clear goals

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Clear Goals

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“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals – adjust the action steps.”

                                                – Confucius

In previous posts, I discussed the importance of focusing on your True North, what are the primary motivators in you and your partners life. Once you discover what’s really central to your heart, it becomes easier to experience the visualization process of what success looks like. The more specific you can be in your visualization, the greater your chances of achieving those dreams.

Once you have a clear vision, it becomes critical to break down these ideas and write them out as goals. When you’re writing your goals, keep in mind that they need to be crystal clear because at the end of the year, you’ll need to say whether or not a certain goal was fully completed. If it can “sort of” be done, then it’s soft; you’ll need to think about how you can rewrite them. Your goals should be detailed, clear, and easily recognized when they’ve been 100% achieved.

In addition, we need to make it simple and limit them yourself to only a handful of clear goals. If we have too many, as I’ve done in the past, it’s easy to become distracted and unfocused. So, in this case, less can equate to greater success. Early on, I would literally write out dozens of goals; this still had a positive impact compared to not doing them, but I often find myself going after the “fun” or easiest ones first and then allowing myself a pass on what I didn’t get done because I “got all this other stuff done”. The reality is if I could’ve tackled just two or three of the difficult ones, I  would’ve seen much greater benefit.

Reka and I like to try and find two or three clear goals for us as a couple and then identify another two to three for us as individuals. In some cases, we may have an extra goal or two, but taking the time to identify what will truly make a difference in the long run and really focusing on those few things is very powerful.. I’ll give some examples in a minute.

Finally, when writing a goal, I suggest looking at all the work you’ve done so far and look for any trends or reoccurring areas that need addressing. Review how you did with the Balance Wheel and identify if specific areas need help.  From here, I want you to think BIG! What would comprise a goal that’s going to take multiple steps to achieve? When achieved, these goals will often have a massive impact on other aspects of your life. If it’s something you complete in an afternoon, it’s likely only a component of an actual goal.

Okay, here goes…I’m going to share some actual examples of clear goals Reka and I identified, as well as our thought processes behind them.

  1. For us: We realized that the relationship part of our “Balance Wheel” was strong for the two of us, yet we felt we were lacking on engaging with family and friends on a regular basis. Things were peachy on all fronts, but we decided we wanted more in that area. Here’s how we wrote that goal:
    1. Identify and schedule new ways to see family and friends two or more times a month for quality time and growth.
  1. For Reka: She’s been doing couples counseling for years and she’s worked with couples that get to a good spot and seem to transition from counseling to coaching. In many cases, the couples are now in a good place and wanted to start building on this momentum. They know and trust Reka, and they’re looking to get even more out of their spousal relationship. With this in mind, Reka wanted to sharpen those tools and improve in her coaching of couples clients. Her goal was:
    1. Identify the steps needed, create a timeline, and implement it to become “the” couples coach in Omaha.
  1. For me: I’m always looking for new projects and I’m working on truly focusing. This year, I’m writing a book on startups, and we’ve been beta testing “peer circles,” which are virtual peer accountability groups. They’ve received numerous accolades and we’re seeing great results, but I want to formalize for industry groups and/or startup boot camp circles. Here is how I wrote my goal:
    1. Finalize structure, launch, and achieve four or more paid, five-person pro-circles and/or startup boot camp circles.

In these examples, you can see that they are big thinking, clear, and will have a huge impact on multiple facets of our lives. To us, these made perfect one-year goals.

Next week, we’ll discuss breaking these down into quarterly objectives and how best to achieve them. Are you ready to set some crystal clear goals? We’re here to help! No expectation or obligation, please reach out.

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