I was talking to a contact of mine the other day regarding goal setting and he said that he’d been following goal setting principals for the last few years and he hadn’t necessarily achieved his desires and dreams. I asked him to elaborate.
He said that he’d set goals of doubling his income, driving a better car, getting into 32” trousers and moving to a better house. I probed further and he explained how he’d followed all of the golden rules of goals setting. He’d written them down, reviewed them regularly, put them in his wallet so they were close to his heart, etc. etc,
However, he’d missed out on a couple of really fundamental points.
Firstly he hadn’t set milestones along the path to his goals or deadlines for each of them. His goals were simply a shopping list of wants; nothing more than a wish list.
Secondly he hadn’t set any consequences, i.e. what he’d do if he didn’t achieve his goals by the dates he detailed.
But the biggest omission was that he didn’t have a deep down, burning desire to actually achieve his goals!
His partner wanted a better, bigger house and for him to lose a little weight. He was quite comfortable with his thirtysomething paunch and his work-life balance that allowed him to keep up with his hobbies and enjoy the odd beer after work. He didn’t want to eat less, exercise more and work harder, smarter and longer to increase his income and lose a few inches off his weight. He wanted a better car, but mainly this was impress his friends and, on a scale of one to ten of burning desires, it was a flicker rather than an all consuming conflagration!
He didn’t have the ‘spring out of bed every morning’, continuously thinking about it, kind of goal. They weren’t even deep down his own goals. They were someone else’s goals that he was half-heartedly looking to achieve. And, this is the main point, they were goals that he thought he should be setting rather than what he actually wanted!
I explained to him in a ‘kind of roundabout kind of way’ that what the ‘heart doesn't desire your hand won't reach for’. And this got me thinking.
How many of us have set goals that our society and our position in society expects us to. How many of us set them for others; our partners, our loved ones, friends, colleagues and peers. How many of us really know what we really want?
I commonly ask at interview ‘what’s your life goal’ and four times out of five it’s answered – “I want to be a millionaire”. Then, when I delve into the ‘whys’ the answer is most commonly ‘it sounds good’, ‘financial freedom’, ‘enjoy a life of luxuries’ and, more often than not it’s largely superficial, largely ego driven and will probably never materialise.
And this got me thinking some more. In order to set goals you have to really, really, want them. A real guttural, almost instinctual hunger, to achieve your goal. A real 9.9 out of 10. Then it needs a deadline, milestone steps and some idea of how to overcome the inevitable obstacles along your path. Then, well armed with it in your wallet, written down and regularly reviewed, you stand every chance of achieving it.
Based upon what my contact had said about how disillusioned he’d become with goal setting I’ve completely rewritten and re-recorded our Goal Setting and Goal Setting Template. I’ve also devised an accompanying workbook to download with it.
I hope that you like the modifications and it helps you achieve everything that you desire.
Rob Scott is the Managing Director of Aaron Wallis, a UK based sales recruitment provider that offers a wide range of career and life tools including a comprehensive goal setting guide and goal setting template. Visit www.aaronwallis.co.uk for further information.