Maria Brophy

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How to Achieve a High Value Goal in 6 Steps

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Last year's goal:  Hike the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim!

Last year’s goal: Hike the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim!

“Most people spend more time writing up their grocery list then they do planning out their life.” Gary Ryan Blair,  The Goals Guy

In the past, goal setting stressed me out; the thought of not completing them, that is.  And this angst has manifested itself by literally making me sick.

I realized this after thumbing through my old journals.  I wanted to review goals that I set in 2010, 2011, 2012.  Then I discovered that every single year, I had written  down that I had caught a terrible cold, requiring me to spend a few days on the couch!

This year, after nursing yet another debilitating cold, I resolved to do one important thing in 2013:

Get a handle on properly setting goals, goal strategy and execution.  

I know that developing a habit of setting and achieving goals will benefit me for life.  And it’s working already.

So I want to share my High Value Goal techniques with you, my dear reader, because you may have the same struggle.

If you read this blog, most likely you are someone who regularly sets goals for yourself, because you are a high achiever who is constantly learning new techniques to better yourself and your business.

I hope the following will help you to move forward a little more:

SIX STEPS TO ACHIEVING A HIGH-VALUE GOAL

1 – DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT AND WRITE IT DOWN IN SPECIFICS THAT CAN BE MEASURED

A high-value goal is one that will change your game, increase your income, or up-level you in your industry.  A high-value goal will make your life significantly better in some way.

Choose your high-value goal, and be very specific, in a way that it can be measured, then write it down. For example:

“I will increase my speaking engagements at colleges and have 3 bookings by March 1, 2013.”

The high value of this goal is that it will significantly increase my income and will elevate me as an expert in what I do.  The specificity of the goal is the numbers – “3 bookings” and the deadline “by March 1, 2013.”

Specifics are important because that’s what you will use to evaluate your progress.

Another example:  “I will lose 7 pounds by April 1, 2013.”  Specifics:  “7 pounds” and “by April 1.”

2 – MAKE A LIST OF STEPS YOU MUST TAKE TO REACH THE GOAL

Below are a few items on my list that must be completed to increase speaking engagements:

  • Create a professional webpage
  • Make up a contact database of colleges/ universities to contact
  • Send out a mailing and make follow up phone calls to get bookings

Or to lose 8 pounds by April 1:

  • Commit to walking a minimum of thirty minutes per day
  • Get a friend to commit to hike ten miles every Saturday
  • Sign up for kick-boxing classes twice a week
  • Eat a salad for lunch every day

3 – ASSIGN DEADLINES TO YOUR STEPS

Deadlines make goals happen!  

Commit to keeping your deadlines, and don’t allow yourself to deviate, not even once.  (This also requires self-discipline, which is another key component to reaching your goals.)

Here are examples of deadlines I’ve set for my speaking engagements:

  • I will create a data-base list of contacts of at least twenty by January 15, 2013.
  • I will have the web page built and completed, online, by January 16, 2013
  • I will create a marketing piece and mail it out by January 18, 2013

4 – PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR (COMMITMENT)

Commit by putting your deadlines on your calendar. Sometimes we have to play games with ourselves so that nothing can stand in the way of our big goals.  Things happen, kids get sick or emergencies come up.

I find that when I schedule my Most Important Things (my goals) on my calendar, it gets done.

For my “lose weight” goal, I have scheduled to go to yoga and pilates classes four times a week.  It’s on my calendar, so nothing else takes that time slot and I cannot deviate from my plan.

5 – EXECUTE NO MATTER WHAT

This is worth repeating, so I’m repeating it.  One bad habit many of us fall into is having many excuses for not staying on course.  Don’t allow anything to take you away from your goal.  You’re too good for that!

6 – EVALUATE YOUR PROGRESS

For very big goals (such as losing weight or developing a marketing plan or anything that takes more than a month), evaluate your progress on a weekly basis.

Ask yourself these questions at the end of each week:

  • “Did I complete the tasks for this week, by the deadline?”
  • “What went right with this plan?”
  • “What went wrong?”
  • “How can I improve from this day forward?”

This takes commitment and constant monitoring, but it’s extremely effective.

What is your one HIGH-VALUE goal for 2013?  Please, share in the comments!

Maria xxoo

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18 Comments How to Achieve a High Value Goal in 6 Steps

  1. MW

    How many high-level goals can one do at the same time? this is my problem…I have too much going on all the time in many areas of life.

    Reply
    1. Maria

      Thanks for the comment and the question! I think for someone who has trouble keeping it all together (with too many goals) – do this: Choose one goal only to work on. Just one. Focus and commit to this one goal. Use the process in this blog post to execute and track it. Once you complete that goal (even if it takes 3-6 months), then set a new goal. First, develop the habit of setting and seeing your goal through. Eventually, it will be habit and later, you will be able to set multiple goals. But, first, only focus on one!

      Reply
  2. Katreece

    Thank-you Maria, great tips and very inspiring. Although, I tend to set too many goals for myself at one time and become very stressed out. I will try the approach of setting 1 or 2 and seeing them through .

    Best of everything to you this year, and thank-you for all of your awesome posts and advice, I’m so glad I found your blog 🙂

    xoxo
    Katreece

    Reply
  3. Bryan Helfand

    ote this on a sticky note and placed it in my sketch book, “Starting today I embark on a painting per day for the next year”. Absolutely doable…no excuses. Should be fun to watch the evolution. Thanks for your words of wisdom…always:)
    Aloha – Bryan

    Reply
  4. Bryan Helfand

    Oops…copy and paste didn’t work to well lol! I started of by saying we we’re one the same wavelength because 2-days ago I wrote this value goal down on a sticky note (combine with above comment)

    Reply
  5. Christine

    This is GREAT advice! I actually made this list (and its detailed deadlines) today! This was after I found myself with a free Saturday to do art, yet was paralyzed with ‘inner’ arguments about what I should make priority, what would sell vs. what I wanted to do. I got the last half of a so-so painting done, but now, after your article, I am raring to go!
    Thank you, Maria!

    Reply
    1. Maria Brophy

      Wow, Christine, thanks for this comment! Glad to hear that just a reminder works for you. I need that, too. Often!

      Reply
  6. lisa

    Hullo lady jane..
    seen yer illustrated vehicle round ’bout the hood and have been wanting to touch base..curious to hear about your excellent adventure this past summer..always a pleasure and an inspiration to read your words…email moi!!!

    Reply
  7. Ree

    Your article came at just the right time: thank you for sharing your inspiration and focus. As a self-employed artist, in a small town, my motivation is hard to come by and sometimes it’s difficult to push ones self to find the next project. You’re newsletters are like a supportive voice in my email box telling me things I know I should do but needed that extra push in the right direction.
    Creative again,
    Ree

    Reply
  8. Harry

    Great advice on goal setting. You may want to check out http://www.GoalsOnTrack.com/, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals, habits, and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. This program almost follows the exact 6 steps you described here!

    Reply
  9. Jake Hose

    That’s good advice, I’m a goal setter too and try to not be too rigid when it comes to setting up a year worth of goals, life happens and it’s helped for me to balance it all out more when being flexible with goals.

    The tough thing about goals is that you may have no real grasp of how long it will take to accomplish a particular thing. You could be off a year, a week, or whatever. How much it will cost to finance, what may, or will, happen that will set you back.

    But don’t let any of that stop you…

    Anyhow, goals are great and I never let a couple days go by without seeing where I am on my map of success.

    Reply
  10. Jean

    LOVE this! there is so much advice about goal setting. I really need to sit down and get it done. My big goal for the beginning of this year is the launch of my online Art courses and workshops. I’m making good progress. So many tasks and details. Need focus 🙂

    Reply
  11. Cyndi

    Freaking awesome post. I need to take this to heart – it’s so hard to balance your time between blogging, marketing yourself and creating.

    Reply
  12. Ed

    Agree. I run a website for magicians and a lot of people ask me how they can make their dreams a reality, but the problem is they just seem them as dreams. They think everything will come to them, but they don’t understand that to get something that you want, you have to work for it!

    Reply
  13. natasha

    This probably just changed everything for me. I’ve been a huge list maker and ocd about accomplishing goals, but this actually forces me to execute and puts the responsibility of the OUTCOME on me. This year has been an eye-opener in that regard and this comes at just the right time for me. One of my high value goals this year is to teach a local art class by Fall 2013. I’m also going to do this in sets of 5-6 so that I’m really focusing on a small amount at a time till I get the hang of SUCCESSFUL execution. Thank you thank you for this!!

    Reply

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