Today, I want to get back to basics and explore the question: what makes a great goal? This might seem a little bit obvious, but if coaching has taught me anything it’s this: not all goals are created equal. When it comes to setting and successfully achieving goals, there’s much more to it than simply picking something we want to do and feeling motivated. We have to go a little deeper.
Specific & Measurable
There are so many things we think we ‘should’ achieve. In my experience, tirelessly working based on ‘shoulds’ is a recipe for disaster. External validation as a sole motivator isn’t long-lasting; or even if we receive that approval from others, the result rarely feels like we had hoped for. If we want to stay motivated and feel great once we achieve a goal, it must be inspiring to us.
Here are some questions to guide you on the right track to creating your own inspiration:
Though it may seem obvious, having a way to track our progress and what we have achieved along our goal-achieving journey is a crucial factor of goal setting. But this is often overlooked when targets we set are more complicated or too simple than detailed and specific.
For example, having a vague goal like “I want to be successful” doesn’t have enough impact without context. “To be happy” is another great goal, but unless you know what you’re working towards, it can be tricky to hold onto.
Let’s get specific about your goals with some thought-provoking questions
As I discussed in my blog post How to truly enjoy the journey towards reaching your goals, the majority of our life exists in the time between significant achievements or change. Reaching a goal is a wonderful, but short-lived, experience, especially compared to the effort that goes into the journey to get there. It’s for this reason that the process - the way we move towards our goals - is arguably more important than the end result. This is where true happiness and fulfilment is created.
Ask yourself the following questions to help define your process:
The motto ‘you can achieve whatever you want’ can be seductively motivating, but it can also set us up for complacency or disappointment. While goals must be deeply inspiring, they must also be achievable. One way to ground our goals in reality is to take a resource-focussed approach. This means looking at our current lifestyles, environments and networks and seeing what is possible right now or where we can gain support.
Consider the following questions:
The final ingredient for a 5-star goal is ensuring you have a time frame for when you want to achieve it. Having this container is an excellent way to stay motivated and focused while also pacing ourselves; it prevents us from burning out or getting stressed and frustrated about progress not happening “fast enough.”
Answer the following questions about creating time for your goals:
While reaching desired targets will always require passion, patience and steady motivation, if your goals include these 5 elements, you will build a strong foundation where you can move towards your dreams without delay or resistance.
Do you have a goal that you’ve run through the above checklist? Drop it in the comments box below or send me a private note here. I’d love to know what you’re working towards!