5 Ways to Tell If You've Set Great Goals
11/11/11 17:10 Filed in: Goal Setting Tips
Photo Credit: angietorres
How do you know that you’ve set a good goal? Here’s a checklist to make sure you’re on the right track:
1. It Motivates You
When you read the goal you’ve set, it gets your juices going. It makes you want to get up early in the morning to work on it and it keeps you up late at night thinking about it! If your goals do not have this effect on you, you’re either setting too low a target or you’ve set the goal based on someone else’s influence on you rather than expressing your own true desires.
2. Its Stated in the Positive
What do you think of when I say, “Don't think about that pink elephant!”. I’m willing to bet that an image of a pink elephant flashed across your mind’s eye. That’s how your brain works. It processes images and NOT words. So even through you wanted to NOT think about a pink elephant, you will still think about a pink elephant because the only object in that sentence was a pink elephant.
So for example, don’t set a goal like, “I want to NOT be in debt anymore” or “I don’t want to be sick anymore”. Both of these statements have negative objects within them. In other words -- being in debt or being sick.
So instead, if you want to get out of debt, then think about exactly what needs to happen. If you have a debt of $100,000, set a goal like “I earn a net income of $100,000 each quarter by providing excellent consulting services to large corporations”. If you wish to recover from an illness, set a goal like “I am vibrant and full of energy because I take charge of my health and eat nutritious foods and exercise everyday.”
3. Stated in the Present
Again, using the above examples, it would be a mistake to state the goal as something that may occur in the future. For example, if you say, “I will earn $100,000” or “I am going to be healthy and vibrant…”. These two statements describe that you are in the process of moving towards your goal but not actually achieving it.
The danger here, is that your mind will process the fact that you are always wanting to and you are moving towards your goals but never actually quite achieving them. This could lead to self-sabotage just when you are about to accomplish your desired objective.
Instead, you should state your goals as though they have already been accomplished.
4. Its Measurable
How do you know when you’ve accomplished your goal? Add details like a specific amount, a detailed experience or a specific time frame. What is the goal? When will you accomplish it? With whom does it involve? Try to ensure that your goal describers a tangible outcome or experience.These details allow you to measure and determine when you have actually succeeded in achieving your goal.
There will be many instances where you have a really motivating goal but you may not know exactly how you are going to achieve it yet. This is a great sign. It means you have set a goal that is challenging your comfort zone and it is a goal worth achieving.
In such a case, just add as much detail as possible at the time of creation. Whenever more knowledge and information becomes available as you take action, add more details to your goal again. Keep reviewing and repeating this process until you have complete outcome described. By this time, you will be well on your way to achieving your goal if not having achieve it already.
5. Its Congruent
“Congruence” is a very powerful word in relation to your goals and also how you lead your life. Often times, I hear the advice when people say, “achieve a balanced” life. I couldn’t disagree more. You should achieve a congruent life instead.
Balance means two opposing forces. For example work time versus family time or personal time. While you may not achieve it immediately, your goal should be to ensure that your work involves what you love doing. In other words, achieve “congruence” rather than “balance”.
So when you review your goals, make sure that the goals are congruent with your values, with who you want to become and also with each other. Try to iron out any conflicts, no matter how small and get to a point where your goals are totally congruent so that you can focus like a laser beam towards its attainment.