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2021 Say's, "Say Goodbye to SMART Goals." Your Brain Requires The RIGHT Goals!

R – Realistic
I – Individualized
G- Gaping
H – Helping
T – Targeted

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative."
- W. Clement Stone

What is your attitude towards your goals? Do you have a positive attitude or a negative attitude? You will love what Dale Carnegie says, “ Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude”. Our attitude towards goal setting is vitally important in helping to reach our goals. Steven Covey was exactly right when he wrote, “We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals.” I believe Steven Covey was writing about RIGHT goals.

There is a story of two businessmen who wanted to achieve top success. One businessman had big ideas, big dreams, big goals, and a big heart. The other businessman had small ideas, small dreams, small goals, and a small heart. They worked at the same office, drove the same car, lived in the same neighborhood, went to the same college, earned the same degree, had the same work experience, and had the same boss.

Not one was smarter than the other, the only difference was the size of their thoughts. One day the businessman with small goals was tasked with encouraging one employee. He went to the businessman with big thoughts and asked for advice.

The businessman with big thoughts said, “First you need to develop an employee performance plan. The performance plan has to be great enough to refer back to for reference. This plan should be referenceable, for if you are in the situation again, you can go back to it for support.

Your plan should be so encouraging that it opens up your employees' mind to success. This plan should be grand in that it changes the face of employee-employer relations nationwide. Everyone will see you as the man who came up with the plan to encourage disheartened employees. You will receive international awards, and surely your plan will come with a big bonus.”

After to conversation, the small-minded manager wrote his plan as follows:

Have the employee talk to the manager with big ideas. The goals you set should be the RIGHT goals for you.

To set the right goals they must be Realistic, Do you believe you can truly reach the goal you set? If you do not believe you can realistically reach your goal, maybe your goal is still a dream? Maybe your goal should be much more tangible?

Over the years I have managed a number of sales professionals. One year I had a rookie sales agent set a goal to be the top producer in the company. They failed to reach their goal miserably. Why is this? It was still a dream for him. We discussed this and I recommended the following; “Let’s change our goal from the top producer, to be more tangible and believable for you,” I said, “If our goal was to set a number of calls each day that you know you can make, you could dramatically increase your income. You can realistically control the number of calls you make each day.” We did just that.

We set a new realistic goal to make 20 contacts with live people a day. In no time his confidence grew and he was in the top 2 salespeople in the company. Setting realistic goals matters. In addition to realistic goals, the more your goals align with your values the easier it is to reach them.

At the Lake of the Ozarks overlooking the beautiful lake in Missouri there lived a man who was wise and respected. He was wise in that he could answer every question anyone might ask of him, in a way that provided success in the question askers life. One day the wise man approached two of the local boys in friendly conversation. Quickly the two boys decided they could fool the old man, so they caught a small lizard and nodded to each other. The wise man was oblivious to the lizard.

One of the boys held the lizard in his hands and asked the wise man if the lizard was dead or alive. Without a crack or stutter the wise man said, " If I say to you that the lizard is living, you can close your hand, stop his breathing and crush his bones. If I say the lizard is dead, you could just open your hand and he would run away. The thing is in your hands you hold both life and death."

In your hands, you hold the potential failure or the potential for success. Your hands are only capable of doing what your mind tells them to do. If you want it in life then it is your hands that will get it. Then the lizard bit the boy on the hand had he dropped him in the lake. The wise man said once again, sometimes trying to fool people by doing what you think they want you to do gets you a bit on the hand.

An Individualized goal is a goal that is set based on your values, priorities, and your personal desires, and benefits you in the long run. Without a personalized connection to the goal, you will lack the internal desire to persevere when things get tough. This is why goals are personal and are not effective when they are set for you.

One strategy that I employ when coaching a professional or team member is to allow them to set their own goals. I never set the goal for them. I help them uncover their needs. This way I can hold them accountable to what they told me they needed. Individualized goals that align with your values are not enough. Setting goals that are too specific can lead to feelings of failure. You can overcome this if your goals are gaping.

You now know that your goals should be realistic and individualized, but did you know that you also need to set goals that are gaping. This concept can be challenging to understand but is critical in understanding goal setting. You need 3 goals for each of the critically important goals that you set for your life and they are easy, medium, and difficult goals.

You will learn to refer to the easy goal as an A1 goal, the medium goal as the A2 goal, and the difficult goal as the A3 goal. An A1 goal is a goal that you know for sure that you will accomplish. This goal is in the direction of your A3 goal, but for lack of a better term, it is as easy to accomplish as hitting submit on the keyboard. The A2 goal is a little more difficult. The A2 goal is one that you know will take some time yet is able to be accomplished with some effort. Lastly, the A3 goal is the long-term goal that you know will be the most difficult to accomplish but just moving in that direction will make an impact on where you would like to go. The goal needs to be open to failure. You have to put all your effort into reaching your goals, but you should be okay if you are not able to reach them.

Many people I have worked with struggle to set Gaping goals. Are the goals you set progressive of your dreams? Getting upset about not reaching your personalized, realistic goals only pushes you further from reaching your goals. The negativity that is released from the disappointment of not reaching your goals suffocates your ability to attract more positive things in your life. One of the ways to ensure that your goals are gaping is to take the focus off our personal success and focus on helping others. Setting gaping goals helps you to gain momentum and accomplish your goals faster.

Are your goals Helping others? You know from reading other books on success that your goals must benefit others. If your goals are not in line with other people’s needs, goals, ideals, or dreams, then you are out on your own. It is impossible for you to succeed on your own. You need to find people that you can align with and then help them succeed. Success happens for you, when you help enough other people. When you help others you are doing the right things and thus generating positive momentum in reaching your goals. Having completely selfish goals that only benefit you, will always backfire and cost you happiness and success.

I found the following on Tumblr: “Helping a fellow human being, while it can be inconvenient, has a few humble advantages: It makes you feel better about yourself. It connects you with another person, at least for a moment, if not for life. It improves the life of another, at least a little. It makes the world a better place, one little step at a time. And if that kindness is passed on, it can multiply, and multiply” (, 2014). You can clearly see that the RIGHT goals help others. 

In addition to helping others, they must be Targeted. Deer season opens and you decided to go hunting this year. You are going to bag a buck this year. You get your licenses and pack your gun, ammo, food, scent, and camouflage. You get into your truck and drive to the woods. You set up shop very early in your deer stand around 4:30 am. You wait for a deer. Two hours pass and you spot a buck 100 yards out. You lower your rifle and look through your sites. You take off the safety and put your finger on the trigger. You take a deep breath to focus. BANG! When did you have your target? Was the target the buck when you set out to hunt the buck or was the target the buck actually in the site?

You may say, I do not see a deer. I do not have a target until the deer appears, but I challenge that. The target was there from the opening of deer season. A targeted goal is just like this example. When you started you had an idea of the target, but when the deer actually appeared you lowered the gun and fired. You did not shoot at a turkey or squirrel. You shot at your target.

It becomes confusing for others when you do not have a chief aim that your goals are aligned with. It becomes confusing for others when your goals do not have specific connections or conflict with each other. Make sure your goals are targeted.

Learning Questions:

  1. Write out your 2 goals again based on the RIGHT formula above.
  2. Have your goals changed?
  3. Based on this ebook how has your perspective of goals changed?
  4. What are three misconceptions of goals that others hold?
  5. What is your definition of a goal?
  6. Based on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is “I will never” and 10 is “absolutely”, how likely are you to reach your goals after working on each set of learning questions?


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