Updated: Jan 11
Why bother and what's in it for me?
What is a goal? A goal is a dream with a deadline.
A goal is a roadmap, a destination, a focus point. It is a powerful motivator, it affects the intensity of our actions and emotions. Goals are intentions that guide behavior. Goals direct our attention to relevant behaviors and away from irrelevant ones.
People who set goals tend to believe that success is determined by their own actions and skills, they take 100% responsibility of every aspect of their lives. They have a growth mindset; with clear goals, they reach better performance. With goals we have a sense of where we are going, it guides us toward growth, efficiency, clarity, confidence, self actualization, our potential, control and self awareness.
A quick side note; I like this definition of confidence - A willingness to try. Another cool definition; discipline - A promise we keep to ourselves.
Goal achieving is good for us. It provides that internal feedback when we perceive our progress adequate, we feel capable of learning new skills and setting more challenging future targets. Teaches us flexibility to adapt to barriers, perseverance, when things don't go as planned. (What are the odds of that happening?!)
We will become better at self regulating our emotions, flexibility helps us become more resilient.
Planning changes a good idea into a goal.
Well, this is great! Now what?
First of all, goals should be important on a personal level. They have to be optimistic but realistic. The content of our goals may be less important to our well-being than our reasons for pursuing them. Share goals with others but choose the right people/group who will be supportive. When ready, find a good, but necessarily a perfect time to start.
Goals have to be compelling, exciting, inspiring and a little bit scary. That will give them momentum. Nothing like a little challenge!!
We have to be committed to our goals. Have to be determined to reach them and have to understand what is required to reach them.
We have to have clarity around our goals. Goals have to be specific, precise, implicit, then we will be on a direct course to reach them.
Make the time-scale realistic. An overly difficult goal that requires to learn new skills will take time. It will feel overwhelming and will destroy our morale, productivity and motivation.
So.... how do we go about setting goals?
Goals can be set in all areas of life; professional, social, family, sport, physical, financial, relationships, faith, community, mental, etc.
One way to come up with goals is to do a brainstorm / braindump.
Say what? A brainstorming session basically allows us to go where no man has gone before and just allow anything and everything to come into our heads and write them down. No matter how crazy, impossible, outlandish the ideas are. Then, we start weeding based on our core values, what we want.
But!!! Just be aware that sometimes in the most outlandish idea there is a seed of a great goal. Approach this whole process with a super open mind and have fun with it.
Now that we have our goals, how do we make them into roadmaps? How can we come up with the steps that we can put into our planner?
Mindmap - we put the end goal in the middle and draw spokes around it. Then, ask the question: "What do we need to achieve this?" Write those items down around the main goal, one on each spoke. Then repeat this process for each of those, and then for each of those, until our paper looks like a brain cell and we reach the tiniest step that cannot be broken down any further. Now we can start at this most outer circle and put them into our planner.
We can also go through this process but make it look like a tree. The trunk is the main goal, then the branches going up out of it are the sub-steps. This will give us levels that can be easier colour coded and crossed off as we knock them off.
Part 2 will follow in the next post.