Following on from last weeks theme of how to goal set by NOT starting with the goal, I am focusing on Clarity. If you didn’t read last weeks blog and are therefore confused about what that sentence means – check it out here.
There’s No Goal Setting without Clarity
Just as you can’t start proper goal setting with the goal, because you can’t be sure what the goal should be until you have taken some other steps, you can never set a single achievable goal without clarity.
Once you know how you want to feel, live and BE, you can work out what will make you feel like that and that becomes your goal. But then you need to get really clear on what that goal actually is. We need the specifics here. No specifics = no proper goal = not a snowball’s chance in hell of achieving it.
Maybe you have decided what you want to feel is accomplished and (let’s take this out of a purely business setting for a minute) you have decided what will make you feel accomplished is learning French. So you set your goal to learn French right? Wrong!
There are 2 BIG things missing from this goal. Clarity and Clarity.
You need Clarity around the specifics of the goal. So – you want to learn French? Does that mean just the language or do you want to learn also about France, about the history, the politics, the countryside, the way of life, the food and drink, the holiday resorts?
Does it mean you want to learn enough to ask for food in restaurants and pay the bill in shops and ask directions? Do you want to be able to speak it or write it? Or both? Do you want to be good enough at French to read a paper? Watch the TV and understand it? Run a business? Or just get by with conversational French? When do you want to have achieved this by? Do you want an actual qualification or just the satisfaction of knowing you can do it?
You see, that is the first level of clarity you need. But there is another, potentially even more important level of clarity.
Here’s the thing. The goal can be as ‘specific and measurable’ as you like (with reference to SMART goals), but that is not enough. Many people set goals. Many people also set specific and measurable goals that are timed and realistic. So why do so many people completely fail to achieve their goals? Because they missed out the second level of clarity.
So what am I talking about?
I am talking about being very very clear about how achieving this goal is going to impact on you – how you are going to feel….live….BE.
You need to understand the logical, physical and most importantly EMOTIONAL impact of achieving this goal, or NOT achieving it.
So – if your goal is to lose 2 stone before the summer, and that is all you set as your goal – you will fail. I give you 90% odds of failing.
If your goal is 2 stone before the 3rd July, working out at 2lb a week for the first 4 weeks and then 1lb a week thereafter, by eating 1400 calories a day, and walking for 30 minutes every morning – well then I give you a 50% chance of achieving it.
But if you want 100% (OK maybe 99%) chance of achieving it then you need to see yourself in that bikini on the beach. You need to understand logically AND emotionally how fit and healthy you will feel, how proud your kids will be of you, how your other half will love your new confidence, how you will feel great showing your friends your holiday snaps. You need to FEEL how good that feels, and you need to believe it is possible for you. Not only is it possible but it is a foregone conclusion – you ARE already there.
You need also to experience how disappointed you will feel if you don’t achieve it, if you are sat on the sun lounger feeling like a fat blob, not wanting to get up and walk to the pool in case the 18-year-old twig on the next lounger sniggers at you from behind her book. Oh sorry – that’s probably just me.
My point is – if you really feel the ‘away from’ or ‘towards’ motivation of the above scenario’s – most importantly if you believe you will achieve it, if you focus on it daily and if you put it out there – to the universe, to your family, your friends – then you are almost guaranteed to do it.
If the pleasure of achieving the goal outweighs the pain in the a*** of making it happen then you will do it. But your WHY needs to be strong enough to overcome the ‘chocolate’ days, then down days or the celebration days that would normally mean overeating and drinking, and then stopping the diet because you have lost your motivation.
It is the same with business goals. Yes, you need the specifics. You need to make sure the goals are achievable, and what you want, and know when, where, who and exactly how they will be achieved. But if you don’t understand how you will FEEL, how much this will positively impact YOU and YOUR life, YOUR family, YOUR wellbeing, YOUR values – well then you won’t be motivated to put in the hard yards.
For this year at Strategy Social Media for example, we know exactly how we are going to feel next January, how we are going to celebrate, how the financial upswing will affect our lives and what that will mean for our sense of satisfaction, our feeling of accomplishment, our inner peace and joy. And we know what the practical goals are that go with that – the facts and figures.
So, I challenge you – If you can feel, see, hear, smell and almost touch your goals, if and when you have that CLARITY on the logical AND the emotional – well then my friend, you will be unstoppable.