If you haven’t read part 1, it will take a few minutes to do so.
I don’t really recall the moment when I began to set goals again. I have had a general resistance to setting certain kinds of goals. I heard all that stuff about, “setting realistic goals”, and “setting faith goals” and “big hairy audacious goals”. But you could say that I am relatively goal shy, even today.
However, I knew that I needed to separate the “baby and the bathwater”. Clarity around setting goals eventually came to me after reading Stephan Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Reading this book was in itself a goal, as I found it a difficult book to read. But when it comes to leadership, I think it may be one of the best books I have read. Having read it, I embraced it and began to live it, and the gift of goal setting began to find its proper place in my journey and leadership.
For me, the essence of goal setting is around vision. Setting a goal for the sake of setting a goal is simply not enough in itself. Goal setting is a tool for achieving a vision.
If your vision is to be a great dad or mom, setting a goal becomes the “how” of becoming a great dad and mom. If your vision is to run a marathon, goal setting becomes the way in which you will fulfill your vision or dream.
It’s clear therefore that we have start off with vision. Maybe the best definition of vision I have heard is “ a vision is a picture of a preferred future that inspires passion that leads to action”. The “preferred future” is vitally important.
Once you have clarified your vision, then you can begin to ask the “how” question. How are you going to reach that preferred future? If there is no “how”, there will be no action and if there is no action, then your vision is wishful thinking.
Achieving a vision is like a muscle. The more you exercise accomplishing a vision, the bigger the vision you can take on. I like to think that building a series of small victories or fulfilling small visions, sets you up to take on a huge battle.
I suggest the following to build some “vision muscle”:
- Identify a “smaller,” yet important to your overall mission of your life challenge or vision, as a type of “test” to setting goals and fulfilling a vision.
- Clarify what you want to achieve; lose weight, get fit, read a book, earn more money.
- Write down the steps that you would need to take to achieve your “vision”. These steps now become your goals.
- Share your vision and some of the steps to achieve your vision with someone else.
- Essential to the goal is action, therefore you must set a task towards achieving your goals each day or week depending on your goals. For example, if you want to get fit, the goal would be to exercise 5 times a week. The task would be “tomorrow I will walk for 45 minutes”.
- It looks like this – Vision – goals – tasks
- And begin.
This may seem really simple, but I can assure you, this simple process is what can help you to accomplish goals and fulfill a vision!
Give it a go.