Yes, 2016 is half over, did you make some goals for this year? Goal setting is no silver bullet. You can’t write down you want to lose ten pounds and keep eating twinkies and still lose weight. I have experimented with goals many times and failed more than I would like. Today I want to cover a few things you probably have heard before and few new ones that you have not heard about goals.
I think you have heard this one before but, it bears repeating. Goals need to be SMART, to begin with. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Going back to our New Year’s Resolutions, if we say I want to get in shape. That is not specific at all and it sounds more like a wish. If you say I want to lose ten pounds by tomorrow that is not realistic or achievable.
Outcome vs Process
We can tend to focus on outcomes like earning one million dollars. As you look at some of the goals you are thinking about setting also consider some process goals. An outcome goal might be “I will lose ten pounds in thirty days.” If we want to set up a process goal to achieve a similar result would be, “Workout four days a week for over thirty minutes and consuming only two thousand calories per day.” Process goals can help shape habits that lead to success.
I have been enjoying a lot of Michael Hyatt’s work. Last year I went through his program Best Year Ever and thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot. One important thing Michael covers is why it is important to write down your goals. In this post, he reviews why it helps us to get our goals written down. One important point is how it helps us find clarity in what we want to achieve. The goals then serve as a filter to view our opportunities through.
Intrinsic vs Extrinsic
Extrinsic goals are quite popular, these goals deal with money, fame, and beauty. Intrinsic goals focus more on relationships, personal growth, and community contributions. If you focus too much on extrinsic goals these can lead poor mental and depression according to Why We Do What We Do by Edward Deci. He also covers how intrinsically focused people feel more fulfilled and have better well-being.
Keep your goals in a place that you will see them often. I have them written down on a 3×5 note card that I keep with me throughout the day. I have created goals before and put them away on a shelf rarely to be reviewed. When you don’t see your goals you tend to lose focus on them. So find a few different ways to make your goals visible.
Working through Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever program last year I learned how many of us try to set too many goals. Michael suggests having between 5 and ten goals. Any more than that and you will just spin your wheels. Although as you read and research these other people have differing opinions on this subject. This year I have set five to focus on.
Don’t get too hard on yourself if you fall off track. We are going to have challenges and set back that we need to handle them in stride. As you strive for achievements we need to learn from our mistakes and adjust your goals. It can be helpful to adjust your goals after a few months to make them fit better.