The Elements

By Andrea Schlapia   |   November 8, 2013

Goal Setting, Are You Making It Happen or Making Excuses?

Categories: Blog, Business Development, Human Element, Operational Effectiveness, Strategic Planning, Team Development

Ironstone Goal Poster Sample

Are you reaching your goals? If not, why? It is so easy to set goals and rely on your good intentions to meet them; however, much easier to make excuses for not achieving goals. Every year I set new goals and can find a hundred and one excuses on why I am not reaching them.  Sound familiar?


Read on….. and download our Fundamental 4™ Ironstone Goal Poster Sample

The poster is designed to give you a visual aide to reinforce reaching and exceeding your goals.


Setting and reaching goals is a simple process but does require following fundamental steps to ensure a positive and rewarding outcome. By using the acronym SMART, setting goals can be outlined into manageable tasks.


  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Specific: Identify specific goals by answering the following questions:

  • Who is involved?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Where will the goal process take place?
  • When will the goal start and end?
  • Which requirements are needed to complete the goal and which challenges may occur?
  • Why do I want to achieve this goal? (purpose and benefits of accomplishment)

By establishing a specific goal, rather than a general goal, you create a bond with your goal. The goal now embodies meaning, challenge and reward along with a much greater chance of accomplishment.

Measurable:  Create a measurement system for your goal by establishing periodic checkpoints for measuring progress toward reaching each goal you set. Measuring progress helps you stay on track by meeting deadlines and target dates. Ask yourself questions to identify your progress such as, How much?, How many?, How will I know when my goal is accomplished?

Attainable:  Attainable goals are reached when you link importance and achievement together. After identifying your most important goals and the success of achieving each goal, you will find ways to develop the attitude, skills and ability to reach them. By instilling these characteristics, you will create a new vision and desire to attain goals previously overlooked.

Realistic:  Shooting for the moon can be realistic as long as you make a commitment to reach your goal.  Making a commitment leaves no room for excuses. Identify a realistic goal by asking yourself, “What conditions need to be present for me to attain this goal?”

Timely:   “Sometime” and “someday” will not allow you to reach your goal. Solidify your goal planning by establishing a time frame with specific dates. I like to use a timeline with each of my goals which also aides in progress measurement.

Creating the ability to see your goals and visualize the progress provides increased engagement, productivity and improved team morale. The Ironstone Fundamental 4™ Goal Poster is available for purchase in a 19×27 wall poster for your office and includes an electronic version. Contact us to have your poster shipped today.

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Andrea Schlapia
Organizational Development and Human Capital

Andrea Schlapia, RCC™, HCS, sHRBP, is the Founder and CEO of Ironstone, which represents the culmination of her 20+ year career within the financial services industry. Her experience began as a financial advisor evolving into a consultant coach for advisors entering the field. This ignited her passion to support others through learning and development of best practices in order to achieve substantial results. To this end, she followed her desire into positions of senior-level practice management specialists for Dreyfus, Prudential, and DWS Investments prior to the realization of Ironstone.  Andrea’s focus is on practice management strategies to enhance and improve both business and personal life.

Andrea identifies 4 key performance areas known as the Fundamental 4™, which are required to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Through coaching sessions and speaking engagements, she captivates her audience with interactive, high-energy presentations which are built with “how-to” strategies resulting in real-world implementation for significant impact. Andrea has been featured in multiple publications and audio broadcasts as a specialist and distinguished spokeswoman in the financial industry.

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