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You are on this web site because you have a goal. You may be in the process of designing or updating a web site. You may be developing your professional skills.
Either way, there is some state that you wish to reach.
What's your goal?
Start by writing down what you think your current goal is.
As an end state, it should sound something like:
- "I have created a successful site that promotes our products well and creates over a hundred sales leads a month"
- "I am confident in my web design expertise and about going for that job, and I feel relaxed hanging out with those other new media professionals"
- "Because of my work on the site, my colleagues respect me as the authority in web design, and my boss wants to give me that promotion"
Note that these goals are expressed in the present tense! That's what you focus on - what it feels like and looks like to have created something.
Goals are states of being, not doing!
Be careful what you wish for!
Avoid "My goal is to create…" or "My goal is to design…", because these represent doing processes, not being places.
If you make doing your goal, that's what you'll receive - continuous effort. Focus on the end result, and your mind will find its way directly through the doing.
[I love riding my mountain bike over rocky terrain. I've learnt to focus my eyes down the trail, and to look at the spaces between rocks, not at the rocks themselves. If I look at the rock, I ride into it. Moral: You hit what you focus on.]
If you've got even a rough idea of where you wish to be, great work! You're already ahead in the design game.
Is this really part of my goal?
You may find that you have a number of different criteria that appear to be equally important. But you should have only one coherent goal. You need to work out what elements really constitute success, and which may be nice-to-haves or red herrings.
For each of your criteria, ask: "If I don't achieve this, will that mean failure?"
If the answer is "yes", the factor in mind is a true goal, or aspect of your goal. Keep it in.
When you're happy your goal is complete and accurate, write it down and keep it to hand. It will help you succeed.
Make sure you throw away your false goals. (If you watch the rocks you'll hit them).
Visualise your success point
Visualisation is a powerful technique that helps you see the path you need to take to get somewhere. All it means is playing a picture in your mind's eye. The picture should be as realistic as possible, so note where you are, who you're with, what's going on around, and most importantly what you say.
It's a great starting point to say, "My goal is to know that my products are taking off in the market and that people really want to buy them."
But visualising success goes a step further towards helping you see what needs to happen to make your goal real.
For example, success might be when you can say to someone, "In the last seven days we have received 10 orders online, and responded to 30 requests for information from our web site." This means that 9 orders, or only 25 information requests don't signify success.
See the difference? Success means getting orders and requests for information from the web site. That means your web site needs to be seen by people, provide them a compelling picture of your products, and make it easy for them to get in touch with you or order online. Those are all real things that need to be in place. Visualising the success point helps you also visualise other things that need to be true, and which have helped success come about - like your site, your message, your feedback system, your online ordering system.
Your success statement
Do it now. Picture the scene when you can say something that shows you have reached your goal. Where are you? What time of day is it? Who else is there? What do you say? What does that feel like?
Write down the exact words that you would say.
Be realistic about your aims. e.g. "Getting more people to pick up the phone and speak to a salesperson" may be a realistic aim - whereas "Closing more sales via the web site" may be unrealistic (web sites are good places to sell books, software, insurance and tickets, but rarely sell houses or cars or close business deals).
Having a realistic goal in mind will increase your chance of success.
Write down your success statement. Try to put numbers on it, such as visitors, profits or requests for information.
Test your statement. Would 10% less mean you haven't succeeded yet? Make sure you really believe that, when you can say that statement truthfully, your project will be a success.
Being conscious of your personal goal, and what it will look like when you've reached it, will help you make decisions that take you nearer that point, and know what to do next.
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