• Dennis Kelley

    David Kelley

    Dennis Kelley is a seasoned professional with over 30 years experience leading teams and coaching people to success. Dennis is in high demand as a speaker, consultant, trainer and an author... Read More

    David Kelley

  • Inspirational Quote

    “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” -- Michalangelo
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  • December 2008
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Get SMART – You’ll Be Rewarded Accordingly


Set Your Sights High

 Success does not have to be so complicated and difficult that achieving it requires great feats of super human effort. Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world, is quoted as saying, “It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.” However, without written measurable goals, life is a huge squirrel cage and you spend its precious seconds, minutes, days, months and years running frantically, in circles and getting nothing more than exhausted.

 Written goals are the road you will follow to reach your annual business plan. Your business plan acts as the game plan for the coming year. Your goals will become the accomplishments or outcomes from the plan. Once you have identified the goals, the next step is to create the action steps to get you there.

 Be sure to write your goals down; don’t just think about what they are. There is power in committing your goals to paper. Once committed to paper, your thoughts are no longer imaginings; they are real.  

Studies have shown that only 3 percent of the population have written goals, and that group controls 97 percent of the wealth.

People with written goals have a clear path they are following and a way of telling if they are on track to achieve wealth and success. Amazingly, 70 percent of people have NO written OR verbal goals or plans. These people will have a tough time, especially in the current business climate!

 The SMART Formula

 There is a common format used in many training and coaching programs for writing goals. The format is called the SMART format.  It goes like this:

 S pecific
M easureable
A chievable
R elevant
T ime bound

 In order to make your goals come to life you have to make sure they meet the SMART test. If you simply write a goal in a generic way then how do you visualize achieving it? How do you know if you are on track if you can’t measure progress? 

 Let’s go over each one and cover the importance of them individually. 

 Specific refers to making sure you are extremely clear on what it is you are aiming to accomplish. You have to be as specific as possible and that means you need to visualize the outcome you want.  What is the thing you desire? What result are you aiming for?  Knowing the result you want and being as specific about it as possible in the goal setting process is the first step.

Measurable means that you will be able to measure your progress toward your objective. You can track where you are in the process and if you are moving in the right direction. Being able to measure your progress allows you to keep focused on the objective and correct your strategy as needed.

 A goal must be achievable or why even write it? Let’s say your goal is to become a multi-millionaire and you want to do it in the next month. Well, that might be possible but unless you are already well on your way to it now, that timeline is probably a little unrealistic. Don’t make your goals so impossible that you can’t possibly get there in the time you want and frustrated, you give up. That outcome will occur if you set goals that are not achievable – you will simply give up.

 A goal must be relevant to your overall plan to be effective.  Ask yourself: Is this goal going to get me closer to achieving my plan? There is no reason to set goals that will not move you closer to living the life you want. 

 The goal must also deliver a result to be effective. A goal should give you a defined outcome that you desire to achieve in order for it to be relevant. Do not write a goal as if it is the action step you need to take, but write it as the result you desire to achieve. Your action items will come from your goals and should not be mistaken for the goal itself. To be relevant to your vision, make sure you are defining clear outcomes.

 A goal that isn’t time bound doesn’t put any pressure on you to go out and take action. Set a date when this goal will be done so you can develop a plan to get there and then take action on the plan. The use of a timeline keeps you focused and on track.

Creating 90-day Objectives

Once you have established your annual goals, use them to create short-term objectives of the immediate action you will take. These objectives will define specifically what you will do during the next 90 days. 

This is a very important step because it gives you the immediate task list of what you must focus on. A 90-day time frame is manageable and allows you to become very specific with your action steps. Remember, it is the action you take that will determine the results you will get.

You may not accomplish everything identified for this 90-day period. If that occurs, then ask yourself if this is a real priority, and if so, what got in the way. Did you over commit or did something else happen? If you need to carry it over to the next 90-day period, then do so. If you determine that it is not really a priority, remove it from your objectives. 

Once you have completed those 90 days, set your plan for the next 90 days and do it again. This is a never-ending process and will lead to the ultimate success you desire. Our minds are built to think short-term and to concentrate on the task at hand.  Setting objectives is the perfect way to keep you working on those things that will accomplish your goals. 

Take your business plan and turn it into quantifiable goals that meet the SMART formula and then decide what your priorities are for the first quarter. Get started on those priorities right away. If you created a realistic plan for 2009 that matches your long-term objectives then you will begin to see real progress in building the business of your dreams.

Visit www.AchievingUnlimitedSuccess to download a SMART Goal and 90-day plan template you can use to develop your goals. It will make your planning process simpler. The Companion Workbook is also a great tool to help you work through your planning process.

To Your Success,


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