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The Goal Kicker – July 2010 Edition
July 18, 2010
The Goal Kicker – July 2010 Edition
Welcome to this month’s edition of “The Goal Kicker” – the monthly ezine produced by achieve-goal-setting-success.com - dedicated to helping you achieve your goals by providing goal setting related articles and reviews of the latest goal setting products available.
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The Goals We Tend to ForgetI’ve just returned from a 4WD camping road trip to Cape York (the most northern tip of the Australian mainland) with the family, and without internet access or mobile phone coverage, it was a great opportunity to reflect on a number of life’s questions as well as spend some quality time with the family.
It also made me realise that, while many of us seem to have a good handle on tangible goals like finance and career, and even health and fitness goals, sometimes the best goals in life are the ones that are the hardest to define and put in writing.
I’m talking of course about family and recreational goals – the goals that provide no tangible benefit to our lives but are the ones that give us the most pleasure (and sometimes pain) and happiness (as well as sorrow). These are the goals that pull at our heart strings and awaken our senses and emotions to the world around us. These are the goals that provide the “Why” of life rather than the “What” and “How”.
So here are some tips on setting those intangible, yet important, goals.
1. Stepping out of a tangible world – what is the real point.
You could argue that our road trip to Cape York had tangible goals – get from point A to point B in a particular timeframe and without causing major damage to the car. And we certainly had daily goals for our travel along these lines, but was this the real point of the journey? If we didn’t make a particular campsite by the end of the day, was it really a goal setting failure?
Of course not. The point of the holiday was to spend some quality time with the family, explore a different part of the country and come away with some new experiences.
The same can be said of family goals. The goal is not to spend a specified amount of time with your loved ones, but rather to spend quality time that ‘counts’ with them, enjoy their company, share in their experiences and interests and love and be happy.
So the real point is to consider the quality of your goal outcomes, rather than the quantity. Of course, the same can be said of tangible goals like career and finance goals. There is no point climbing the corporate ladder and making obscene amounts of money if it comes at the expense of quality of life.
It all comes down to what’s really important to you.
2. Setting intangible goals
One of the golden rules of SMART goal setting is that goals should be specific, and expressed as a clear statement of what you want to achieve. But with intangible goals, we don’t always know specifically what we are trying to achieve, which makes it difficult when it comes to expressing our goals.
For example, at one stage of our roadtrip, we tagged along with another family with kids the same age as ours. They were a lovely family and we all had a great time. Now, when we were planning our roadtrip we never included a goal to meet new friends – but it ended up being one of the most memorable parts of the journey.
So, again it comes down to what is really important to you and how you express this in writing. And this is where you can break the rules of setting ‘clear, specific’ goals – because by their very nature, some goals are not clear or specific. So goals like “…to get the most enjoyment” or “…to value the experience of (the roadtrip in our case)” can be quite acceptable for intangible goals.
3. Measuring goals you can’t quantify
It is pretty easy to measure those tangible, quantifiable goals – weight-loss, fitness (as time to run a distance, weight lifted/ reps, etc), number of cigarettes smoked per day, etc), but others are not so easy to quantify.
Goals based on improving the ‘quality’ of your life such as improved relationships with your kids, and recreational and spiritual goals - are difficult to quantify. Sure you can measure these goals by the number of holidays you take per year, or the amount of time you spend with your children, but these methods don’t address the ‘quality’ aspect of these goals.
So you’ll need to develop a measurement system that allows you to measure your progress against the quality aspect of these goals. One way to do this is to develop a rating or ranking system based on your assessment or ‘feeling’ of goal progress – you may be able to establish a ranking system based on how you actually feel regarding the goal, with say a ranking of 5 being ‘very happy/ satisfied’ and 1 being ‘very unhappy/ dissatisfied’.
You may even be able to make these more specific to your goal, for example a ranking of 5 being ‘I feel extremely energetic and healthy’ and 1 being ‘I feel very lethargic and depressed’, for a health based goal.
It is also useful to use a time based measurement as a guide to goal progress. For example, a goal focused on improving family relationships may be measured by the amount of quality time per day you spend with the kids. The key here is to be honest about the assessment of ‘quality time’.
However you chose to measure your goals, it needs to be a realistic measurement and it needs to be something that you personally see as a measure of progress.
Don’t worry if you’re not totally sure how you intend to measure goals like this – to some extent, the measurement system can be refined as you progress towards your goal outcome and as you become more aware of the measurable benefits. Just don’t change the measurement system for the sake of showing progress if there really hasn’t been any!
The Personal Strategic PlanWhether setting tangible or intangible goals, one of the keys to goal setting success is keeping your goals PERSONAL and meaningful to you. Even financial goals, as cold and as black and white as they seem, need to have personal relevance to what you really want from your life. The other key to goal setting success is implementing a Plan of Action towards your goal.
The Personal Strategic Plan offered by GoalsGuy is a step-by–step program that leads you through the goal setting process, and delivers a strategic plan of attack for your to achieve YOUR goals. It is based on the premise that life will not go according to plan, if you do not have a plan to begin with. The Personal Strategic Plan also helps you identify what’s really important to YOU – and that’s what’s REALLY important. Personal strategic planning will help you:
ToolBOX Talk – how to get the best out of the ‘Healthy Family’ checklistThe ToolBOX on the website contains FREE forms, templates and worksheets for all your goal setting needs.
In the ToolBOX you’ll find the “Family Health” checklist, and with the warm fuzzy feelings from our family roadtrip still in mind, I thought it would be helpful for all of us to reflect on our family and the health of out family units.
Now the “Family Health” checklist isn’t about whether your vaccinations are up to date or not, it’s about how well your family Unit is functioning. The checklist has been adapted from research by the Family Strengths Research Project in Australia, which identified the key strengths that characterised happy and healthy families.
These key strengths are:
And of course, if you identify any gaps in your happy family checklist then as a family, make a commitment to filling these gaps.
So go ahead, do the family health checklist and make your family your number one priority this month.
For more information on family goals, refer to the ”Self-Growth Goals” page of the website, under the “Popular Goals” tab on the NavBar.
Have you got a better goal setting tool that you’d like to share with the world? Well, send it in and we’ll add it to the ToolBOX – kudos to you of course!
Well, that’s all for now! But don’t worry, the next edition of “The Goal Kicker” is only a month away.
We would love to get your feedback on “The Goal Kicker”– what do you like? What don’t you like? - so we can make it even better.
Catch you next month!
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