A strong intention and an implementation strategy can assist you with creating the change you want in your life, but then you also need strong goals. These become the reference points that guide you and bring clarity to the road ahead.
The secret to setting these goals is to flesh them out, make them as detailed and specific as possible. Here are some tools that will assist you with the process.
Be Curious & Ask Questions
By asking simple questions, you will immediately get a better understanding of the challenge ahead.
I like the following quote from Rudyard Kipling:
“I keep six honest serving men
(they taught me all i knew);
Theirs names are What and Why and When
And How And Where and Who.”
These are great questions as the foundation of your investigation. You can also add “How much?” as it enables you to account for resources, especially time and money.
Start with Why
There’s a great TED Talk by Simon Sinek entitled “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”. Sinek says that rather than think What – How – Why, we should think Why – How – What. Placing the initial focus on Why connects us with a deeper motivation.
Try it and see if switching the perspective makes a difference for you.
Think of the goal-setting acronym SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely.
Make your goal specific. Define it, flesh it out, but it simple and easy to understand
Make your goal measureable. Know where you’re starting and know where you’re heading. It’s the only way you’ll be able to gauge your progress along the way.
Make your goal achievable. Ensure that you have the resources, in particular the time and the money to reach the goal.
Make your goal relevant. Investigate whether you have the skills (or can they be acquired?), or even the inclination. Do you want this change? Is it in line with your values?
Make your goal timely. Give yourself enough time to complete it, but not too much that you’re swimming in a vast ocean of time. The risk of taking too long is that the goal becomes obsolete.
Besides, we all tend to work a little better if there’s a bit of time pressure, so use that to your advantage.
SMART goals in action
For instance, instead of saying “I want to lose weight” try making it more effective with “I want to lose 10kg by March 31st 2018, through portion control, juicing and eating more mindfully.”
Make sure that you know what you’re doing, how you’re going to do it, and importantly, why you’re doing it. Set up systems that are easy to follow and can be integrated into your life.