The power of goal-setting

john McGrath Blog - The power of goal-setting
Jul 13, 2016

The power of goal-setting


Setting goals not only provides us with a plan, or a deadline, it gives us the ability to hone in on what we need to do, to achieve everything we desire in life...

We all have dreams. But, what shapes them? What provides focus?

Goal-setting.

Setting goals not only provides us with a plan, or a deadline, it gives us the ability to hone in on what we need to do, to achieve everything we desire in life.

Powerful, isn't it.

Goal-setting: Where to start

Begin with an ending in mind. Once you know where you're going, assess your current position and what it would to take for you to get to the end.

Specific goals provide clarity. To be able to set a goal, you need to know what it is that you want. This is a huge stumbling block for a lot of people, but it's an important one to work through. If you don't know what you want, you aren't going to get it.

Once you have a specific goal in mind, follow the SMART principle of setting and achieving it. The acronym can be interpreted in many ways, but when I refer to SMART goals, I mean that goals should be:

  • Specific: Be specific about what you want to achieve. Vague goals produce vague results.
  • Measurable: Set goals that you can measure.
  • Attainable: Your goals shouldn't be out of reach.
  • Realistic: You have to be reasonable when setting your goals.
  • Time based: Every goal that you set should have a time frame attached to it.
Almost just as important, but not included in the acronym, is repetition. Repeat your goal, whether it's once, twice or 10 times a day.

Repetition is affirmation.

If you woke me up at 3am, I could tell you my goals. They are always at the forefront of my mind. I stick them up on my fridge and in the gym - they are a priority in my life.

If it does not frighten you, it's not big enough

As silly as it sounds, your goals should be YOUR goals. Oftentimes, we try to mimic other people. What's important about the goals you set, is that they need to mean something to you; they shouldn't be things that you think you 'should' be doing because others are doing so.

Each of us is unique, with our own individual destiny.

Your goal should be so big, that it frightens you. If it doesn't frighten or fire you up, it's not big enough. Fear produces a fight or flight response, and a goal provides the stimulus and framework to overcome that fear and conquer what was perhaps first thought impossible.

What If I hit an obstacle?

An obstacle is bound to rear its head at one point or another on the journey to achieving your goal. That's life. But, an obstacle shouldn't warrant you throwing in the towel.

If you hit an obstacle, rework the components, not the goal. An obstacle may force you to rethink the timeline, or certain milestones. But that's the beauty of the journey, it's a continually evolving process.

As long as your goal is big enough, you will find the 'how' to achieve it. Your goal has to have meaning, as it is the meaning that will keep the motivation going during difficult times.

The mind cannot tell the difference between a real or imaginary experience - Maxwell Maltz

My fascination with the 'Old Time Strongmen' inspired me to set my own 'strong man' goal of twisting a horse shoe. It took almost two years for me to accomplish the tremendous feat of strength.

Each unsuccessful attempt was followed by two to three successful attempts in my mind...

Along the journey towards achieving my goal, I was motivated by the wise words of Maxwell Maltz, "he mind cannot tell the difference between a real or imaginary experience". Whether I was physically stronger or not when I eventually bent the horse shoe, is debatable.

What was definitely stronger, was my mind.

5 Tips to setting powerful goals
  1. Begin with an end in mind.
  2. Make your goals SMART!
  3. Keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.
  4. Have lots of small victories and achievable steps within the goals - that's what gives you momentum.
  5. Trust and stick to the process - it will get you there!