Goals can be a very powerful part of the success formula, but many people avoid them. This is primarily because they either have a fear of failure or they don’t want to be held accountable. If you are serious about achieving your goals you need to overcome this kind of resistance. One way to do this is to understand how to set goals on different levels so that they work for you, rather than against you.
A goal, in its simplistic form, is a destination, a place where you want to end up. A vision is therefore a type of goal. But for me, a vision is something different than merely a destination. For me a vision is a destination with benefits attached to it. These are the things that make it desirable. For example, you might set a goal to lose 14 kg or get into a size 12 dress. Both of these are destinations, but they are not really visionary. To step these goals up to visions you might ask yourself questions such as, what will I gain from losing 14 kg or in what ways will I benefit from being able to fit into a size 12 dress do for me?
Sometimes identifying these benefits can be difficult. A short exercise I use with some of my clients is it get them to go into the future, say 3 or 6 months from today. Imagine what it would be like if you were achieving your goal, what you would look like, what would you be doing, how will others be responding to you. You are trying to get yourself to provide precise information, or evidence, that the goal has been reached and you know how things will be different. At this point you should be able to say that achieving the goal is going to be worth the effort and the discomfort. You will know if you are willing to pay the price!
Other challenges you might face, is that your vision goal is either too far away, that you struggle to gain a sense that you can achieve it, or it is so big that it is overwhelming. For example, if you have set yourself a goal of running a marathon and you have given yourself 6 months to a year to prepare and in the past 8 years you have only run for a bus, it might be challenging for you to believe it can be achieved.
To resolve these kind of challenges, it is worth breaking your Vision down into smaller steps. You can do this on two levels. Firstly, you establish the key things that need to be achieved, which we often call your Outcomes. For example, in setting out to run a marathon, you might start by aiming to run four times a week and eating 5 meals a day. You set your Outcomes over a period of one to three months. Once you have set them you break them down further into small Weekly Actions. For example, in the first week you might start by doing a 20-minute run on the Tuesday and 30 minutes on the Friday.
By setting your goals on the 3 levels of Vision, Outcomes and Weekly Actions you are laying the foundation for your success, so please give it a go and feel free to contact me if you have any queries or challenges.