7 Mistakes of Goal Setting #4 & #5
You have to move towards a goal. The goal won't come to you
A goal without action is just a wish.
The difference between people who accomplish something and those who don’t is the fact that those who achieve something set a goal and start walking towards the goal. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wishing your life away, hoping that the “the Universe will answer” or tomorrow you will start- and somehow, every day is a tomorrow.
A good action plan is the equivalent of a good map to a destination.
Once I set a goal I sit down, take my notepad and tell myself: “Ok, how do I do this?”. And I brainstorm.
Create a storm in your brain
Do yourself a favour and take a moment to brainstorm before you make a plan. How many different ways are there for you to achieve this?
Brainstorm is a handy way of squeezing every single idea your brain can create as an answer to a question. The main rule would be: Use your mind but think as little as possible- try to come up with as many ideas as possible but do not evaluate them just yet. At this stage you should not care if an idea is totally unachievable, it involves an enormous amount of money, etc. Write down everything.
Step two: take a closer look at your ideas. Now you can evaluate them, turn them on all sides. Pick the realistic ideas, that can have a positive impact on your endeavours. Look for that idea that calls to an action that has a domino effect. Pick one action that once is done everything starts rolling, the horizon gets closer, more doors open, more ideas come, more insight is gained into the matter.
Choose ideas that appeal to you and are within your control- focus on what you can control, what you can influence and what you can get. Be ambitious and reach out of your comfort zone while being realistic.
It might not hurt to also check what others, in similar circumstance, did. What worked for others might work for you. And from other’s failure and experiments, you can learn. The truth is that our ideas are not at all as innovative as we think they are. They are not completely identical with someone else’s ideas but in this big and wide world, someone, most probably, already tried something that resembles your plan. Learn from those who already tried to follow the same path as you.
Who? When? What? and more
Next, establish the What, Who, When.
What needs to be done? Make a list.
Who is responsible for each action? Name who has the responsibility of completing that specific task. Try not to share responsibility irresponsibly. When you are responsible, be responsible!
When should this task be completed? Set a realistic deadline. Do not forget that most of the time we underestimate the time in which we can perform a task. Add a few more hours, days, week or months to the deadline that you want instinctively to set (you will thank me later).
Before you call it an action plan, you have to check two more things (the last ones, I promise):
Are there any hops on the road? Practice your future predicting and check if you can see any significant challenges that might come up. If you can foresee them, you can prepare to take this chance and use it for your advantage. Do this for every task you set.
How does this task look like when completed aka Proofs. What proof do you want to see to call a task completed?
No one ca predict life
The only constant thing in life is change.
When you set a goal and start acting towards your goal, being flexible will be a quality that will keep you away from… trouble. You see, it is not in our power how others act, how some events unfold. But these circumstances can and will influence and sometimes interfere with our goals.
For the sake of keeping it simple: My goal is to go to the supermarket because I want to cook dinner. An accident occurred on the main street that takes me to the shop. What do I do? I give up buying food and cooking dinner? Or do I choose an alternative route…?
Change requires flexibility. When you resist change, you break. It is as brutal and as simple as that.
Being creative is a quality that will keep you on track. By knowing your motivation, you know where you want to arrive, what is your destination, what needs to be done. The rest is part of an intricate map. The roads are many, some are more accessible than the others. Some roads need to be found.
What do you do when one road can’t be used? You don’t give up the journey! You find another way.
This rule applies to vacations as well as to goals.
Be creative. Replace a missing resource with another. Find a different way to introduce your product even if the same product is sold by another 10 companies (and they use the same advertising technique). Ask yourself: how can I do this differently?
Or sit and cry and complain that life is unfair… Is up to you.
The only constant thing in life is change.
Plan A requires Plan B. Let’s face it: even when the goal is set, and the action plan is neat and fancy, one day you are simply not in the mood of doing what you planned for that day. Or the weather is terrible, a resource is missing, a machine broke down, the plane is late… you name it. So what to do? Plan with Or. Today I go to the gym OR I will do a 30 min workout at home. In the context of me having as a goal being healthier and more fit, going to the gym or doing a at home workout constitute actions that take me one step closer toward my goal. And I can tick the day off! Win!
Here, some questions to ask when life doesn’t do as you planned:
What can I do even in this situation and it is to my advantage?
How else can I look at this impediment?
How else can I do this?
Who else can and wants to help me with this?
What can I find useful in this context?
What can I learn from this and it is useful for the long run?
I know from experience how easy it is to wish your days away. As I saw some of my goals fading in the past, I realised that apart from resources, when we set unrealistic goals and fail to plan, we waste precious energy, enthusiasm, faith and hope. The power within us and our passion give us a vision for the future, keeps us aligned with our core values. Faith and hope give us the courage to step in the unknown, to dare to look into the future, to be curious. Believing deep inside of us that things will turn out right as long as we do our best and our efforts will take us to a place and time where we are more valuable to ourselves and to the world than we've been, takes faith and hope.