How to Set Better Goals
“Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.”
- M.C Escher
If you’d like to work on personal goal setting, here are some of my favorite tools, articles, videos, and a podcast to help inspire you.
1. Review what you have learned in the past year. Sit down and brainstorm a list of your the most meaningful moments, events, memories, accomplishments, and mistakes. Try to extract lessons from those things that you can use.
2. Conduct a “personal brand” audit to see how you’ve grown in the past year. You can copy and use the brand equity checklist located here.
3. Honestly identify chronic problems you have. This is tough to identify and admit, but we limit our own growth with chronic bad habits. What are those 2 or 3 habits you have that impede your personal growth? If you can’t answer that question, think about the 2 or 3 things you wish you could do better. What’s preventing you from doing them? Then, use the 5 whys method to determine the root of the problem, and try Leo Babauta’s one habit at-a-time modification method.
4. Ask yourself 3 simple questions, and truly answer them: What are your passions? What are your values? What is your purpose? If you take the time to sit down, clear your mind, and truly answer these questions, you’ll shift your focus to lining up your life with them.
5. Dig deeper to understand how to improve yourself this year using your answers from #4 above. Some recommended ways to do this: Envision U’s 45-day leadership challenge, Mark Stevens’ success self-analysis, FranklinCovey’s organization systems, and Tim Ferriss’ Low Information Diet series of articles.
6. Establish your prism – the lens through which you see things. As we learned in the Mark Stevens interview, successful leaders have a prism they use to provide context to the world around them.
7. Get motivated! Let these inspirational video and audio clips lift you up when you’re in a bad mood, or just not in the right frame of mind to work on setting goals: Tim Ferriss on thinking big and challenging conventional thinking (video, especially the last 1/3 of it). A former New York Yankee batboy on persistence (podcast, a fantastic story about how he got the job). Michael Jordan on failure (YouTube video).
8. Set no more than 3 achievable, memorable goals that you can do one at a time (linearly, so you aren’t trying to accomplish more than one at a time). Then, track your progress. Make sure you accomplish one of these goals in January to capitalize on the power of momentum!