One of the challenges when it comes to goal setting is picking the right goal. Too often we jump on the bandwagon and pick goals based on what other people around us are doing.
I see it all the time-especially with entrepreneurs—we let shiny new objects or trying to keep up with others become our drivers. So instead of getting caught up in what others are doing, it’s time for you to stop and think about the goals that are going to move you forward.
What is a Goal Anyway?
A goal is “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” Good goals, are clear, planned out realistic outcomes that you can actually accomplish. Goals are useful because they bring order and organization to the chaos of your actions. They serve as “mile markers” for you as you travel this journey called life.
Goals help you track, monitor and adjust your progress as you make your decisions and choose your different paths in life. When you are clear on your goals, you can more easily communicate to others what you want and sometimes team up with them along the way.
Goals are a way of making change happen and improving your performance.
Know the difference between Dreams and Goals.
You may have said or heard someone say that something is on their *bucket list” or they’ve been dreaming of doing something for a while. A bucket list is usually something crazy, freaky and even dangerous that someone wants to do before they kick the bucket. They might even kick the bucket while doing it.
The point is, most people put the most outlandish things on their bucket list, but when it comes to planning the goals to work on-they play it safe. You’ll know when you pick the right goal. It will be somewhere between that crazy thing on your bucket list and hanging out in the safe zone.
Joseph Vitale says a “a good goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.”
Playing it safe will only get you so far, but going off the deep end won’t work either.
In order to pick the right goals, you need to change the way you look at things.
Change Your Viewpoint
Your Viewpoint is the lens that you look through at the different areas of your life: Career, Health, Relationships, Finances, Personal Development, Community, etc. In coaching, we also use the Wheel of Life for these Viewpoints.
When I’m working with clients, I ask them to change their Viewpoint and shift the lens that they are looking through to get an idea of what goals they want to set.
If you’re struggling to come up with good goals, grab a sheet of paper and for each Viewpoint, write down a list of things that:
- are currently working well (these can be stepping stones to your next thing)
- aren’t going as well as you’d like (your goal may center around changing this)
- you’d like to do next (building on something you’ve already done)
When you’re done you’ll end up with a long list of “goal starters” on your Wishlist.
Now, let’s evaluate your Goal Starter Wishlist
For each Goal Starter answer the following questions and put a check mark next the ones that pass the test.
- Are you already working on this area? Do you already have a successful plan and system in place to achieve or fix this area? If yes, don’t mess with what’s in place and move on to something else.
- Is it challenging to you? Does it scare you a little? If yes, put a check mark and move on to the next question.
- Is it achievable, meaning can you do it with the current skills (training/abilities) and resources (time/money) you have available today. If yes, great put a check mark. If no, maybe your goal should be to develop the skills or resource you’ll need to achieve this goal.
Narrow down your Goal Starters even more.
Hopefully, your list is even shorter and you are closer to figuring out the goals you want to tackle first. If you still have a really long list, rate each goal on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being “This goal really excites me” and 1 being “Meh”
Finally, take a look at them and ask yourself:
- Which ones will help move you faster to your desired outcome?
- Out of the goals that ranked 7 or higher on the Excitement meter, can you pick 3-5 that just can’t wait to get started on?
Now that you’ve got your goals list, it’s time to create your action plan. Keep an eye out for guidance on that next post.
I like how Greg S. Reid sums it up:
“A dream written down with a DATE becomes a goal. A goal broken down into STEPS becomes a plan. A plan backed by ACTION makes your dreams come true.”
I look forward to hearing about all your dreams coming true.
If you’d like some help working through this process, go ahead and schedule a Discovery Call with me know.