind it. The more reasons we have to follow the achievement of our goals, the bigger motivation we will get to do so. What is the value of this goal and the opportunities that it will bring? What are the impacts that could be expected both for us or others?
Step 3: Put together your strategy for reaching your goal
Planning is one of the most essential strategies associated with the achievement of any goal. A serious action plan based on daily goals as markers to stick to and focus on is basic for goal-achievement. As a comprehensive process to find the different Hows, this step focuses on the ways, strategies, options, possible plans, and actions to reach the goal. What learning and development actions do we need to undertake? What resources will we need to perform them? How shall we overcome obstacles to my learning? All alternatives should be taken into consideration rather than focusing immediately on the most obvious ones.
Step 4: Implement your strategy with energy
This step requires to set a specific date and time for the goal to be achieved. Leaving out a particular beginning and end date makes it easier to put off actions that may bring the target closer. This date that can totally be Time-Framed and not just Time-bound measures the level of our commitment and separates a wish or hope from a firm and steady resolution.
The implementation of effective time management strategies is basic for timely goal-achievement. Planning and evaluating our time investment according to the time-management quadrant can be a very efficient way to successfully reach on time our final destination. Efforts should be focused as much as possible on fostering Quadrant 2 while avoiding Quadrant 4. An everyday audit on our time expenditure in each one of these quadrants will help to better manage Quadrant 1 and 3.
Step 5: Continue to evaluate and control your strategy
Effective goal setting involves creating specific means of measuring progress toward achieving a goal and ultimate achievement. When we are serious about achieving something, we need to track the progress. If our goals are not testable, then they haven’t been thought through enough. To be rich isn’t a goal. It’s a wish. To save 10.000 dollars per year is a measurable goal. Whatever our goal is, we need to figure out how to measure whether we are having any success in moving toward it.
And if the strategy for achieving our goal is not working? Then two different alternative routes can be chosen depending on the reason for our failure. If the goal is still SMART, but we have not chosen the right action, we should come back to step number 3 and pick up any of the other alternatives that we did identify when creating our strategy. Re-energize previous or existing goals by asking the correct goal-setting questions is always an option. If the goal was having more of a wish than of a SMART objective, it might be time to start with the whole process since the very beginning. And learn the lesson!