The beginning of every year is a great time to evaluate your vision and update your goals. We have all heard about SMART goals, but I use a different system. To start the year off right, I thought I would tell you how I set goals.
I use Outcome Goals, Performance Goals and Process Goals, which is the goals setting strategy used by many elite athletes. I use it in all areas of my life, and you can too.
Outcome goals are your big crazy dreams. Can you design the life you want? Yes, you can.
Can you change the lives of others, people in your family, your community, and people on another continent? Yes, you can.
Outcome goals do not happen overnight. You may have a long-term vision for an outcome that will happen in 10 years such as buying a home or building a significant business. On the other hand, you may have some challenging goals that you can accomplish in a shorter period such as running a marathon or getting that promotion.
You do not have direct control over your outcome goals. You do not have direct control now over the size of your business in 10 years. Few people can get up at this moment and run a marathon. Outcome goals are big dreams that with the right plan, you can achieve at some point in the future. Can they be SMART? Sure, go ahead and make them SMART.
If we did all the things we were capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. - Thomas Edison
When dreams are big, it is good to break them down into smaller manageable goals, and this is where performance goals come in.
Performance goals are yardsticks of performance along the way to your big crazy dream. I was a gymnast. I loved the sport and dreamed of competing. In gymnastics, you must pass several skill levels before you compete. These are the performance goals before any gymnast can get to her big crazy dream of winning a competition. Each level meant I was one milestone closer.
In business, you many need to establish your brand, or develop a product line or build a client base.
For a marathon, you may want to set the following performance goals:
Performance goals are increasingly important, as your dreams get bigger. Performance goals help you
Big crazy dreams can feel overwhelming. You can land up feeling demoralized and frustrated. Performance goals give you milestones to help you stay on track and keep going as you can see your progress, and have cause to celebrate along the way. Celebrating is very important but that is a post for another day.
Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up. -Thomas Edison
You have complete control over process goals. These are the tiny goals that you set each day or each week to move you closer to your big crazy dream.
Weight loss is a great example of an outcome goal that I see people set rather than related process goals. You do not control how much weight your body sheds so when you do not meet that goal you feel badly about yourself. Set process goals for your daily and weekly goals rather than outcome goals.
What do you control? You do control if you take the stairs or the elevator. You do control if you eat a burger and fries or vegetable soup for lunch.
Sales is another good example. People set sales targets, which are outcome goals. What you do to achieve a sale is a set of process goals. When you do not reach your sales target, what do you do? How do you feel about not hitting your goals? Most of us feel incredibly negative about not hitting our goals and take it very personally.
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work. -Thomas Edison
I believe that we are all capable of achieving great things. Instead of getting into a negative headspace about unmet goals, get curious. If you do not get the outcome you want, question the process not yourself.
There are several reasons that your goal might not have worked out. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
You can get healthy. You can buy your own home. You can launch a successful business. You can get a raise. You can run a marathon.
No dream is too big; not goal is too small.
What big crazy dreams are you working on in 2017?
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