Over the past year I had a goal of reading at least 12 books. At the end of 2016 I read 15 books. I set the same goal this year and am on my way to attain it. Many times in life we base our goal on hope alone. You may say, “I hope so.” or “I hope that she gets back to me in time.” Whatever the situation it’s based on hope. In most cases that is not a bad basis to build on, but in goal setting it doesn’t define nor measure the achievement towards the attainment of a particular goal. It “hopes” that it gets attained.
It’s not about hope!
Most times when we hope about something it’s in audible conversations with others or with ourselves. It could also be in a correspondence between emails or over a text message. Rarely do we put our hope thoughts on paper. Even if we did it wouldn’t matter. Hope is not a measurement.
How to set and achieve a goal.
When setting a goal a person needs to complete three elements in order to achieve a set goal:
- Define the goal. Write it down – anywhere that you will be reminded to work after to achieve that goal. In order for me to be consistent about reading and finishing a book so I can start on the next I need to be reminded of the goal. Post it where you will see it everyday. It needs to be clear, measurable and attainable. If it is lacking in those three areas then it needs to be further polished.
- Measure the goal. In June I looked back over my reading for the year and I was ahead of schedule. So far I had read 8 books. Technically I needed to read at least 6 to be on schedule for reading 12 books in the year. That measurement pushed me to read more and strive to read as many books as I could until the year end.
- Achieve the goal. This was a very basic goal that I set, but I knew it was attainable. When setting goals it is important for them to be attainable, not so high that you can’t reach them, even with a 10 foot pole.
As you begin to look at goal setting in your future carry these elements with you. Maybe you have a goal set, but it’s not attainable. Take some time now to make the adjustments so that you or your team aren’t getting frustrated and discouraged.