Setting Positive Thinking Goals
How to set positive thinking goals
Once you have begun to adopt a positive attitude, it is time to set positive thinking goals. These goals differ from your regular goals in that they concentrate specifically on your quest to learn the art of positive thinking and the benefits that you will enjoy from this quest.
These goals should spell out the details of what you wish to accomplish with positive thinking and also contain the specific outcomes of these accomplishments.
There are four steps involved in setting positive thinking goals. By using all four steps, you will create goals that are both attainable and beneficial.
Identify a specific, outcome-oriented goal. This goal will be different from your earlier action-oriented goals in that the goal will concentrate on an eventual positive outcome, not on an immediate task.
However, this goal will still need to be specific and detailed. To help determine your goals, ask yourself the following questions.
1. What do I want to accomplish most with my positive thinking?
2. What area of my life could benefit most from the powers of positive thinking?
3. What do I expect to gain from my positive thinking skills?
Once you have an honest answer to each of these questions you can begin to shape your goals. For our purposes, let’s assume that the answers to the questions were
1) I want to increase my internet sales,
2) My relationship with my spouse and 3) Better problem solving skills.
Each of these answers affords you the basis of a positive thinking goal. For the rest of the steps we will concentrate on defining a goal for the first one.
Now that you have a basic goal idea in mind, you need to state that goal in a specific, outcome-oriented manner. For example, instead of saying, “I want to increase my internet sales” you could say “I am going to use my positive thinking skills to determine my customer’s needs in order to increase sales”.
Break down the goal into short-term and long-term steps. In order to make the goal more easily attainable, you will need to break it down into a few steps. These steps should contain achievable and realistic outcomes.
The first step should include a way to make short-term progress on the goal. For this step you could say, “I am going to include a simple survey on my homepage that will enable me to gather information about my customer’s likes and dislikes”.
As you can see in this step, we have taken a lofty goal such as, increase internet sales, and with a few simple changes turned it into a positive thinking, outcome-oriented goal.
Set up a way to measure your progress. Now that you have a goal in place, you need to set up a way to measure your progress as you work toward attaining that goal. Without a system of measurement you would be forced to wait until the end to gauge your success.
In that instance, you would be unable to use your positive thinking skills to boost your motivation and keep your attitude in check.
The form of measurement that you choose will depend mainly on the type of goal that you have set. In our case, the form of measurement could be an increase in the percentage of sales. In order to accurately gauge your progress, you would first have to gather data about your current sales rate and then determine a suitable increase for your goal.
Let’s say that you have decided to aim for an overall increase in sales of 25%. This would mean that by the time you have attained your goal, your internet sales will have increased from their current rate by 25%. As you work toward your goal you can now monitor your success by tracking the increase in percentage increments.
Set a time limit. The next step in your goal setting would include a time limit. Without a time limit in place, your goals can easily turn into distant dreams. In our case, the time limit serves two purposes. One, it gives you another way to track your progress. And two, it gives your plans a deadline.
To help you focus on your goal and keep you motivated to finish, you need to establish a realistic time frame in which to accomplish your goal. For our goal, we might choose a deadline of six months.
While this deadline may seem long, it will give you plenty of time to create a survey, gather data information, review the information and then make changes toward your goal. Plus, the deadline allows for a period of time for your new plan to work.
Now that we have an outcome deadline, we need to set progress deadlines. These deadlines are set to help keep you on task and ensure your continued progress.
For our goal we may set a deadline of two weeks for creating the survey. Then, set a deadline of one month to gather information form the survey. We would then set a deadline of two weeks to review the survey data and determine what improvements we could make to increase sales.
Next, we would set a deadline of one month to implement the changes. Our final deadline would be a period of three months to track the changes in sales, make changes in our process or product as necessary, and then ultimately reach our goal.
As each deadline expires, it is important to review your goal and make sure that your progress is on track. At each review, you may make any changes that are necessary to both your plan and your goal. However, try not to change the time limit, as this can lead to procrastination and eventual defeat.
Involve others. The last step in your positive goal creation is the involvement of others. This step is important to the creation of any positive thinking goal because it utilizes the reinforcement and encouragement that can be obtained from family, friends, and colleagues.
After finishing the first three steps of positive goal setting share your goals and deadlines with those around you. Use them as a sounding board, listen to their advice or thoughts, and let them be connected to your success.
By informing others of your goals, you will be able to create a net of strength and support that you can call on if reaching your goal becomes difficult or you get off course.
However, be warned – not just anyone will do. There are negative-thinking people in the world, and connecting them to your network will not lead to a positive outcome.
If you have friends or family who are trapped in a cycle of negative thinking, then you need to keep them away from your business. This may seem harsh, but positive thinking doesn’t work when there’s someone aggressively undermining it with their own negativity.
How finding a mentor can help with positive thinking goals
No matter how much knowledge you possess about your business or how much work you put into realizing your goals; sometimes you need outside advice. While this advice can come from any number of avenues, it is usually most advantageous to seek the guidance of a mentor.
A mentor can be any person with knowledge of your field of business. However, when searching out a mentor, it is best to seek someone who has the greatest understanding of the situation you are facing and the most experience with a business similar to your own.
To find a mentor and get the most out of your time together, follow the simple steps below.
Choose a specific situation to seek advice for. While you may wish to seek as much help as possible, it is easier and more beneficial to narrow your quest down to a specific area or situation. Later, after that situation has been resolved, you can also go back to your mentor for additional help.
To choose a situation to pursue, review your positive thinking goals and determine which one is the most important to you or your business. Once you have a goal in mind you will be able to narrow down your choice of mentors by evaluating their level of expertise in your topic.
For example, if you choose to seek a mentor to help you increase your internet sales, then you will want to choose someone who has achieved great successes in this area. You do not want to choose someone who hasn’t been in business very long, or someone who has vast experience and success in retail sales but not in internet sales.
Choosing a specific situation will also help you later when you go to prepare your list of questions to ask your mentor. By choosing a specific problem and a set of specific questions prior to your first visit, you will give yourself extra time to review the questions and weed out the unnecessary information.
Contact your potential mentor. While this step seems obvious, the way in which you contact the person can be a little tricky. Depending on your level of familiarity with the person, your first contact could consist of something as simple as a quick phone call or something as formal as a written request for an interview.
In order to adhere to professional etiquette requirements, your first contact with someone you are not very familiar with should always start with a written request or phone call to his or her secretary. Never call the personal phone number of a person you are not on a comfortable level with.
Also, chances are good that the person you choose as your potential mentor is going to have a busy schedule. Because of this, it is usually best if all contact is begun by setting up an appointment to state your case. Never try to state your case or explain your position during the first contact.
Once you have made an appointment, you need to pick the type of meeting you will have. Depending on the circumstances and the time that your mentor has free, this first meeting can be a short phone call or even a meeting over lunch. If possible, allow your mentor to choose the time and place of the first meeting.
Prepare thoroughly for the meeting. Proper preparation will save both you and your mentor a vast amount of time. With proper preparation you will be able to state your request in a simple, knowledgeable manner. Make sure that you are prepared to share your specific goals and challenges with your mentor and are able to explain to him or her exactly what it is you expect to gain from them.
Ask specific questions. Once someone has agreed to be your mentor, you need to prepare a list of specific question for him or her. If your questions are too broad they will be hard for your mentor to answer. Plus, general questions usually require multiple answers, which can lead to wasted time on both sides.
Using our earlier goal as an example, notice the differences between these sets of questions.
“How can I increase my internet sales?”
“What are three steps I can take to start increasing my internet sales?”
“How can I determine my customer’s needs?”
“Have you ever utilized customer surveys? And if so, what is the most important you can tell me about them?”
As you can see from the examples, the second question in each set is more detailed and specific. Recognizing and utilizing this distinction will enable you to prepare better questions and ultimately receive better, more goal-oriented advice.
Put your mentor’s advice into action. It is not enough to simply seek the advice of a mentor. You also have to be willing to listen to their ideas, research their ideas and eventually, put them into action. A great idea is just a great idea until it is turned into a goal. Use what you have learned from your mentor to expand upon your goals and increase your chances of success.
Use your mentor for more than just advice. A mentor can be a great source of inspiration and positive thinking. Listen to his or her stories, get caught up in his or her excitement, use his or her positive thinking to bolster your own. If you find your attitude taking a negative turn, or discover thoughts of defeat sneaking into your mental self-talk, call your mentor for a positive pep talk.
Thank your mentor. No matter how the experience ends, whether you ultimately use their advice or not, always send a card or gift of appreciation to your mentor. While this little step may not seem important, it is the biggest and best way to ensure that your professional relationship continues.
The fact of the matter is that your mentor probably agreed to help you solely because your success is important to him or her. Let them know that you appreciate their time and effort and keep them abreast of your success. In doing so you will leave an avenue open for further mentoring and new opportunities.