I was chatting with my friend the other day and she said something to me that made my ears perk up and say, “OOOH, tell me more…” She said that her and her husband give each other goals each year. “You mean you tell your husband what you want him to achieve?” I asked. Sure enough, she does. That is fabulous because in traditional goal-setting giving other people goals is a no-no. I’m a rebel by nature so I just loved this concept. Which got me thinking, what other goal setting rules are there that I rebel against?
You can’t write goals for other people – well my friend did it and this is how it works: Cindy and her husband decide on three goals for each other each year. It is their job to do the best they can to accomplish the assignment before the end of the year. One of Cindy’s goals that was given to her last year was to wear her jewellery more often. She said, “I didn’t know not wearing my jewellery was bothering him. It was a good reminder to me as I love the jewellery he buys for me.” It is so simple and yet Cindy’s husband felt the best way for him to see his wife in her lovely sparkles is to assign it as one of his goals for her. She continuously did for all of last year and now it is a habit for her that she enjoys. Cindy gave her husband the goal of running a 5K race. Her husband chose one of the last races of the year, didn’t prepare or train, signed up on the day of the race and ran it. Mission accomplished. Cindy said that she had hoped it would spark him to train for the race. Next time, she’ll be more specific. What’s great about this is that both Cindy and her husband are comfortable challenging each other to stretch themselves. I trained my husband for a full month because I was sick of the lack of muscles on his upper body. That was 12 years ago and my husband has ripped arms and an 8-pack stomach now because he took my challenge and turned it into a lifestyle.
Your goals need to be realistic or achievable – if you follow the SMART goal system, you know that these words show up in that acronym. Lies, lies, lies. If you are setting a goal for yourself, don’t you think it should be something that requires you to work at it? Isn’t it better that it is a little challenging and motivates you to push yourself beyond your comfort zone? If you can already achieve something, the only thing you are doing by actually achieving it is overcoming procrastination. We all can do and be a lot more than we are right now. We need to push ourselves a little bit further with every thing we do. And what about that reality bit? Whose reality are we talking about here? Are we talking about the reality of the people around us who tell us “we can’t do that” or “that will never happen”? Are we talking about the reality teachers gave us as children or our parents taught us as we were growing up? Whose reality is it really? If it was our own reality than we should decide after we try whatever it is that we are trying to accomplish. I didn’t think I could climb a Stairmaster for 6-hours straight with an average heart rate of 152 bpm. And yet I did. I climbed a mountain in Sabah called Kota Kinabalu for 6 hours straight and wore my heart rate monitor. If you would have asked me before I did it, I would have laughed and told you it was impossible. Now, I know I can do a lot more than my little brain thinks I can.
Your goals need to be time bound – this means you need to have a date of completion. Bull! A lot of my coaching clients aren’t trying to change something in their life by a specific date, they are trying to change something for the rest of their lives! They want their new strategies of action to become habits and their new habits to become part of who they are as a person. One day you go for a walk, the next you walk and jog, the next you jog, the next you run, and pretty soon you are a runner. It is who you are as a person. It is part of your identity. That’s what my clients are after. Even my entrepreneur clients who are working on their businesses. They don’t want to have a certain profit by a certain day they want to become better entrepreneurs for the rest of their lives!
What goal-setting rules are you following that just need to be tossed out the window? In my Strategic Planning Workshop, I focus on a new type of goal that I developed called FLOW goal. Hands down it is the best part of the workshop according to the participants. Contact us if you need to have some strategic planning in your life!