05 Sep A simple guide to setting goals (with a silly example).
Setting goals is something we all try to do. These can be related to any aspect of our life whether personal or business related and they can be yearly, monthly, weekly or even daily. However, most people fail to complete their goals. That does not seem to be for the lack of trying, but rather a different problem.
No matter how hard you try you will never achieve a goal that is not specific enough or is unrealistic.
I’ll give an example with fitness.
Jack sets a goal “I’m gonnna get ripped (shredded, jacked or whatever you want to call it) in two months to prepare for summer”. At first that seems like a perfectly reasonable goal, but once you dive deeper you see a number of problems.
- Not specific. Jackie needs to define what “ripped” means to him. Is it a particular weight, body fat percentage or he just wants to put on a bit of muscle?
- Once he has that clarified, Jack would need to see if that timeline is realistic. Does he have prior gym experience? If he does not, two months would be unrealistic for him to achieve that level of fitness.
- There needs to be a plan of action. What will Jack the jacked need to do to achieve this? Does he plan to go to the gym every day and follow a nutritional plan? Maybe he wants to go 3 times a week and have additional activities during the week?
- It is best if Jack’s plan of action is composed of small steps he can take every day. I.e. eat x and avoid y today or drink z amount of water.
- Finally, but perhaps most importantly is the question WHY? Why does Jack want to get seriously jacked? Is it to impress a girl, to live more healthily or just so he can look good on the beach? If the motivating factor is not strong enough, Jack will fail despite having taken all the correct steps to ensure success.
To summarize. In order to give your goals a maximum success chance you will need to take small steps to execute a specific plan of action in a realistic timeline. Obviously you would need the motivation to follow through with all of that.
Ah, sometimes I wish I followed my own advice. Damn.
Nevertheless, these things apply to any goal. Maybe you want to spend more time with the kids or reach a sales number this year. Break those goals down and make them work with you instead of pressuring yourself all the time to achieve something that is not clear. My goal recently has been to write a page (on whatever) every day.
The goal (no pun intended) is to create a positive feedback loop and have something small to work on every day. If you have successful days and complete your small steps every day there is no way you can fail at the bigger goal even if it is rather ambitious. Completing your small daily goals will keep you feeling great, satisfied and motivated (hell yeah!).
Now you go out there and ace that shit! Whatever it might be. Oh, and remember about Jack the ripped dude and his silly goals and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.