I’m a big fan of SUCCESS Magazine. I often find source material for this blog there. However, it is rare that I find material for two different posts in one article. But that’s what happened with the November 2008 issue.
Last week, I did a post on self confidence based on an article about Helen Gurley Brown, long time editor of Cosmopolitan. I was rereading the article yesterday when I came across a quote on goals and goal setting from her.
- “I don’t think you have to have great big fat goals that you achieve every single day. But you do have to have specific things that need to be done that day and just get in there and do them.”
Setting and achieving high goals, along with becoming a lifelong learner and being well organized, are the keys to becoming an outstanding performer. Outstanding performance is one of the keys to success that I discuss in my latest book Straight Talk for Success.
While I think that goals are important to success, Ms. Gurley Brown makes a great point. You have to show up every day and do the things that you need to do to succeed. This means that you first have to figure out what’s important. A set of S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results Oriented, Time Bound) goals is the best way to determine what is important to your success.
However, once you’ve specified your goals, you need to do the work. Let me use myself as an example. I have a goal of becoming one of the best known thinkers on career and life success. This blog is one of the pieces of work that I know I have to do every day if I am going to reach that goal.
I write a post five days a week. (OK, I took off two days last week to take a mini vacation to celebrate my wife’s birthday, but that’s the first time I have missed a post on a week day since the beginning of 2008.) I do this because I know that I need to “get in there” and write a blog post every day to help build my brand and to become recognized as a leading authority on career and life success.
Writing a post every day means that I often have to stay up later, or get up earlier, than I want. I do this because it is one of the ways that I “show up” every day. Yesterday, my day begin with a meeting at 7:00 and ended with a business dinner that was over at 9:00. That was a 14 hour day. I was too tired to write a blog post last night, so I set the alarm an hour earlier today so I could write this post.
I’m not sharing this in order to pat myself on the back. I’m sharing it to show you how I put Helen Gurley Brown’s advice to work. I realize that this blog is one of the “specific things that needs to be done every day” if I am going to realize my goal, so I write and post every day.
Here’s another example. Judith Glazer, my friend and author of Creating We a New York Times bestselling business book, got up every day at 4:00 and wrote for three hours. She did this for several years. And she realized her goal of writing a best-selling book on a topic near and dear to her heart.
Have you identified specific things that need to be done every day to reach your goals? If not, I suggest that you do so – and then follow through and do them. You’ll be closer to reaching your goals if you do so.
The common sense point here is simple. If you want to succeed in your life and career, you need to become an outstanding performer. If you want to become an outstanding performer, you need to set and achieve high goals. The best way to achieve the goals you set is to identify specific things you need to do each day – and then do them. That’s what Helen Gurley Brown says, and I agree.
That’s my take on one way to achieve your goals. What’s yours? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. I appreciate and value all of your comments. As always, thanks for reading.