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It’s been said that people who don’t have written goals end up working for people who do. The human mind is, in many ways, very similar to the software in your computer in that it requires detailed programming to make it work. Just as your computer is worthless without its programming software, so is your brain without written goals.

Psychologists tell us that people who take the time to write their goals down on paper tend to live happier lives, experience less depression, and live longer on average than those people who don’t set goals. The good news about goal setting is that your mind can only concentrate on one thought at a time. For example, you can’t think thoughts of happiness and sadness at the same time, so why not put your focus on the goals you wish to accomplish instead of dwelling on your shortcomings and lost opportunities.

I strongly encourage you to begin to take control of your thoughts by programming your mind with SMART goals. SMART is an acronym to help your mind format your ideas and good intentions into meaningful goals to accomplish.

Specific. What, Why, Who, When and How. Make sure each of your goals is clearly stated and defined. Try to combine as many of your goals together as possible so that you are able to accomplish more in less time.

Measurable. Break your goal down into bite-size tasks and create checkpoints to monitor your progress and create positive momentum. Stay flexible with your goals and don’t be concerned if you need to make some changes to them as you advance toward their accomplishment.

Achievable. Be mindful not to set too large a goal or too short a timeframe. Your goals should stretch your capability, but at the same time, they need to be “mentally attainable” so you don’t lose interest.

Realistic. Do you have the time and resources to achieve your goals?

Time-bound. Set meaningful deadlines to give your goals a sense of urgency. Without deadlines, you run the risk of having your goals fade away into the mist of procrastination.

If you want to reach your full potential and achieve greatness in your life, you must begin today to focus your mind on the attainment of SMART goals.

John Boe presents a wide variety of motivational and sales-oriented keynotes and seminar programs for sales meetings and conventions. For more information, visit www.johnboe.com.

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