Having a goal is really important- it gives you something to focus on and a direction to move towards- like a North Star. I like to think of a goal as the start of a journey- not just an end in itself. Sometimes, I might have only achieved 50% of my goal, but that’s not the only point. The point is the skills and mindset you develop along the way makes you a more capable and resilient person. It presses you. It changes you. It opens you up to new possibilities about what you can do. Sometimes, you may discover that you want to change your original goal into something new. Not as a side door out, because it’s too difficult, but because it takes you in a more exciting direction that you’re better suited to. Without having the original goal, there is no journey, no growth, and you’ll never discover what new doors may open up for you. So, the first step is to set a goal, commit to it, and get on route.
Why goal size counts
Most people don’t set big enough goals and that’s the main reason why they don’t achieve as much as they should. Having a goal will help you get going, but you need to have a really BIG GOAL that will sustain you through difficulties that would otherwise stop you from executing.
Problems, challenges, and negative self-talk happen to us all. When it does, it can stop us from deploying. You can certainly try to control your negativity, but some days you’ll win and others you’ll lose. Negativity ebbs and flows- it isn’t fixed. We’ve all had good days when things are easy and bad days when it’s hard to snap out of that negative loop. On days like that, having a big goal will inspire you to take action, despite yourself, and will help you execute.
If you look at the diagram above, the person at the top has a goal that is too small- it disappears in the shadow of the big ball of negativity. My preferred option is to be like the person at the bottom of the diagram- to have a goal that is sufficiently big and in his line of sight at all times, no matter what obstacle may present any given day. The second person is dealing with the same level of negativity, the same sized ball, but his goal is so big, that he can see it at all times. It’s in view and he can always move forward towards it.
The question is how do you know if your goal is big enough. Well, it needs to stretch and press you to the fringes of what you are capable of, to the very edges of what you can do. That’s where the growth is. A good rule of thumb is that if you say it out loud and it doesn’t scare you or doesn’t make people you know laugh, then it’s probably not big enough 🙂
Join us for the next part of the Mindset Series, when we’ll be dealing with more strategies to keep you deploying. We’ll be focusing on Planning and Building Rhythms and Routines.