A better way to set goals. Forget SMART. Do this instead.
Where did you go on your last vacation?
Did anything get in the way of you getting on the plane or to the cruise ship or in the car to leave?
We all know that travel is a lot more challenging these days, and yet you pulled it off!
I am willing to bet that trip was SO IN ALIGNMENT with what you wanted to achieve that you were going to make it happen no matter what.
Want to create goals that PULL you towards them? That don’t feel like you have to push a big boulder uphill to make them happen?
The secret is to VET your goals before you SET your goals
In my old line of work, we used to “vet” horses before our clients would buy them. We had a framework of examinations we would perform to see if the horse was appropriate for the intended purpose.
You can and should vet your goals in a similar way.
Vetting your personal and business goals ensures that you create objectives that ignite your passion and inspire you to move towards your desired future.
There are 3 steps to the goal vetting process:
1. Values: does this align with your purpose?
Happiness expert Tal Ben-Shahar suggests we focus on setting only self-concordant goals – these are goals that we want to pursue out of deep personal conviction and have a strong interest in.
That is why the first consideration in the goal vetting process is determining your values. Values are what drive our behaviors and set the direction of our life and business. (Or at least they should!)
Values give us a reason and purpose. They are not a one-time event or something you will cross off a list.
Clarifying your values means you identify what matters most to you.
If you haven’t already established a set of core values for your business, do this first.
Your values will provide a compass for all the decisions you make for your business.
2. Energy: do you feel passionate about it?
When you are considering a goal, you want to be sure you are passionate about it.
Your goals should bring you energy, not drain it.
If just thinking about your goal drains the life blood out of you, pick a new one!
Working toward a goal may be hard, but it should be energizing!
This one is an easy one to evaluate. If you don’t get a feeling of HELL YES when you think about it, then it probably should be a no for now or you might need to bring others in to help you execute it.
Include your team if you’re setting a business goal. If you are super stoked but your team thinks the goal is overwhelming and exhausting, even if it is in alignment with your values, you may need to reevaluate or redesign your goal to assure buy in.
You don’t want to be pushing a boulder uphill by yourself, right?
3. Talent: do you have the necessary skills or strengths?
Do you have the necessary skills or strengths – or can you acquire them along the way?
If your goal is to acquire new talents, make sure you have the underlying strengths needed to do that.
Again, if you are considering a business goal, you want to make sure that you have members of your team with the right talents, in the right positions to accomplish the mission.
The Zone of Alignment lies in the intersection of all 3. Avoid this mistake…
Despite what the great philosopher Meatloaf said: 2 out of 3 IS bad.
The biggest mistake people make with this process is to set goals that are in alignment with two of the three pieces.
If even one of them is out of alignment it WON’T FEEL GOOD and it will be hard to stay motivated over time.
If you want greater success and fulfillment, use this lens as a filter for any new goals you consider before you set them.
While it may take time to stop and reflect on the alignment of your actions, the goal vetting process will help you take your practice to the next level – without burning yourself out in the process.
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