Back to basics: what is a goal anyway?
The start of a new year is typically a time when goals are at the forefront of many people’s minds. But January has come and gone so: did you set New Year resolutions? If so, did you make a start? And how about at the office: have you started to work on your objectives for 2011?
In my experience, setting goals is not always easy so, in this post, I want to reflect on what a goal is.
For me, the ‘G’ of ‘goal’ puts me in mind of the ‘G’ in ‘gap’.
In that sense, you can visualise achieving your goal as simply a way of filling a gap between where you are now and where you have identified you want to be.
Or who you are now and who you want to be. Or what you have now and what you want to have.
That gap can usually be expressed as ‘more’ or ‘less’ of something in your life.
For example, after celebrating the arrival of a New Year, many of us might want to lose a bit of weight. So let’s look at the goal of losing weight and let’s rephrase it as “I want to weigh less” where ‘less’ is the goal to bridge the gap between your current and target weight.
When you express a goal in gap form, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- What shall I do more of? Such as planning more team meetings
- What shall I start doing? Such as offering a 1-1 meeting to more junior team members
- What shall I stop doing? Such as quitting smoking
- What shall I do less of? Such as work fewer late nights at the office
- What shall I keep doing? Such as making sure you stick to your morning run
These questions are also useful in order to plan the actions and steps to realise your goals.
Do you like my definition of a goal as a gap? Is it helpful to you?
If you found this informative, check out the next post which discusses SMARTEY goals. A SMARTEY goal will focus your attention and help you mobilize your energy to start working on your goal but also to sustain your efforts along the way and eventually achieve your goal.
Let me know what you thought about this post by leaving a comment (see above). Or, if you’d like that better, don’t hesitate to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions!