You know that Justin Bieber song, “What do you mean? When you nod your head yes, but you wanna to say no? What do you mean?…” In the song, the Beebs is asking for clarity. So it is kinda funny — to me anyway — that the background music of that song is playing in my mind when I ask, “How do you know?” as in “How do you know which goal to go after?”
It was about last night. I was having an interesting conversation with a girlfriend of mine framed by some tasty beverages and yummy food. She is a smart, savvy girl who works really hard. She works at her job, she works making her household hum, and she works on making sure her children have the best childhood experience possible. She sounds like a lot of moms that I have the privilege to know. Our conversation drifted and meandered, as they sometimes do, and landed on the subject of goals. Why? It’s a new year and goals are on our brains like an egg sizzling in a pan. We may turn off the direct heat, but the egg continues to cook. Same thing. New year’s day has passed, but we are still cooking. How about you? Are you still thinking about how to make this year THE year?
As I headed home from the restaurant, it was goals, goals, and more goals. I was stuck on goals: How to choose them, how to support them, and how to redirect them if necessary. The topic has many layers of meaning, because as I thought about our chat, I recognized that goals are proxies for something much more important than attaining the goal itself. Our goals are tied to our identity, and who we see ourselves as when we achieve that goal.
If I am an Olympic Champion that means I am ______________________.
If I made over a million dollars in sales that means I am ____________________.
If I climbed Mt. Everest that means I am ___________________________.
You can fill in the blank for any goal that means something to you. The truth is in the excitement and pride you feel on the other end of the goal. It is in the successful creation and attainment of your goals that your identity is revealed to you and to others.
Take a look at the infographic to the right. How willing are you to do what is necessary to achieve success? The answer is another question. How badly is your identity tied to that outcome? So I am wondering, what outcome do you want this year? And how do you know which goals to choose to make that outcome happen?
Here are my five steps for goal selection:
- What is most important to you? Remember Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs? If you don’t, click on the link for a quick instalook. I wouldn’t get too caught up on the idea that you have to satisfy one need before you can pay attention to the other. Instead, I would look at the pyramid as a guide to what is most important to you for this year. Is it world domination? Is it love from a significant other? Is it to be healthier, so that you have energy for the people and adventures that matter most to you?
- Pick a few preliminary goals. Now that you have an area. You need to pick a few goals that you can really identify with. That means that if you achieved these goals, you would be excited about who you are and proud of what you have accomplished.
- Identify if there are any conflicts with your goals by doing my version of the wheel of life. It’s free and you can click wheelhouse to get it. This exercise rates your satisfaction in four key areas. Then you evaluate whether your preliminary goals conflict with the other areas in your life that are important to you. If this exercises revealed a goal that is important to you, add it to the list.
- Narrow Your Choices Down by choosing a target date of 90 days into the future. If you can’t realistically achieve the goal in 90 days remove it from the list. If you find that a goal is really important to you, and you don’t want to remove it break it down into achievable 90 day mini-goals.
- Make your final decision based on impact. Which of the goals left will give you the greatest level of satisfaction, and by achieving it, will make life a whole lot better for you? Choose that goal.
I hope my Five Steps for Goal Selection made the process of choice a little easier, gave you a bit more awareness about the process, and helped you to pick the right goal for you at this time in your life. If you have any questions, or need help, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or head on over to challengeyourvision.com.
Remember you are so much more than who you believe yourself to be.
Until next time,