If you don’t know where you are going, you are likely to get lost. So the first step in accomplishing your goals is defining your goals. And that’s not as easy, nor intuitive, as it sounds.
Effective goal setting takes practice. Set the bar too low, and you won’t get as far as you might. Set them too high and you are setting yourself up for failure. Make them too ambiguous and you’ll be unable to track your progress or know when you have achieved them. And, perhaps most importantly, setting goals that are not deeply, truly and profoundly important to you is simply a waste of time because you will never be inspired to do the work it will take to get there.
Consider these three essential elements of any goal you set:
Your goals must be measurable. You must be able to know for sure if you are on the right path, making progress toward them. And you must be able to experience the sweet moment of success when you crush them. So instead of setting a goal to “be more grateful” set a goal to make at least 10 entries in your gratitude journal each month.
Your goals must be aggressive but achievable. Sure, I’d love to run a four-minute mile or back squat three-hundred pounds but neither are realistic. But a 205-pound deadlift? Inspiring 1,000,000 women to get walking? Yup, both are on my list
You goals must be something you really, really want. If you are like most of us, your days are already full. Packed even. So achieving a goal beyond your daily whirlwind is going to require real work. Sacrifice. Stretching beyond your current comfort zone. Saying no to some things that might give you short-term pleasure. Playing the long game. And you will only do those things to accomplish something you really, really want. So instead of creating a long list of goals that you kinda’ want, or think you should want, set just a few goals that you really, really want.