‘A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step’ Lao-tzu (604 BC – 531 BC)
As we start another year, what better time to re-evaluate where we are now and where we want to get to. So, I have decided to do a quick post on how to structure your goal-setting (I don’t really like the term ‘resolutions’ that commonly gets thrown around but not normally adhered to at this time of year).
I’m never sure how valuable the various quotes and philsophies that people like to use on a regular basis are, but I do like the one I have used as the title.
It was used by the captain of the team I coach for, Boroughmuir Rugby, a month or so ago, but it has stuck in my head. People talk about the ‘X-Factor’ culture, where everyone wants instant success in whatever their chosen profession, but in reality, this is not how it works.
How do we achieve the success that so many of us desire?
There are many different ways, including bucket loads of hard work, but what you need to start with is a Goal, feel free to insert ‘Dream’, ‘Vision’, or ‘Ambition’ here.
The first thing you should is commit to your ultimate goal/dream/ambition. The best way to do this is to write it down. Some people like to make it visible on a daily basis, such as on a mirror or on the kitchen fridge.
Once you have done this, you need to work back and identify ‘how’ you are actually going to achieve what you want to.
Generally speaking I tend to identify long, medium and short term goals. The long-term goal is the end of your journey, medium is some significant landmarks along the way and the short-term goals are all the steps you will take on your journey to reach your ultimate ambition.
You will have no doubt heard of people identifying SMART goals, meaning they are all:
- Time Orientated
Whilst I would keep these words in mind whilst constructing your goals, dont let this structure become too restrictive. Your goals are specific to you, therefore how you structure them must suit the way you work.
Would it work to for you to use a pyramid system with your long-term goal at the top, the short-term as your foundations, and the medium-term goals as the meat in your sandwich?
Or you may prefer to use more of a ‘mind map’ scenario, with your ultimate goal symbolically being at the centre of everything you do with your medium and short-term goals surrounding this.
Whatever and however you do it, make sure the goals you set are controllable by you and you record and reward success to show you making progress and moving towards your ultimate ambition.
Ultimately goal-setting is about understanding what needs to be done to achieve what you want to achieve. I will leave you with an example of one of the gold winning rowing crews from this summers Olympics.
Not quite achieving the success they were aiming for, they sat down and evaluated every detail in their lives and its impact on their rowing ability. They then asked themselves “will this make the boat go faster?” If the answer was “No”, then it didn’t have a place in their lives.
It may seem extreme, but remember, these guys are professional athletes therefore their sport is their livelihood. So, as ever, the above needs to be put into context in your own life, but ultimately you have to decide what sacrifices you are prepared to make to achieve your goal.
As ever it would be great to hear how you go about managing your goal-setting and achieving your dreams.