With all the preparing and qualifying leading up to London summer Olympics, you hear a lot about the goals athletes are expecting to meet during the games. They know the only way they are going to reach the medal podium is by having goals to work towards.
Do you know anyone who is successful? Have you spent time talking with them about their success? Chances are, they credit setting goals as a major step in their success, and continues to be important as they look for new ways to challenge themselves.
Setting goals is not just for champion athletes or wealthy people. Everyone needs goals to give them direction. It’s not complicated. However, it can be challenging. The process of goal setting can be of value to you in building drive and commitment, important factors in achieving success.
Guidelines for setting goals
- Goals should should stretch you, yet be realistic and attainable. Challenging but realistic goals produce better results.
- Write Goals down and post them where you can see them daily. Stick them on your computer or your bedroom mirror, anywhere you spend a lot of time.
- Write your goals as positive statements that focus on successful outcomes.
- Write an action plan for accomplishing your goals. This is where short-term goals come in. Each short-term goal achieved, keeps you motivated and moving forward.
- Set a time frame: specific but reasonable.
- Celebrate your accomplishments. Once you have reached a short-term goal celebrate it; give yourself a reward.
- Revise as necessary. Sometimes things happen that you cannot control, you must not let that deter you from accomplishing your goals, revise and rewrite.
- Prioritize you goals. List your goals in order of importance to you.
Now, get out there, set some goals and go for “gold”.
There are two major league sports teams in Edmonton: the Eskimos of the Canadian Football League and the Oilers of the National Hockey League. In 2005, both teams achieved considerable success in their respective sports. The Eskimos won the Grey Cup and the Oilers took the Stanley Cup series to seven games, before dropping to the Carolina Hurricanes.
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The following year, neither team achieved anything of which they could be proud. The Eskimos missed gaining a playoff spot for the first time in 35 years and the Oilers finished tenth overall in their conference.
How is it teams can be so successful one year and go nowhere the next? How is it in life that some people regularly meet and exceed goals, while others have trouble just showing up?
As I look at sports clubs, at all levels, that are consistent winners, or examine highly successful organizations and individuals, I see five traits that are the hallmarks of a champion.
Champions have character. That is, they have defined values, ethics, ethos or standards. Whatever you want to call it, all they do, and how they do all, is driven by the quality of their character.
Champions have a drive to win. They know what they want to achieve and how to create goals to get them there. Even when they don’t win all of the small victories, their focus on the big win carries them forward.
Champions take charge of circumstances. They constantly prepare and hone their skills so they can meet whatever challenges come their way. They also know the importance of developing new skills to be able to handle change.
Champions are even-tempered. In game five of this year’s Detroit – Calgary series, Calgary players showed their frustration by slashing and cross-checking in the final minutes of the game. Goalie Jamie McLennan ended up with a five game suspension for his slash. Needless to say, the Detroit Red Wings moved on to the next round, while the Flames packed and went home. Champions know that the only way to maintain or regain control in a difficult situation is to remain calm and focussed.
Champions do the right things over and over again. A winning football team brings its A-game to the field week after week. The best-selling writer sets time aside each day to write. A successful fundraiser works her prospect list regularly. Champions know achieving success involves consistent execution of their best moves.
We’re all “competing” for different kinds of prizes; the rewards that make our lives meaningful. If you want to have success in reaching your goals, you need to develop the heart of a champion.