Effective Goal Setting
Why do you continue to fail your goals? Sure, you complete some of them, but there are certainly some things in life you’ve desired for a long time that you still can’t reach. It’s time to rethink your aspirations and set more effective goals.
The word effective means “successful in producing a desired or intended result.” When you set a goal that you don’t achieve, does it mean that the goal was ineffective? Or, does it mean that the actions that you took to achieve it were insufficient? Effective goal setting involves creating realistic, attainable accomplishments, and can be the difference between success and failure. It’s time to review your goal-setting process to ensure that you set effective goals. It’s critical that you learn to measure them to ensure they are the right goals at the right time.
A Dire Situation
Imagine you only had 12 months to live. What would your priorities be? Think about the things that you would stop doing immediately. Spending time binge-watching TV, mindlessly browsing social media, and habitually napping during the day can be tremendous wastes of time. Think about the activities you’d start doing. You might reconnect with old friends or relatives with whom you’d lost touch. Maybe you’d start a new bucket list or review an existing one. You’d have to re-prioritize everything you do. From the moment you wake up until the time you go to bed, you’d scrutinize how you spent every second. Would you go to bed two hours later or get up two hours earlier? How would you make the most of each day? “Carp Diem, Momento mori” is Latin for “Remember you must die.” It is the morbid agreement we’ve all made without consent the instant we were born. As uncomfortable as the thought may be, embracing it will help you focus on what you want to achieve.
Planning for Today and Tomorrow
If you knew you were going to live for another 40 years, how would that change your priorities? Think about the planning you do in your everyday life. When you plan to go out to eat with friends, you do some planning. Maybe you spend 10-15 minutes checking the reviews, going to the menu, or reserving a nice table. You take all the steps necessary to ensure that those few hours spent in good company are a success. Why aren’t you doing the same in your work life? If you had another 40 years, it makes sense to spend five percent of that time–two years–finding your genius. In doing so, you could be sure that the rest of your life was spent helping those around you in the way that only you can.
A Life of Absolute Luxury
Now, consider a life where you have no responsibilities. What would your day-to-day life look like? After the initial period of slacking off and laying around, how would you fill your days? What have you been putting off that you’d finally have time to complete? Would you have the discipline to see it through? Do you have the discipline to work on a passion project? Or, do you believe that the lack of responsibilities would frighten you? Would your infinite leisure time be a hindrance? Only you have the self-awareness to know your strengths and weaknesses.
Kill the Goal at Last
Think of something that you consistently long for. Certainly, there’s something that you have deferred or ignored. Still, the seed of the idea is planted and the longing persists. No matter how many times you try to dismiss it, you know deep down that the desire is there.
Which of your goals have you set repeatedly and failed to complete? Is this goal something you really want–or should want? If not, your desire may be a product of miswanting. How can you be sure? Consider the reasons you’ve failed to complete or even start work on what you desire. Be specific and honest. Think of one or two smaller goals that you could achieve. Get them out of the way right now! Think about these smaller tasks to get you started and give you some momentum. Clear the decks first. Then, dedicate your focus to something more challenging.
Can you finally kill this goal once and for all? If not, come up with a plan that will let you achieve it. Are you ready to stop hindering your own success?
What The Dickens
Remember the “Dickens Process.” Do you know the story of The Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past? Anthony Robbins teaches that the morals from Dickens’ story can be applied to your own life goals. What has your fear cost you in the past? What is it costing you now? What will it cost you in the future? Measure the cost of your inaction. The future isn’t yet decided.
What is the one thing you can accomplish that will give you a boost in other areas? You might go back to school, join a gym, or join a social club (or a Mastermind group). If you refuse to invest your time, effort, or money into some kind of self-improvement, what is the cost to you? How would your life change if you finally decided to commit?
The Bruce Lee Method: Feeling the Outcome
“Don’t think. Feel….” – Bruce Lee
Think about how achieving your goals will make you feel. Get specific and detailed. Then, imagine them finished. Now, consider the ramifications if you fail to accomplish these goals. How will you feel? What will that mean to you or your business? Try feeling the results instead of simply thinking about them.
Think of a goal that your Mastermind can help you achieve. What one thing do you fail at by yourself that could be achieved with a group of your peers? You must be willing to take the risk of asking them for help. Be vulnerable. Be honest. Be open. That is the power of the group. Don’t focus on the feeling of vulnerability or weakness when asking for help. Think about the feelings of accomplishment and gratitude you’ll feel once your group finally helps you achieve what you cannot do alone.
All of these ideas are things to consider to help you set effective goals. Find just one that resonated with you the most and act on it. See which is the best method for you. You reached out for help for a reason. Start by examining your goal-setting process and see how your life changes.