Friday thoughts #10 - Goal setting
Good morning to my superhero colleagues!
Welcome back! I know… it’s Wednesday! But I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks and I have been excited to share this with you. I am curious if many of you made any New Years resolutions, plans or goals for 2023…
I did… in career, fitness and relationship… I’m going to be busy 😊
Earlier this week I hosted a ‘Goal Setting Masterclass’: Those who attended all had a goal in mind, and for many it was an ambition they had repeated failed at achieving. The aim for me was to set them up for success, guide them on a path where they can hit the targets they set. So today, I would like to explain a little about Goal Setting and successfully achieving it.
We are frequently told to have goals, and extend those goals into 1 year, 3 year and 5 year plans… It is an old school of thought, but it still has relevance to growth and development.
Maybe someone said to you “You’re just aimlessly wondering though life with no destination if you don’t have a goal”
(But don’t worry, even if you’re without a destination you are still on a journey… just more of an explorer).
Although most people have in mind something that they want. This is usually a lingering and repetitive thought in their mind, a desire that they would like to fulfil someday.
Perhaps it’s owning a yacht, completing in a prestigious sporting event, marriage and family or something within business or career.
First, understand that there are problems with setting goals:
Both winners and losers have the same goalsHaving a goal doesn’t separate success from failure. There are athletes who come in last despite their aim of winning the race and there are companies who go bankrupt despite their mission statement of providing the best to their customers. Goals just have a survivorship bias, and we mistakenly assume ambitious goals of the winner leads them to success. But the winner and the loser shared the exact same goal, therefore having the goal doesn’t differentiate success from failure.
Achievement of the goal is only a momentary change
Solving problems at the results level is only solving them temporarily. Example: You have a messy apartment, so you tidy it. You achieved the goal of having a tidy place to live. But how long before it’s messy again? A better way would be to change the inputs of the system so that the outputs correct themselves.
Goals restrict happiness
This is important. The implicit assumption behind any goal is that once it is reached, you’ll achieve happiness. “I’ll lose 10kg, and then I’ll feel better”… “I’ll work hard and get that promotion, then I’ll have success and happiness”… You are continually putting off happiness until the next milestone. A system first mentality provides the antidote. When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy.
Take your goal (whatever it may be), then create and fall in love with a system behind it
Goals are not useless. They provide direction and can be great at tracking progress too. But you’ll often find yourself in a yo-yo effect, constantly aiming to hit the same goal.
A great example of this is those same 10kg to lose.
So, in this new year, if you have a goal you want to achieve, consider setting up a system with the right inputs. Then the outputs will sustainably take care of themselves.
(I may repeat the course presentation again in a few weeks: If you are interested in attending feel free to reach out to me. I’m also always available if you have any questions or would like a little help getting started).
Remember: small, smart changes. Don’t just have a goal, have a system.
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Small, smart changes aligned with vision and direction.