The CLEAR Process™ Basics
Setting and achieving goals is probably one of the easiest and yet most difficult activities we engage in during our lives. We set goals every day, yet when we look back on our goals we realize that something happened, and we did not achieve the goals we wanted to. Over the last 25 years I have experienced this personally and have watched many people experience the same. There is so much information out there on how to create and achieve goals, yet less than 5% of the population manage to achieve their goals. I though that there must be something missing, and I think I may have found it.
The CLEAR Process™
First, I think it fair to establish that so much of the success in setting and achieving goals is up to the person – there, that’s done. There is no magic formula, no sure-fire method, no panacea that can bring success to setting and achieving goals if the person is not prepared, motivated, and engaged in the process. The person has to make the commitment of time and effort to see their goals through to a successful conclusion. Setting and achieving goals is a personal outcome.
Yet, there are systems, methods, processes, and so forth that can help people achieve their goals by providing the framework they need to achieve goal success. During my life time so far I have been introduced to and read about numerous methods to reaching goals, but there was something similar about all of them. It seemed like there was a common theme being presented, just in a different order or using different words. They all seemed to point to the same suggestions – yet, only 5% of the population manage to achieve their goals. I knew that there must be something more, something missing, something that might close the gap between setting goals and reaching goals. But what was it?
While driving along in the middle of nowhere in particular, it came to me – the word CLEAR can be an acronym that spells out the steps to achieving goals, and The CLEAR Process™ was born. The CLEAR Process™ is a simple yet powerful process that provides the path to succeed in your goals. More than just achieving goals, The CLEAR Process™ provides the path to success for any plan, innovation, or process – as long as there is a starting point of where we are and ending point of where we want to be, The CLEAR Process™ is the path to success. So, what does CLEAR spell out in this process? Let me tell you and how you can use it.
The acronym CLEAR is made up of the following steps in a process to achieve success in and goal or plan.
- C = Create
- L = Learn
- E = Execute
- A = Assess or Adjust
- R = Recognize and Record
That’s it – simple right? If you are like me, it just seems to make sense, but there is more to it if you want to be successful.
Put The CLEAR Process™ to work
When using The CLEAR Process™ it is important that the steps be followed in order. If they are taken out of order it is like shooting a gun with Ready, Shoot, Aim – it just is not going to work as well (you might get lucky though).
The first step is to start with Create to define your goals or plan. There are many resources out there on how to create a goal or plan such as SMART Goals, or maybe you have come across suggestions for developing a good strategic plan or action plan. These are all good, and the important factor is that you use something that works for you and your goal. You have to own it.
Next Learn new knowledge related to your goal. If you knew how to do it already, you would probably be doing it. You are wanting to do something new or regain something you once had, and you should seek out knowledge on how to do it. Whether through research, books, mentors, friends, whatever the source, new knowledge is needed to achieve your goal. Word of caution though: Don’t get hung up in this step for too long as there is more information available to us than ever before. I am sure someone is still trying to find the end of the Internet.
Execute that knowledge and begin to work on your goal. You can’t finish what you don’t start, and you are going to learn even more as you start to put your goal into action. A professor of mine often said that our job as students was to learn by doing – well I could not agree more and that is for life not just as a student (unless you are a student of life, which I like to think I am).
Assess and Adjust as you go along – this is important. We live in an ever-changing world and new experiences and information is all around us. As we begin to work on our goal or plan we may find that there is new resource or tool available, we learned new information during the Execute stage, or we had a life change such as starting a family. If change is the only constant, we need to be prepared to change.
At this point you should iterate through the Learn, Execute, and Assess steps as you continue to apply new information and work your plan based on this information. During the Assess and Adjust step you will determine if you need to go back to Learn, what needs to be learned, and how long it should take. This iterative series of steps may seem like they blend together, and they will once you are moving forward on your goal.
When your goal is completed you should Recognize and Record your accomplishment. If it is a personal goal, you may recognize your success with a party or maybe treat yourself to something you enjoy. You might post out to social media, update your resume, or make an entry in a success journal. For a business goal, you might provide recognition of the team that accomplished the goal or put out a press release or success story. You and/or your team have accomplished a great thing and it should be recognized. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!
To learn more about The CLEAR Process™ and the Clear Success Group, don’t forget to check out our website to learn more about what we do. We love to hear feedback and encourage your getting in on the conversation. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Contact Us on our website.