Yet, establishing your goal is more than just identifying a goal target you want to achieve. There are numerous list of factors of consideration to ensure that your vision is robust, accurate, and most importantly, what you really want. Unfortunately, instead of investing quality time on this step, many people run into the mistake of being hasty. They skip past proper goal setting and jump straight into the planning and execution.
At the end of the day, they end up causing a lot of backtracking and rework because they did not set the goal properly in the first place. Some of them actually achieve their goal, then find out that they did not want the goal in the first place.
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Your time and energy are extremely precious, so it is better to invest a small portion of time to set the right goals. You do not want to waste your efforts on poorly set goals and end up crying over spilled milk after finding out you have spent your energy in vain. You do not want to be wasting time on goals which you never really wanted to begin with. The first part is to setting your goal based on a set of 10 key, fundamental principles. The second part is what to do with your goals after establishing them.
Let us explore each in turn. Setting Your Goal As you set your goal, you need to ensure that they adhere to the 10 key principles below. These are what will guide you to set the right goals so that you can pursue them. Ensure Congruency with Your Life Purpose Your goals need to be defined in the context of your life purpose. Everything in your life flows from your purpose. Your purpose is the guiding direction for everything in your life. It sets the stage for what you do every day. My goal is a subset of my purpose to achieve my highest potential.
Both are congruent with each other. Some people may ask — So where do ad-hoc goals like losing weight fit in this bigger picture? For me, losing weight is about looking my personal best and achieving the peak of my health. As such, it fits with my purpose to be my highest potential as well.
If your goals and your purpose are not congruent with one another, it either means 1. Your goals are not in-line with what you really want to do. If so, relook into them to understand your underlying motivations for listing them 2. You have limited the definition of your purpose. If this is the case, try to expand on the definition of your purpose. Do you know what your purpose is? If you have not discovered your life purpose yet, I highly recommend you read the Discover Your Purpose series 7-part series before proceeding with this, as your purpose sets the right context and background for your goal setting.
By identifying your purpose, you Personal Excellence — www. The last thing you want to do is to spend your whole life trying to grow oranges when you actually wanted apples. These are what you should start focusing disproportionately on.
Understand Your Motivations Have you ever had an experience where you pursued a goal in full throttle, only to find out you never really wanted it? There are some common symptoms which emerge when you do not actually want a particular goal: such as self-sabotaging yourself in your goal pursuit, losing interest during the goal achievement process, feeling hollow after the goal has been achieved.
Has this ever happened to you in your goal pursuit? As you set your goal, be clear on your underlying motivations. Your goal should be something that you really want, and not what others want you to do. Why do you want this goal? Is it for yourself or for others? What will you achieve out of conquering this goal? Being clear on your underlying desires will drive you forward in the times when you face obstacles.
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If you find yourself setting a goal which is not what you really want but what others want you to do, it is a sign that you are chasing imposed purposes — purposes imposed upon you by other people around you. They are the opposite of liberating purposes — purposes which are active creations by you and your consciousness. If you are having end goals like earning money and being successful, there is a high likelihood that you are Personal Excellence — www.
Objective goals are your vision behind activity goals. Examples of objective vs activity goals are: Be healthy vs lose 20 lbs. Foster strong relationships vs Spend more time with family. Have an enriching, fulfilling career vs get a job as a financial trader. Objective goals are the visions you want to pursue forever in your life rather than end destinations.
Activity goals are means to achieve that visions. Objective goals usually remain the same throughout your life. Activity goals change over time. Always define your objective goal first, followed by the activity goals needed to achieve the objective goals. By clearly articulating your objective goal first, you can instead be guided by a whole host of activity goals tied to your objectives.
You develop new insights and open yourself up to many other routes toward achieving your objective goal. For example, say you looked yourself in the mirror and decided you want to lose 30lbs. What is the objective behind this? Usually people lose weight to become more attractive, so let us assume this is the objective. In this case, losing 30lbs is an activity goal which you think will make you look more attractive. However, that is just one of the many ways you can achieve your objective to be more attractive.
Clearly differentiating between your objective and activity goals enables you to see the bigger picture. You stop getting hung up on the outcome of activity goals and instead focus on achieving your actual objective goal. A lot of people obsess over their activity goal and hinge their life on it They may Personal Excellence — www. However, they do not realize their activity goal is merely one of the many methods they can use to reach their objective.
BHAGs are great for personal growth and goal pursuits because they require you to take on an entirely different set of thinking and strategy rather than a normal goal. They stretch you to levels you were previously not aware of. People typically factor in many considerations as they are setting their goals and end up with half-baked goals in the name of realism and practicality.
Do not do that. Focus purely on what you want, and not how to do it. Your BHAGs should be big, challenging and motivating to you all at the same time. Be Specific Be very specific on what you want. The more specific you are, the better guided you are in your goal pursuit.
Some guiding questions you can use include: What do you want to accomplish at the end point? What are the exact end output you are expecting?
What is the time frame you are setting? Ambiguous goal leads to ambiguous results. Imagine trying to shoot at a dartboard that is not clearly demarcated. How can you aim when you do not even know what the target is? When your end point clearly marked out, you have a clear target to home in on. Make Them Measurable This principle applies specifically for Activity Goals, rather than Objective Goals since the latter are meant to be continuous directions to pursue see Personal Excellence — www. For your activity goals to be effective, they need to be measurable. They should come with 1 a deadline and 2 a value you can measure against.
These will be your success criteria when you evaluate against your performance. For tasks which are qualitative, find a way to assess it. Let us say your goal is to be more confident. One way is to make it measurable is to set a target for how many times you broke out of your comfort zone in the day and spoke up. Or maybe your goal is to be more disciplined. You can attach it to an activity you want to achieve — such as waking up at 6am — and measure your success rate of performing that task.
From there, break it down into smaller segments. Two common criteria to break down are a time b magnitude. If your goal is to lose 40lbs in 1 year, your shorter term goals may be to lose 20lbs in 6 months and 10lbs in 3 months. Set them as End Outcomes, not Tasks This refers to the end outcome that you want to see, not the task that is needed to get the result you want.
By focusing on the end outcome, it builds the fastest track to goal achievement as actions that need to be undertaken will naturally fall into the picture. Some self-help educators recommend focusing on tasks vs results as results may be influenced by externalities which we cannot control.
Personally, I think focusing with the end in mind is much more effective because you learn to anticipate and plan for contingencies for successful goal achievement, rather than attribute things to external factors.
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Instead of placing your locus of control externally, you put it internally within yourself. Use Positive Framing Your goals are what you set yourself to achieve, so you want to be sure that you are attracting all the positive energy in the universe instead of negative. If your goal is framed negatively, it affects you on a subconscious level and sets you up for failure. You do not want to waste any bit of your energy on any form of non-positive energy.
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If you know about the Law of Attraction, this is essentially what this principle is about. Law of Attraction is about how thinking positive thoughts attract positive things into your life. If you do not believe in the LoA, it is okay — just know that your thoughts naturally guide your behavior and you want positive thoughts to be what is guiding your actions, not negative ones. However, before that, there are 4 steps pertaining to your goals you need to adhere first. Write Them Down Write down your final objective and activity goals. This should be listed prominently in a place you will always be referring to.
Develop Absolute Mental Clarity of Your Goal As you pursue your goal, you need to develop such a clear mental impression of your goal that you are able to perceive it with all your 5 senses, as if you have already achieved the goal. In fact, make it a point to do this every day in the morning, before you start your day. The clearer the image in your mind, the easier it is for you to manifest it in reality. Every goal is always created twice, first in the mind and then in reality. If you are unclear on how your goal looks like in your mind, how can you expect the physical manifestation to be what you really want?
Close your eyes now and visualize the picture. How do you feel? What do you see yourself doing as the restaurant owner? How does your restaurant look? How big is your staff? What are you thinking now? What plans do you have for the restaurant moving forward?
Capture that moment in your head and never lose sight of it. This level of mental clarity needs to be present and right in your mind throughout your goal achievement process. Be in Constant Reminder of them Set up your goal in places where you will be in constant reminder of it. Reminding yourself of your goal is extremely important to keep them in your top of mind awareness.
It creates the drive and energy to pursue it every day. There are many ways to do that, such as setting it as your wallpaper, putting it on your noticeboard, putting up a poster of it, creating a vision board, having it as your mobile phone welcome message, putting it as the cover of your notebook, making a habit to review your goals every morning, and so on. For me, I always make it a point to review my goal sheet every morning after I wake up.
It sets me on the activities to take on for the day and keeps me conscious of what is important and what is not important in achieving my dreams. Review Periodically Review your objective and activity goals regularly. You should review your activity goals more often e. It is important to review goals since they can become irrelevant over time.
For example, when I was younger, earning a lot of money was very important to me. Over time, this goal lost its importance when my life purpose changed. Now, it is now most important for me to help other people achieve their highest potential. Money is still important, but as a means to achieve what I want, and not an end.
What is Strategy? Strategy refers to a game plan which enables effective pursuit of a specific goal or result. It is a set of underlying principles which determines your action plan toward achieving your end goal. ESPER itself is a strategy for successful goal achievement. Strategy is like your blueprint for success.
Think of it as the cross sectional map that shows you the best way to lead you to your goal. In war, generals gather together to devise strategies to secure an ensuing victory. In the world of business, companies invest millions in research to develop strategies to win in the market place. Consultancy is such a lucrative business because they identify patterns and strategies for corporations to get an edge over the competitors. In stock markets, the most successful traders spend years studying market trends of the past, identifying strategies and applying them.
It is really not much Personal Excellence — www. Strategy is the one step which most people totally miss in the process of goal achievement, which then leads to their failure. Remember that for every goal, there is always a certain blueprint underlying it that guarantees its success.
If you are to identify that blueprint, you pretty much have the goal in the bag.
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People were taught to do, not think. Back in school, we were credited if we used the exact same methodology we were taught. Any other methods, even if it led to the same output, were discouraged. Forms of thinking or behavior that did not conform to the norm were viewed as defiant. This is very commonly found in Asian societies, especially in China and Japan.
As a result, many people are great in execution, but weak in strategizing. I have seen many people around me who are unaware of the importance of strategy. They jump right into the execution of their goals, instead of studying their goals first and developing a strategy. What immediately follows is them succumbing to a cycle of self-depreciation and negativity.
In the process, they waste their energy, get burnt and put themselves in a worse situation than before. My Experience With Strategy One of my personal success stories where strategy played a monumental role was when I switched to become a vegan in Jan, triggered by the curiosity on how it would affect my mental clarity. I had never been a vegetarian or vegan in my life, nor have I even remotely thought about it before. Because I wanted to succeed in my goal the first time round, I sat down to work out a strategy that would definitely secure a victory.
There were many things I did in preparation of the goal, including a full research on veganism, anticipating obstacles that would prevent my successful transition and my counterplan for those obstacles. Not only did I not feel any desire to eat meat afterward, I also did not experience any difficulty in the process.
In return, I almost enjoyed the upsides of being a vegan immediately, such as the increased mental clarity, the increased vitality, improved sense of morality, among others. I became a vegan immediately and have never looked back since. Develop Your Strategy As you look at your goal, think about what are your strategies to achieve this goal.
What is going to be your blueprint for success? What can you do to fully bust this goal? No matter how huge your goal is, there will be an underlying set of patterns which will allow you to conquer it. Below are 10 guides to develop your strategy: 1. Understand The Goal Thoroughly. What do you know about the goal? What are all the information you need about the goal in order to achieve success? What does the goal constitute? What is the gap that exists between you and the goal currently? List down all the information and knowledge you have that you think will play an important role in reaching your goals.
Imagine that you are now pursuing your goal. What obstacles do you anticipate standing in your way of success? If you have pursued this goal in the past, what derailed you? Write all these obstacles down and rank them in order of magnitude. The bigger the obstacle is in diverting you from the goal, the higher the rank. From here, brainstorm on ways to bust the barriers.
When you do this, you will have a set of ready solutions at your disposal when you face these obstacles later on. Instead of getting distracted in the middle of your goal pursuit to troubleshoot those barriers, you can easily brush them aside with the solutions you have developed. You can use the list of 25 Brainstorming Techniques for this exercise as well to identify ways to break out of those Personal Excellence — www.
For example, when I was working out my strategy to lose weight, I realized that I had a penchant for doughnuts Homer Simpson, anyone? If I were to start eating a doughnut, it would set off the trigger to break out within the confines of my diet; in fact this was one of the reasons why my previous weight loss efforts were futile. I addressed the issue by staying away from doughnut shops, refusing doughnut offers from friends, telling my mom to stop buying donuts home. Nowadays it is no longer a problem as my natural inclination is toward much healthier foods and I find donuts too sweet for my taste.
After you have obtained all the knowledge on your goal, identify all the paths you can take on to reach there. Brainstorming plays an important role here, since you want to leave no stones unturned. Go wild with your ideas; really think out of the box! Visit 25 Brainstorming Techniques for solid brainstorming techniques you can use for this exercise. After you are done brainstorming, assess all those options based on the information you have.
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Key pillars of success are the few action steps which give you the bulk of the results; they absolutely need to be executed for your goal to be a success. To be able to identify these pillars, you need to obtain a thorough knowledge on the subject matter and goal itself see point 1 above. We will talk more about this in Planning.
Bust Your Goals with Overwhelming Force. This is a tactic used in military to overkill the opposition. The concept of overwhelming force means over-committing all your resources, time and energy so that there is absolutely zero possibility of you failing. While it is possible for you to achieve your goals with lesser resources, you are also eliminating any chances of failure.
Within the More With Less route and key pillars of success you have defined, what are all the things you can do to absolutely overkill you or goals, without any question of doubt? If you want to get different results, that means you need to do something different. Doing more of something can be a different action too. Time To Change Your Actions 7. Make Use of Existing Resources. Think about the existing resources you leverage on in your goal pursuit. There is an amazing wealth of knowledge and experience around you which you can utilize.
One of the ways will be reaching out to people who have tried to achieve the goals or even achieved the goals before. If possible, look for mentors or coaches to help. Other sources include the websites, books, podcasts, online communities, friends, just to name a few. Leverage on Your Environment. Your environment guides your actions and behaviors and can be leveraged on to aid you in your goal pursuit. It has also led me to learn and grow as a husband, father, and friend.
Because there is a large difference between being committed to the process of personal excellence and perfect. Personal excellence is a lifelong journey. Perfect is a temporary destination. In my view, at least with regard to personal growth, perfect does not exist in the world we live in.
In heaven, perfect is likely. But it is not to be found on this earth. Perfect implies that things are as good as they can be. It indicates that the journey is done. It is the key to being a successful person. No matter what your achievements are thus far, continuing to strive for excellence in your life is important and necessary for personal growth. Over time I have accumulated a list of things that lead to personal excellence.
This list is by no means complete. It can be added to or items can be deleted. But it is a starting point and a good way to evaluate whether you are on track to maximize your personal excellence. This is by no means a complete list. Feel free to add your own items to it. The point of the list is to motivate you to do a lot of small things that will make you a better and happier person. None of us will master all the things on this list — or on any list. Some items will be easy for you; some will be more of a challenge. Your list might be different than mine. The point is that personal excellence — or personal growth if you prefer that term — is a journey.
It is a venture that we should be on for the rest of our lives. If you can develop a sense of getting better each day, then you will live a rich and abundant life. You will be happy and fulfilled. And you will be amazed over time how many new and exciting experiences you will enjoy as you trek on the journey of life. Value Personal Excellence. I define personal excellence as the process of becoming the best you that you can be. It means taking the talents you were created with and going through the process of growing and improving.
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