5 Steps to Setting a Clear and Not-So Attainable Goal
Stop struggling and set clear and not-so achievable goals
Why set goals?
You can't hit a target you cannot see. Not setting goals for your life, career, health, money, relationships, and business is like driving your car to a destination with a blindfold on.
Our minds are wired to achieve success. But it is only if and when we correctly engage our minds and establish a system to execute in the direction of what we want to achieve.
In his article 5 Reasons Why Goal Setting Will Improve Your Focus, Jeff Boss puts it this way:
Having a clear, compelling goal mobilizes your focus toward actionable behavior. In other words, goal setting should motivate you.
To put it simply, you set goals to get yourself moving.
Where do you start?
Before you set your goals, you need to start by defining what you want to achieve. Some people call this your "overall goal." This is a generic statement that defines what we want to achieve. It can usually be boiled down to two or three words. Examples are:
Make more money
Get a degree
These statements are NOT goals. They are your starting point to build your goal.
How do you turn your statement into a goal?
Next you define what you want to achieve in specific and measurable terms. Let's use the examples above.
Lose weight. Ask yourself "How much weight do I want to lose?"
Make more money. Ask yourself "How much more money do I want to make?"
Get a degree. Ask yourself "What kind of degree do I want?"
Improve relationship with X. Ask yourself "What relationship do I want to improve? With who specifically?"
From here you just rewrite your statement to include your answers.
Lose 10 pounds.
Make $10,000 more per year.
Get a degree in finance.
Improve relationship with my spouse.
This sets up your goal to be measured in a specific way. Now you can make it measurable by setting a specific time to achieve the goal.
Lose 10 pounds by March 31, 2018.
Make $10,000 more per year July 31, 2018.
Get a degree in finance by May 31, 2022.
Improve relationship with my spouse by December 31, 2018.
Notice that I set exact dates to achieve these goals. The more specific the date (and the goal), the less likely you are to procrastinate or stall on executing it. And you can also put the goal on your calendar.
I encourage people to set goals around other special days that will keep them reminded of the due date for the goal. Examples include:
An anniversary date
A date that is special to you
Most common advice for goal-setting will tell you to make the goal attainable. I think that is hogwash. I say to set what they call in business a BHAG - Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal. This is a goal that challenges you.
The reason that I love BHAGs is because most of us need a CHALLENGE to inspire and motivate us. Setting the bar low usually doesn't evoke a feeling. It's "ho-hum."
But making the goal something that scares you gets your mind engaged in how that could be possible. Up the stakes by tweaking the goal or the date to achieve it.
"What if I could..."
Lose 50 pounds by March 31, 2018.
Make $100,000 more per year July 31, 2018.
Get a degree in finance by May 31, 2020.
Improve relationship with my spouse by February 14, 2018.
What if you actually achieved it?
And even if you did NOT achieve it but got close, that would be exciting. Remember, failure is your friend. And getting closer to a BHAG beats achieving a low bar any day of the week.
In my next post, I will deal with creating what I call supportive goals (some call them progress goals or interim goals).
Start with stating your overall goal (two or three words).
Get specific with your goal.
Set a specific time to achieve your goal.
Rewrite your goal to include the specifics and time to achieve it.
Turn your goal into a BHAG.
Don't roll through your life blindfolded! Get busy setting some goals that get you moving in the right direction.
Up next: setting supportive goals.
I'm cheering for you!