[Today is a guest post by David Moore]
Do a Google search and you’ll find 89,100,000 results. You’ll find S.M.A.R.T. goals, workbooks, workshops, tips, techniques, and tricks. All of these CAN work if you DO the work. Even with 89 million results, I’m about to share something different because it comes directly from my personal experience.
I think I enjoy the goal setting process, the writing, planning and scheduling, nearly as much as the achievement. Have I achieved every goal I’ve set? Of course not. If anyone has ever done that the goals weren’t big enough.
Regardless of the goal setting methods you use, the following thoughts can help you refine and strengthen your process. Combined, you improve the chances of achieving your goals.
Not that you don’t already know what you want to achieve, but so some research about others who have done the same thing. You will see a trend in how long, on average, it takes to achieve this goal or something similar. If the research indicates that most achieve this in 6 months, it doesn’t make much sense to set your goal for 6 weeks.
For example, I recently set a goal to complete a half marathon. I have run several 5K’s over the last few years and just completed an 8K. So I started entertaining thoughts of completing a half marathon. As I did my research, I found several training programs that lasted 12 weeks. So now I know what kind of time frame I needed to be properly prepared.
This is my favorite part. I go to the calendar. I prefer using the Google monthly calendar and print out each month on a separate page. I’m able to make notes on it and number the weeks. I like to use different colored markers. You can write in vacations or special events that might delay the goals progress.
Now that I knew the average time needed for my half marathon training, I was able to make detailed plans on my calendar. I found an event that I wanted to run. It happened to be 32 weeks out. I took the 12 week training program and modified it for 24 weeks. This gives me plenty of time to train and has plenty of “margin” for any emergency or injury that might occur. This level of detail and the “extra” time for contingencies also helps with the positive mindset. So if a setback occurs, you already know you have that built into your plan.
As you progress towards your goal, it’s nice to have some checkpoints along the way just to figure out where you are. Look at it like a ‘mid-term’ exam. But you need something as close to the ‘real world’ or ‘real-time’ as possible. You find out where you stand, how far you have come and what it’s gonna take to finish.
For me, this is smaller races like the 5K, 8K, or 10K’s. I don’t plan on “peaking” for these races. They will substitute for one of the weekly training runs under “game conditions”. When I used to play competitive golf, this would be weekend invitationals or even practicing under certain conditions. You then use this ‘real-time’ feedback to make any needed adjustments in your planning.
Support of a “team” could mean the difference between success or failure. You’ve got to have a support system. It makes the process so much more enjoyable. You don’t feel like you are climbing this mountain of achievement by yourself.
Hopefully, this support will come from your spouse/girlfriend, family and close friends. Training partners (business partners) understand in an intimate way the struggles you face everyday as you press on. Supporters can encourage, cheer for you and hold you accountable. They can be that someone who gets in your face if you get lazy or just need a kick in the ass.
You may not be the smartest. You may not be the richest. You may not be the most talented. But you can bet your sweet ass, that nobody can work harder than you.
Pete Rose was my childhood hero when I played baseball. So much, in fact, my nickname was “Pete”. I wasn’t the biggest, fastest or strongest. But nobody could out hustle me. And I knew, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that on THAT day and during THAT workout…nobody was working their ass off harder than I was. No one was going to out hustle me. Hustle doesn’t take talent. And you can’t teach hustle.
There is a price to pay. Expect it. Prepare for it. There will be sacrifice. Hopefully it won’t be something as important as a marriage or other vital relationships. But many times, you’ve heard the stories, relationships don’t get the necessary attention because that quality time has been diverted toward the pursuit of a goal.
The bigger the goal and the bigger the stretch, the more laser-like focus and tunnel vision required. For me personally, during the pursuit of a major goal in the mid-80’s my marriage suffered. It didn’t fail, but it was seriously tested.
Consider all the above…and answer this:
Will you enjoy the journey and the attainment?
What lessons have you learned from success and failure during goal pursuit?
Tim Ferriss talks about the benefits of “transfer”? How can you use this goal to transfer the benefits to other areas?
Lastly, Was it worth it?
This is a guest post by David A. Moore from Living a Better Story with davidamoore.com. He writes about living a more adventurous and inspirational life story…starting today! You can learn more About David and follow him on Twitter @davidamoore.