Here is a goal setting magic formula in 832 words exactly!
Do you really think Zuckerberg, when he invented it, thought of Facebook as it’s today?
When it comes to goals, if you want to achieve anything of significance, you cannot think too big.
You must think “Big Enough”; not too big, not too small. Just enough!
Enough to be inspired no matter the weather.
Enough to be motivated on the upward road.
Enough to keep going on an empty tank.
Enough to see the end of the road through mist and tears
You can climb Mount Everest even if you've never made it to the top of any hill before but it will be very difficult, time consuming and paved with disappointment and hardship.
Goals are Dreams with Deadlines
But how do we set goals that are big enough to make a difference, to scare us a little and motivate as a lot; but not too big, so we don’t choke and do not become overwhelmed?
The problem with setting goals starts in childhood
Many people, far too many, set goals that are too big, too ambitious and – no surprise – fail. Disappointment and fear of risk follows.
Unfortunately, most of us set goals that are doomed to fail because, no surprise - the skill of goals-setting was never explained to us
We usually mimic our parents and often make the same mistakes. Up to a certain point we tell our kids “you can be whoever you want to be!”, but that usually takes place only when they are very young and we think they do not really understand what we mean by it!
Later we tell them “this can’t be done”, “get a job”, “be realistic, how are you going to support your family!?"
S.M.A.R.T. goals are not that smart
Later in life, usually around the time when we are teenagers, possibly also at least once when we start working for the first time, we are being told about S.M.A.R.T. goals.
The only thing we usually remember about them is the abbreviation – not even what it stands for, let alone the whole concept.
But even those who know what S.M.A.R.T. means (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) often struggle with achieving their targets.
Why? Is there something wrong with this concept?
Well, to start with, S.M.A.R.T. goals are missing vital ingredient to have a chance of being effective way of setting and achieving goals – they lack crucial element of anything that humans consider worth doing; they lack Meaning!
SMART goals, unlike human beings, are very logical.
No wonder so many SMART projects made by smart people fail. Yet goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. However to achieve them, to make them viable, they also must mean something.
In 2005 Alex Tew, a student, sold single pixels on his million pixel website each for $1. He made $1M and no matter how ridiculous and unrealistic it might sound, he achieved his goal.
He needed money for college and education was his motivation.
A million dollars was not his goal; and that made all the difference.
First Why and What, then How
Alex Tew didn’t want or need a million dollars; he probably wasn’t even expecting to raise six figures.
His goal was raising money for his school and the website was a merely a project to meet his goal. If it failed, he most likely would come up with another idea. And if the next one was no good either he would work until his goal become a reality.
The equation he worked to started with a goal that really meant something to him: Raising X amount of $, so that he could continue and finish his education.
The working formula for reaching goals contains WHY and WHAT.
That is why no matter how smart your S.M.A.R.T. goals were in the past, without the why, most, if not all, were never realized.
Only after establishing clear reasons why we want the things we want, comes the moment to figure out HOW. ??
HOW may change (be flexible about your strategies).WHAT might change too (we learn, we grow, we change, we improve!). WHY – never changes!
Not all meaningful goals are being achieved
?I wish I could tell you that once you set up your goals in this way you will always reach your target. But that would not be true or fair.
To achieve goals that make a difference, there are a few more things required of us, from start to finish on a road, paved with setbacks, and obstacles, and overshadowed by doubts.
Yet these are only problems that need solving.
Your ability to attain your goals is proportional to the strength of your WHY.
If you do not reach your goals – they were probably not that important.
If the opposite is true and the goal really is important to you, you will find the way.