Why Non-specific and Vague Goals Are Not Good! Goals that are too broad and general are a recipe for failure. Writing them down and rereading them later makes them more real. And remember: motivation is key to achieving your goals. It’s not enough to say you want to lose weight or become more productive. You must be able to visualize the achievement of your goals. You should also keep in mind that setting small rewards along the way will help you stay motivated.
Having a broad, non-specific goal is a recipe for failure. These goals do not provide specific guidance and are ripe for abandonment when difficult times come. To avoid this problem, set specific goals and keep them close to your heart.
Many organizations use broad language when communicating high-level objectives. A goal to become the best vendor in the industry is fine if it is part of a larger strategic objective or mission statement. But when set at the project level, this approach can lead to failure. Teams and employees can’t accomplish what they don’t know, making it difficult for them to perform at their highest level. To avoid this problem, define your goals in detail.
Now that we understand the importance of a mission and values, and have put in the work to create our mission, it’s time to set some goals to help us serve that mission. But where do we begin?
Well, first, let’s learn how to create goals properly. Because, as it turns out, there is a right way and a wrong way to set goals. As mentioned above, there are some bad examples of how to set goals in companies, however, in many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs organisation, it was taught that it was important to set goals for both individual members’ of the company, and the board as a whole, as well as for the whole organisation. However, each and every one of the goals we set had to follow a powerful methodology for improving the quality of the goal.
This methodology is called SMART, and it originally is a methodology that managers used to get the best results from their employees. However, it’s just as relevant to helping us manage ourselves.
Originally, SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-related.
If we’re using this for ourselves and not for employees, I like to convert the A from assignable into ambitious or actionable, depending on the goal.
According to this theory, if the goals we set for ourselves or others do not follow each one of these criteria, they are destined to failure, misunderstanding or even lackluster results.
Let’s demonstrate by giving some examples. Right now I’m engaged in a number of learning projects, from learning how to write better sales copy to improving my management skills, to expanding my emotional intelligence, and understanding of how relationships work. In order to support these aspects of my personal growth, I’ve decided to voraciously consume reading materials.
After all, I do teach speed reading and accelerated learning. However, if I set a goal for myself, such as reading more, I’m destined to fail, mostly because I have no idea what success looks like for this particular goal. How much is more? What should I read by when? How often, as you can see, a statement like this is doing nothing to move me closer to my goals, or my mission.
They don’t challenge us enough to become better. General goals don’t make us feel proud of our accomplishments. Similarly, non-specific goals don’t give us a sense of accomplishment. As a result, we don’t feel motivated to pursue them. Instead, we feel resentful when we don’t succeed.
But what if I instead wrote my goal as follows; In 2022, I will read and summaries one book per calendar week on the topics of business, management, health, relationships, or classical fiction.
With goals like these, it’s very easy to know what I need to do, and very easy to know if I haven’t done it. The goal is specific. I know how many books that I need to read, and of what type they need to be.
It’s measurable. Did I read the entire book before going to bed on Saturday night or not?
It’s ambitious, because after all, that’s 52 books this year alone.
It’s realistic. I’m a speed reader, and it only takes me two to six hours to complete most books.
And finally, it’s time related. I have to do this every week in 2022, rather than cramming in eight books in one session,
Using the SMART framework alone will dramatically improve the efficacy and clarity with which you pursue your goals. But it’s not the only tool I want to share with you today.
Many people have confusion about the difficulty of setting their goals:
The answer, in a way, is both, and it depends on your personality type. I like to design my goals in a way that has a reasonable bit of stretch, but still allows me to accomplish 100% of them.
And writing out my goals. I generally design them so that I will achieve 66% of them anything more and I feel that my goals weren’t ambitious enough, but anything less and I feel that they weren’t realistic enough.
The beauty of moving forward with the SMART methodology, however, is that even if one of your goals falls into that uncompleted 34% It will rarely be by a large margin.
You might fail at your goal of reading 52 books a year because you’ve only read four 48 You might fail to take that two week vacation, but succeed in doing all the research and planning so that you can complete it in the next year.
Either way, working towards your goals and making them just challenging enough. Whatever that means for you personally, is sure to push you forward. And setting your goals into timelines always allows you to roll over any incomplete goals into the next year.