In our last post we performed a detailed exercise to establish exactly what it is that we want and the career direction that would best fulfil our life purpose (CLICK HERE TO VIEW). Now that we have clear end goals, we need to create clear strategies on how to achieve them.
To best example of goal setting that I ever seen is from Olympic Winning Rower Ben Hunt-Davis. In his book ‘Will it Make the Boat Go Faster’ he details his layered approach to goal setting which I have summarised below. The key to achieving any great goal is to break it down into smaller pieces. Here are the 7 steps to achieving your dream goals:
1. Determine the ‘Crazy’ Goal
The ‘Crazy’ goal is the overall significant goal that you want to achieve. Using your conclusions reached in the previous exercise, your crazy goal should finish this sentence ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if…’
2. Determine the ‘Concrete’ Goal
How will you know when you’ve achieved your crazy goal? What are the specific circumstances that will lead to this achievement? Determine a more specific underlying ‘Concrete’ goal as follows.
3. Create SMART ‘Control’ Goals
What can you do to drive towards your concrete goal? Breakdown the overall concrete goal into clear, control goals. These represent the individual circumstances that will need to be present in order for you to achieve your overall goal.
Your control goals must be ‘SMART’. If they are not specific enough, not measurable, not achievable, not realistic or not timed, your likelihood of success decreases significantly. The most common error when goal setting is setting unrealistic expectations. If you are starting from a very low base, you need to be honest and realistic on the time it will take to achieve work goal.
4. Everyday Goals
Your ‘Everyday Goals’ are effectively your action plan. Based on where you are right now, break the control goals (and their overall timeframes) down into daily tasks. Again it is very important that these tasks are realistic. If we set goals that are too ambitious and continuously fail to meet them, it will become very unmotivating and we will most likely give up. Allow for regular wins and feelings of success by being realistic on the timeframe.
5. Get Resourceful
Before you commence, make sure that you have everything that you need to achieve your everyday goals. If you require certain equipment, expertise etc be sure to get it before you start to prevent obstacles and to make sure that there are no reasons for delay.
‘Success leaves clues!’. No matter what your goal is there is definitely someone who has taken a similar path before you. Research your goal and be sure to ask for help where needed. In this day and age there are endless great resources and tools available, many of which you may not know about. Don’t try to re-invent the wheel or be a martyr. Save yourself time and effort everywhere that you can.
6. Set a Fun Compass
In the case of the Olympic rowing team, they set themselves a fun yardstick to keep themselves on track. They set the question ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’ as their compass and used that question to help guide their everyday decision making. Having a fun compass like this is a great way of keeping yourself on track.
7. Get Started & Get a Grip!
Getting started is clearly the first and often biggest step on your journey to success. However most people will be highly motivated to begin with and so the real struggle will come a little further down the road. Be realistic and know that everyday cannot be a fantastic high performing day. Don’t throw in the towel the first time you miss your daily goal. It is only natural that you will be disappointed but don’t let one bad day ruin everything that you have achieved so far and your chance at achieving your dream. In the next instalment we will look at the ways of keeping yourself motivated and on track.
I hope that you have found this exercise useful. I am a qualified Personal, Executive and Leadership coach. While I am not currently hosting 1:1 coaching sessions, I do love offering free advice and support to help people on their transformation journeys where I can. Please continue to follow this free career series and feel free to send me any questions at any time.
Are you ready to start working towards your dream goals? Do you have other great goal setting tips and strategies that you would like to share? As always I would love to hear from you.