Chapter 2: How do you “do” goals correctly?
How do you “do” goals correctly? There are a few main factors.
1) You MUST Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
You’ve probably heard this before, but I’ll say it again. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely
The reason for doing this is that there’s no ambiguity here. You either reach your goal, or you don’t.
Let’s take a look at 2 goals. Goal #1: “Lose weight.”
Goal #2: “I will lose 2 pounds this week by eating 1,200 calories a day, getting 7 hours of sleep every night and walking 30 minutes a day.”
HUGE difference between those goals, right?
The first one isn’t specific at all, it’s hardly measurable, it’s definitely attainable and realistic, but it’s not very timely.
The second goal on the other hand, meets all 5 factors of a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
And it’s easy to see if you reached your goal or not, right? At the end of this week, just weigh yourself and see if you lost the 2 pounds.
But most people don’t set goals like that. Instead, it’s stuff like “lose weight”, or “get a promotion”, or “spend more time with the kids”.
Those are too ambiguous, and you’re almost guaranteed not to achieve what you really want to.
But there’s more to it when it comes to using goals to keep you motivated.
2) Review Your Goals Daily
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve set goals... and then just COMPLETELY forgot about them.
Even if they were S.M.A.R.T. goals, it doesn’t matter. Since I wasn’t reviewing them on a regular basis, they were pretty much worthless to me.
The way one speaker put it- reviewing goals once a year means that they aren’t really goals.
A wish is something that you hope happens, but you don’t really make any effort towards it.
Meanwhile, a goal is something you want to happen and work towards to make it happen.
But it’s difficult to do that if you don’t keep your goals in front of you all the time.
That’s why the most successful people I know review their goals at least 1-2 times a day.
In the morning, going through your goals helps remind you why you’re gearing up for the day.
In the evening, reviewing your goals can help you look back on the day, decide the type of progress you made, and from there plan out the next day.
You can also consider reviewing your goals at lunchtime, to give you a mental “reset” so that for the afternoon, you’re focused on what you need to do.
Personally, I’ve found that my goals are literally useless if I don’t review them daily.
I’m guessing you’re the same way.
So what is it gonna be?
Are you going to pursue goals? Or just make a wish list?
If you decide to set goals, great- but there’s still one more point I want to make. 3) NEVER Reduce Your Goals
Did you ever have a project in school where the teacher pushed back the due date?
Or been on a program in business, and when the project goes over- budget, the boss just raises the allocated budget immediately?
These scenarios- just like lowering your goals- should never happen.
If you say that your goal is to lose 10 mounds this month- and halfway through you’ve only lost 2 pounds...
Is lowering your goal to 5 pounds the right answer? Or is the right answer to increase your efforts?
From personal experience- as well as that from my mentors- I can tell you that lowering your goal is ALWAYS the wrong solution.
If your weight loss is going to slow, you’ve got to pick up the pace.
Eat more salads, walk more, stop eating sugar- whatever it takes.
If your sales projections aren’t doing well, figure out a way to boost them. Don’t lower your expectations!
This goes for any goal, period.
Don’t change the goal just because things aren’t going like you expected.
Instead, adapt, stay focused on the prize, and charge even harder towards it.
Because once you lower your goals one time, it just gets easier to do it again.
Before you know it- your goals don’t really mean anything. They aren’t goals anymore. Not really.
They’re more like wishes that you review on a regular basis. To give another example-
If I just got laid off, and my goal was to make $1,000 by the end of the month so that I can pay the rent...
And by the 25th, I’ve only made $100. Is the right answer to lower my goal to $500?
Of course not- because that wouldn’t even let me pay the rent!
So what happens then? I don’t want to go get thrown out on the streets.
On the flip side- if I keep the same goal- and just work harder to achieve it- I get to stay in my house!
This is why the second part of the equation- Identify Your Outcomes- plays such a crucial role.
But that’s for the next chapter.