The Ultimate Guide To Goal Setting
Imagine getting on a cruise ship and asking the captain “So where are we going?” Only to learn there is no destination, “we’re just going to head out and see where we get to.” We can’t know whether we have enough fuel and supplies to get there, because we don’t know where we’re going. Risky, right? Perhaps you convince the captain to set a general direction, perhaps the Caribbean? That’s better isn’t it? Somehow it causes less anxiety to know we’re heading in a general direction doens’t it?
As you get closer to the area you do some research online and realize there are quite a few different islands you can visit, each with different activities and cultures for you to experience. But you don’t know which one you’re going to, so how can you get excited about what you’ll do and see? Out of frustration, you go to the captain and convince them to visit the island you want to visit. As soon as you know you’re going you get excited and motivated! You start your planning and realize you can’t book anything because you have no idea when you’ll get there!
This metaphor is A great example of a situation almost none of you would tolerate (I hope). Only when you get a clear picture of where you are, where you’re going, and by when you’d like to get there, can you create a realistic plan for action and get excited and motivated to go. Yet, this is the way most people live their lives.
Personally, whenever I’m expressing how overwhelmed I am with all of my life ambitions, my wife always turns to me with a kindness in her eyes and says to me “how’d ya eat a whale?” To which I reply “one bite at a time.” Right at that moment I know this is my cue to get on my whiteboard (In my office, because I’m a coach and I work from home…) and use the very same set of questions I ask my clients every day to help them get clarity about what they want, why they want it, and how they are going to achieve it in the desired time frame. Here they are! Use them they work.
1. “What specifically do you want?”
Your goal must be what you want, not what you don’t want.
2. “Where are you now?” “what do you currently have in your life?”
Specify present situation. You need to know where you are before you can know where you’re going.
3. “What will you see, hear, feel, etc., when you have it?”
Remember, if the scenario you describe isn’t motivating and exciting for you, it’s not going to work. You must feel compelled to achieve it!
Write out a specific statement including everything you have achieved at the time you’ve achieved it.
E.g. It’s July 1st 2020, I’m sitting at the breakfast table in my new house which has 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and plenty of room for the whole family. I make $150,000 a year, work only 30 hours a week, and I’m excited to go to work everyday.
4. “How will you know when you have it?”
What has to happen so that you’ll know you’ll have achieved your goal?
5. “What will this outcome get for you or allow you to do?”
You can also ask: “what would happen if you achieved this?” & “what wouldn’t happen if you didn’t achieved this?”
6. “Is it only for you?”
You should have the goal be primarily for you. Even if it’s to provide a better life for your family, think how that will make you feel and notice how motivated you are!
7. “Where, when, how, and with whom do you want it?”
Get clear on the specifics. Will the house be in your current city? or have you moved to a more affordable area?
8. “What do you have now, and what do you need to get your outcome?”
This will give you the missing pieces. If you want to be a coach, have good people skills, and haven’t completed any training yet, perhaps ‘coaching specific training’ will be in there.