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Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

Set and Achieve Your Goals

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© Ology London


Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

Contents 1. Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 3 2. Be, Do, Have.......................................................................................................................... 5 3. The Importance of Goals ........................................................................................................ 7 4. Setting Personal Goals .......................................................................................................... 8 5. RAS Explained – The Key to Success...................................................................................13

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© Ology London


Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

1. Introduction After two successful careers and a third now underway as a business coach, I am absolutely convinced of the value of goal setting. I grew up in a council house but I went on graduating from Cambridge University and then to gaining an MBA at the London Business School, all as a result of having set clear goals that were realistic and achievable. Through goal setting I also qualified as an Offshore Yacht Master when I was just 20, walked across the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and back-packed around both India and Turkey. In business I lead a team that won a £1bn outsourcing contract beating some of the world’s most successful IT companies, was Managing Director of a business unit with a turnover of more than £100m and was also a partner in a leading US consulting firm. Goal setting works! The purpose of this short guide is to help you to set clear and compelling goals for you and for your businesses. It has four main sections, each looking at different aspects of goal setting: 

The first main section looks at the relationship between what you want out of life or “Have” with the person you need to “Be” and the things you need to “Do” through the simple lens of Be-Do-Have The next section shows the difference in achievement between Harvard MBA students that had written goals (only 3%), the 13% with goals but unwritten, and the 84%majority of their class mates who did not have goals. The 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84% who had no goals at all… and what about the 3% who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% put together. The following section then goes on to look at the process of setting personal goals. If you are serious about goal setting then you should look to research the subject more widely. I like Steven Covey’s 7 Habits, which includes “begin with the end in mind”. Another good read is “The Goal” by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox about performance in a manufacturing plant. There is a whole industry of self-help books that offer all sorts of perspectives on goal setting and explanations of how it works, from the sub-conscious mind to the divine and quantum mechanics. The final section, RAS Explained, looks at the role of the sub-conscious in achieving our goals. Most of our brain operates sub-consciously; we breathe, walk and balance without conscious effort, leaving the subconscious brain to work on a limited set of activities. Formula 1 drivers rely on the sub-conscious workings of the brain to drive at high speed; they prepare for the race in such a way that they can negotiate the track at speeds much higher than would be possible if they were having to drive consciously.

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Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

If you are reading this because you don’t have clear goals then start writing them as soon as you have finished reading this short document. If you have goals but they are not written down, now is the time to refresh them and to write them out for daily reference. And if your goals are written down then take time to review them and ask yourself: 

are they SMART, or better still, SMARTER

are you achieving them

are they aligned with your Life Time goals?

Whatever your start point I hope you find some value here and above all I wish you every success in setting and achieving your goals.

Daniel Jones MA MBA Ology Business Coaching “Proven Solutions for Better Business Performance” www.ologycoaching.com

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Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

2. Be, Do, Have Here’s a challenging assertion……. I believe that taking responsibility is the key to the fulfillment of your potential! So… have you considered what YOU should be doing to make YOUR aspirations become reality? Why don’t we start by YOU asking yourself “Who do I want to BE?” This will help you work out what to do. Make your list of what you would like to have for example, things like a good family life, peace of mind, good health, and of course all of those material things to help you feel good about life. Start by asking yourself, if you could be anybody that you know, who would that person be? Who has the life style that you want? Who is your hero? It may be a combination of people, so put the pieces of the person you want to be together, and start being that person. You can change who you are! It is possible if you believe it and take action! At the age of 14 I was living in a council house in a village in the fens and attending a Comprehensive School. What I most wanted then was to escape small village life as quickly as possible and to see the world so I set myself the goal of becoming an officer in the Army. I achieved this goal by the time I was 19 when I commissioned into the Royal Engineers in the top 6 of my Sandhurst Course (of the others in the top 6, two had attended Eton College and the others were all from major Public Schools). The key point is that I had a very clear goal that enabled me to find a way out of comprehensive schooling and into Sandhurst, then eventually to a place at Cambridge University. Unfortunately for my tutor at Cambridge, I had no goal to achieve an excellent degree so concentrated on rowing and coaching to emerge with what in those days was regarded as a respectable 2:2; the absence of a goal relating to my degree cost me the chance of a better result…………….but the rowing was a lot of fun and I am still out on the river most weeks, whereas engineering is now a dim and distant memory. So you can change who you are and you start by focusing on yourself and adopting the habit of spending at least 30 minutes every day thinking about the person you want to become. Fix that image of you in your mind. As you begin to understand who you really want to be, the natural progression is to start to do what it takes to become that person. You will already have the answer to the question “What do I need to DO?” Here are some general examples;

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Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

If the person you want to be needs further knowledge to create the platform to generate the income you desire, allocate time in your week to attain it! I was preparing for Sandhurst for the best part of 7 years in the cadet force before I went there. If the person you want to be has outstanding personal skills, you take a course or listen to tapes on self-improvement. If the person you want to be is healthy and full of life, you decide to make health a top priority and take action (go to a local gym and have a fitness assessment, take action). Only YOU can determine the specific actions YOU need to take. The doing part of your life will become easier because you have an image of who you want to be and that becomes the powerful driving force and motivation to take action! So as you start down that path of becoming the person you want to be, you will find positions and opportunities that will fit the person you want to become, just as I did in my journey from council house to Cambridge and the Officers’ Mess. In business, instead of blindly scouring for clients, you will start focusing in on the types of company or organisation that you want to be associated with. You will start networking with people that you want to be like. For example, if you desire business success, associate with successful people and question and learn from their experiences. How many people out there are always telling you why things can’t be done rather than why they can? (… and you accept what they say) You see, this is a process. You can use this process and fill in your own details. Through this process you will also start to HAVE the things that you want in life because you are doing the things that it takes to become the person you want to be. That person you want to be wants specific things that make up their life. You see it is not about the money it is about the life-style you want. Money is an abstract concept, but the life style you want to have, includes houses, cars, holidays and other important things that are real to you. It becomes more of a motivator for you to take action. You will start to DO what it takes to HAVE and maintain that lifestyle, because you are becoming the person you want to BE. Only then will you have the things that money can and cannot buy. A great example is - money can buy you a good bed but it cannot buy you a good nights’ sleep. What other things do you want that money can and cannot buy? Write them down and make them part of the person you want to be. So start right now! - BE who you want to be by thinking about who you want to be, and then DO the things the person you want to be does. You will then HAVE the things that the person you want to be wants.

Be……….Do………..Have! Take immediate and consistent action and you are guaranteed to make a difference in your life …. and to make what you want a reality.

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Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

3. The Importance of Goals Mark McCormack tells of a study conducted on students in the 1979 Harvard MBA programme. In that year, the students were asked, "Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?" Only 3% of the graduates had written goals and plans; 13% had goals, but they were not in writing; and a massive 84% had no specific goals at all. Ten years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings, while somewhat predictable, were nonetheless astonishing. The 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84% who had no goals at all… and what about the 3% who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% put together. In spite of such proof of success, most people don't have clear, measurable, time-bounded goals that they work toward. In the book "Goals!" - Brian Tracy shows how to identify in the clearest terms the things you want out of life, then how to make the plan to help you achieve those things. Brian Tracy says there are four reasons why people don't set goals: 

They don't realise the importance of goals. If the people with whom you spend the most time — family, friends, colleagues, and so forth — are not clear and committed to goals, there is a chance that you will not be either.

They don't know how to set goals. Some set goals that are too general. These are, in reality, fantasies common to everyone. Goals, on the other hand, are clear, written, specific, and measurable.

They fear failure. Failure hurts, but it is often necessary to experience failure in order to achieve the greatest success. Do not unconsciously sabotage yourself by not setting any goals in which you might fail.

They fear rejection. People are often afraid that if they are unsuccessful at achieving a goal, others will be critical of them. This is remedied by keeping your goals to yourself at the outset; let others see your results and achievements once you've accomplished your goals.

Make a habit of daily goal setting and achieving, for the rest of your life. Focus on the things you want, rather than the things you don't want. Resolve to be a goal-seeking organism, moving unerringly toward the things that are important to you.

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Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

4. Setting Personal Goals Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn this vision of the future into reality. The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You'll also quickly spot the distractions that would otherwise lure you from your course. More than this, properly-set goals can be incredibly motivating, and as you get into the habit of setting and achieving goals, you'll find that your self-confidence builds fast.

Achieving More with Focus Goal setting techniques are used by top-level athletes, successful business-people and achievers in all fields. They give you long-term vision and short-term motivation. They focus your acquisition of knowledge and help you to organise your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life. By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals. You can see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind. By setting goals, you will also raise your self-confidence, as you recognise your ability and competence in achieving the goals that you have set.

Starting to Set Personal Goals Goals are set on a number of different levels: First you create your "big picture" of what you want to do with your life, and decide what large-scale goals you want to achieve. Second, you break these down into the smaller and smaller targets that you must hit so that you reach your lifetime goals. Finally, once you have your plan, you start working to achieve it. We start this process with your Lifetime Goals, and work down to the things you can do today to start moving towards them.

Your LifeTime Goals The first step in setting personal goals is to consider what you want to achieve in your lifetime (or by a time at least, say, 10 years in the future) as setting Lifetime Goals gives you the overall perspective that shapes all other aspects of your decision making. For me, 10 years ahead is far enough..

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Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

To give a broad, balanced coverage of all important areas in your life, try to set goals in some of these categories (or in categories of your own, where these are important to you): 

Artistic: Do you want to achieve any artistic goals? If so… what?

Attitude: Is any part of your mindset holding you back? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? If so, set a goal to improve your behaviour or find a solution to the problem.

Career: What level do you want to reach in your career?

Education: Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? What information and skills will you need to achieve other goals?

Family: If you aren’t one already, do you want to be a parent? If so, how are you going to be a good parent? How do you want to be seen by a partner or by members of your extended family?

Financial: How much do you want to earn by what stage?

Physical: Are there any athletic goals you want to achieve, or do you want good health deep into old age? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?

Pleasure: How do you want to enjoy yourself? You should ensure that some of your life is for you!

Public Service: Do you want to make the world a better place? If so, how?

Spend some time brainstorming these, and then select one goal in each category that best reflects what you want to do. Then consider trimming again so that you have a small number of really significant goals on which you can focus. As you do this, make sure that the goals that you have set are ones that you genuinely want to achieve, not ones that your parents, family, or employers might want (if you have a partner, you probably will want to consider what he or she wants, however make sure you also remain true to yourself!)

Starting to Achieve Your Lifetime Goals Once you have set your lifetime goals, set out a long term plan of smaller goals that you should complete if you are to reach your lifetime plan. Then set a 5 year plan, 1 year plan, 6 month plan, and 1 month plan of progressively smaller goals that you should reach to achieve your lifetime goals. Each of these should be based on the previous plan. Then create a daily to-do list of things that you should do today to work towards your lifetime goals. At an early stage these goals may be to read books and gather information on the achievement of your goals. This will help you to improve the quality and realism of your goal setting. Finally review your plans, and make sure that they fit the way in which you want to live your life.

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Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

Staying on Course Once you have decided your first set of plans keep the process going by reviewing and updating your to-do list on a daily basis. Periodically review the longer term plans, and modify them to reflect your changing priorities and experience.

Goal Setting Tips The following broad guidelines will help you to set effective goals: 

State each goal as a positive statement: Express your goals positively - 'Execute this technique well' is a much better goal than 'Don't make this stupid mistake.'

Be precise: Set a precise goal, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you will know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.

Set priorities: When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.

Write goals down: This crystallises them and gives them more force.

Keep operational goals small: Keep the low-level goals you are working towards small and achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward. Derive today's goals from larger ones.

Set performance goals, not outcome goals: You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. There is nothing more dispiriting than failing to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control. In business, these could be bad business environments or unexpected effects of government policy. In sport, for example, these reasons could include poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. If you base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals and draw satisfaction from them.

Set realistic goals: It is important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people (employers, parents, media, society) can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions. Alternatively you may set goals that are too high, because you may not appreciate either the obstacles in the way or understand quite how much skill you need to develop to achieve a particular level of performance.

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Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

SMARTER Goals: A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMARTER mnemonic. While there are plenty of variants, particularly the shorter SMART version, SMARTER usually stands for:       

S Specific M Measurable A Achievable R Relevant or Realistic T Time-bound E Execute R Review and Re-do

For example, instead of having “to sail around the world” as a goal, it is more powerful to say “To have completed my trip around the world by December 31, 2015.” Obviously, this will only be attainable if a lot of preparation has been completed beforehand!

Achieving Goals When you have achieved a goal, take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. Absorb the implications of the goal achievement, and observe the progress you have made towards other goals. If the goal was a significant one, reward yourself appropriately. All of this helps you build the self-confidence you deserve! With the experience of having achieved this goal, review the rest of your goal plans: 

If you achieved the goal too easily, make your next goals harder.

If the goal took a dispiriting length of time to achieve, make the next goals a little easier.

If you learned something that would lead you to change other goals, do so.

If you noticed a deficit in your skills despite achieving the goal, decide whether to set goals to fix this.

Failure to meet goals does not matter much, as long as you learn from it. Feed lessons learned back into your goal setting program. Remember too that your goals will change as time goes on. Adjust them regularly to reflect growth in your knowledge and experience, and if goals do not hold any attraction any longer, then let them go.

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Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

Key points: Goal setting is an important method of: 

Deciding what is important for you to achieve in your life;

Separating what is important from what is irrelevant, or a distraction;

Motivating yourself; and

Building your self-confidence, based on successful achievement of goals.

If you don't already set goals, do so, starting now. As you make this technique part of your life, you'll find your career accelerating, and you'll wonder how you did without it!

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Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

5. RAS Explained – The Key to Success The "Reticular Activating System" or RAS, is the name given to part of the brain (the Reticular Formation and its connections) believed to be the centre of arousal and motivation in animals (including humans). It is situated at the core of the brain stem between the myelencephalon (medulla) and metencephalon (midbrain). The RAS is that little bundle of cells you have in the back of your brain known as the "control centre", it serves as the filter for what enters your conscious and unconscious mind. According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience: “We filter around 2 million bits of information per second down to 7 plus or minus 2 chunks of information.” In other words, the data available to your central nervous system goes through a process of deletion, distortion and generalisation in order for you to make sense of all the information. The system in charge of sorting the information is called the RAS. The RAS is a self-filtering system that chooses what you accept and reject based upon your beliefs, values, experience and prejudices Focusing on two or three key areas of business or a singular goal does something special to your behaviour. It triggers your RAS. Your brain is assaulted by thousands of messages each second. Everything you see, hear, smell, feel and touch is a message entering your brain. The RAS filters through all these messages and decides which ones will get headline treatment that is, arouse the brain. One of the things that have been learned from working with entrepreneurs is that you tend to pay attention to the things which are important to you at the time. If your dominant thoughts are about creating a new business, you'll start seeing other businesses and ideas. You'll hear conversations about new business ventures. You'll pick up ideas relating to new business ventures and even see things around you in a different way and relate it back to business. In other words, the RAS will reject or ignore anything unrelated to your focus and highlight anything that is even remotely related to the important issue - the new business venture. From a practical point of view, this means that, if you want to solve a problem or achieve a goal, keep it at the top of your mind. Think about it, talk about it, write about it and imagine it completed. This is one of the reasons why affirmations work so well and why it is important to review your goals frequently. If you focus on improving a specific key indicator of your business success, your RAS will pass through sights, sounds, people and ideas even remotely related to that point of focus. In other words, if you measure it visibly, frequently and attentively, it will likely improve. Here's a suggestion: Identify the two to five key measurements and key indicators that are important and essential for your business. Set up an active system to measure and track these indicators. Talk to your employees about it at every opportunity. Put charts and graphs of these

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Ology London – Set and Achieve Your Goals

indicators on the wall of the lunch room. Make your interest in these metrics very active and visible. The likelihood is that you'll get what you're looking for - improvements in these areas. You can count on it! From a scientific point of view, the RAS is involved with the sleep/wake cycle and damage to the RAS can lead to permanent coma. It is thought to be the area affected by many psychotropic drugs. General anaesthetics work through their effect on the Reticular Formation. Fibres from the Reticular Formation are also vital in controlling respiratory and cardiac rhythms and other essential functions. The Reticular Activating System has received attention from neuroscientists interested in various pathological conditions affecting behaviour, such as Alzheimer's disease. More recently, results of research on the area has prompted extrapolations from the data into various areas such as motivational programmes and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, despite the rapid recent increase in knowledge of the structure and function of the brain, assumptions about brain function related to real world events made without specific evidence should be treated with immense caution. The RAS is a structure in the brain stem that is responsible for arousal and sleep. The RAS is responsible for getting your up in the morning and putting you asleep at night - it makes sense then why your RAS awakens you, alerts you like an alarm to those things that are in the forefront of your consciousness. So aim for success - set your RAS to what you would like to manifest into your life and business.

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Set and Achieve Your Goals