I knew I was in too deep when I had a goal to learn how to write good goals. Something had to change. The internet is great but it can be a monster - I googled examples of good goals and up popped all these articles on how to write good goals. There were so many rules, and right and wrong and correct ways and bad ways.
I’m good bro. And to be fair, some of it makes sense, S.M.A.R.T. goals have merit as do OKRs, or sharing for support is cool too. Visualization and affirmation are good tools I just don't like to confuse them with goals. Totes man I get it. But conflating tools and tactics and adding rules - it makes it super complicated and that’s not my thing. I like simple. It shouldn’t be work to write a goal. If you have a goal it should be something you're comfortable with, excited about and it shouldn't feel like work make it official.
I Said I’ll Do Some Things and Then I Did Said Things.
I looked back at how I accomplished things before, did a little research with my peeps on how they were successful and it’s quite simple. Here it is, three things your goal should have:
1. What do you want to do/accomplish?
2. What will you measure / what's the target?
3. When do you want to be complete?
Goal (or objective, time, target, w/e you want to call it)
Result (how will you measure whether you hit your goal or not)
Bang. Simple. Let’s look at some examples:
Goal: Get in Shape
Measures: Weight, target weight of 155lb
Time: May 1, 2018
Goal: Make more money (money, money y’all)
Measure: Monthly revenue; target: increase my income by 10%
Time: Tuesday May 1, 2018
To Be Specific or To Not Be Specific
Goals come in all shapes and sizes. It helps if they're specific since that gives you more clarity on what you want to accomplish but they don't have to be specific. In fact sometimes they shouldn't be specific because you may not know exactly what you want to achieve, but you do know the direction you want to go.
If you're goal is to get in shape you may not know your target weight, but you do know you need to lose weight. Having simple measures like "pounds lost" or "fit comfortably in my old jeans" as a measure is ok.
So let's revisit the Get In Shape goal, it's totally cool if it's:
Goal: Get in Shape
Measures: Fit in my old jeans
Time: May 1, 2018
Fit in my jeans is vague, but you know what it feels like to you to fit comfortably in your old pair of jeans and so it's clear to you and that's what matters.
More often than not, having a general measure for a goal is true. Most people don't know the exact weight they want to reach, or the exact amount of money they want to increase by and it's cool. Most of us don't know and we won't know until we get there. We usually do know the things we have to do to get to that place where want to be. Big goals give you the general direction and that's all you really need from them. The action plan and mini goals are what really work.
Mini Goals, Maximum Power
You may not know what weight you want to be at but you do know you need to work out and you probably need to do it, say 3 times a week. This is where real power happens. Use this as a mini goal: work out 3 times a week. It's easy to measure and something you feel confident in. And the best part is, if you find out 3 times is too much or too little, you can adjust come next week.
Big goals are great in giving you general direction and focus, the action tells you what to do to achieve what you want to achieve. The super power comes in setting mini, and I'm talking daily and weekly, goals.