The Art of Setting Goals: Do I Have a Goal or a Wish?Jan 03, 2022
When Alice was lost in Wonderland she came across a Cheshire Cat and asked it for directions. When the cat asked her where she wanted to go she responded with "it doesn't really matter" to which the cat said "then it doesn't really matter which way you go"... Lewis Carol's Alice in Wonderland was written in 1865 yet the basic lesson remains true. How are you going to get somewhere if you don't know where you want to end up?
The goal or goal setting process is an important part of your mindset and success. It's what you use to set out the direction for your life, but it also has a big impact on how successful you are. There are many different opinions about what goal setting should look like, but there are five steps that most people agree will help you achieve whatever goal it is that you're after.
- What do I want?
- Why do I want this goal?
- Who can help me reach my goal?
- What resources do I need to reach my goal?
- How am I going to measure success in reaching my goal?
A goal needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. Otherwise it's just a dream... or at best a wish. The goal must also have meaning for you - why do you want the goal? What will reaching this goal mean for your life? This is crucial because even if everything else in these five steps is perfect, you will likely fail at goal if it doesn't have a deep rooted meaning for you.
A goal with no motivation or desire behind it just wont happen because it's not your real goal. You need to make sure that your goal matters enough to you or else there's simply not going to be the passion and drive needed to reach it.
This brings us to our third step: who can help you reach your goal? You likely won't be able to do it all alone and reaching out for help is crucial. This may include finding a mentor, joining an online or in-person mastermind group, hiring a coach or taking on accountability partners.
Next you need to consider the resources you need to accomplish your goals. Do you have them now? Do you need to go out and find them? Whether it's capital, financing, deals or just the right people per all of the above - do you have the required skills and training to make it happen? Be honest with yourself here. You may find yourself stretching yourself way to thin OR perhaps not far enough.
Finally - Once you have a goal in mind, your resources and help lined up, it's time to start working on the fourth step: how are going to measure success? Knowing this before reaching out for help is key - otherwise you'll be left feeling that everything was a waste of their time because they couldn't tell if you were making progress or not.
Of course, goal setting is all about the end goal but it's also important to know if you're on track or not. That way when obstacles inevitably come up (and they will!) - you can figure out how to work around them and continue moving forward.
Be clear on where you want to go - otherwise you might find yourself lost in Wonderland.
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