My Goals – Hits and Misses:
I love to set goals. I totally believe in the process of goal setting, although I don’t always achieve them. I looked back and saw a pattern on things I get done and things I don’t. The kind of Goals I set seemed to make a lot of difference in the ultimate outcome. My most important learning was about the process vs outcome.
American Vs. Japanese Goal Setting:
This can otherwise also be considered as the American Vs Japanese approach to goal setting. Americans have a very goal oriented approach and are focused on achieving the targets. The outcomes are binary, you either Win or Lose.
However, Japanese are a process oriented culture where they are keen on continuous improvement or Kaizen, the improvements are marginal and always have a scope for improvement.
My Two Types of Goals and Results:
Whenever I had goals like 100 KM run for the month, 3 articles a week, Increase by income by 10% I almost always seemed to fall short of the goal I set for myself.
But when I set up goals like, I will run every day morning at 5 AM, I will work on my blog every day for an hour between 7:30 – 8:30 PM, I will reach out to 3 people this week to discuss on side projects, I almost always seem to do better than when I had the goal of an outcome.
Since, life is a continuous journey with no end and gradual improvements over a period of time make a huge difference, for personal goal setting the Japanese Psych seems to work better.
What the Goal takes:
It is easy to romanticize the idea of getting rich, traveling the world, running a marathon, but these goals are achieved by a combination of boring and terrifying tasks. Getting Rich may involve things like stepping outside your comfort zone and start a business, learn marketing, tray and fail in a numerous unique ways before we know what works. Traveling the world may involve terrifying things like quitting work and packing your bags to do something you have never done, meet strangers and be vulnerable. Goals like running a marathon or dead lift 100lbs may also involve boring tasks like getting up in the morning to run everyday and/or doing the reps.
None of these tasks sound as cool as the outcome, but unfortunately or fortunately there are no magic wands, the way to to the top is the climb and in my experience it is often the climb itself that provides the joy to the summit.
How to make this work for you:
Based on my own experiences above on setting and achieving goals and also various leaders I have found the below to work:
2) Put it on the calendar. Allot a specific time for the work rather than thinking you will do it when you find time or when inspiration strikes. The very act of assigning a start and an end time for the activity motivates gives a cue to the brain to do it.
3) Use a to do list as a rough guideline rather than as a strict target. The intentions is to know what to do when you sit down to do it, rather than be obsessed about checking things off the list.
4) The first few minutes are always the toughest. Every runner knows the longest distance is between the bed and the shoe rack. Go beyond the initial resistance and you will almost always get into the flow and enjoy the activity.
5) Don’t be over ambitious with your daily goals. If you are starting a new habit of gym or running, do it for 10 mins or 500 M to start with instead of an Hour 5 KM. Instead of doing a lot on a single day, make a little bit progress every day. Almost always this will get you further than the other way around.
6) A timeline commitment is a useful device to measure progress. You can commit to a timeline, by registering yourself for the upcoming marathon, starting a deposit account like iWish for your travel fund, starting business etc. booking a trek/tickets well in advance.
Finally, fall in love with the process and results will come!!
How has your goal setting process worked for you? What has worked for you and what has not and how do you intend to change it !! Please leave your thoughts, I am eager to learn.