Sundry Posts

The Problem with Goal Setting

The Problem with Setting Goals

I hate goals.

I hate making them.

I hate the guilt of not completing them.

I hate the thought of goals.

To be honest, I believe in goals. I believe in working toward the things you want, whatever that may be. However, the journey often ends in detours on the way to your goal.

Or, in my case, complete failure, although I learn invaluable lessons along the way.

Goal Setting

Nearly everyone has heard of SMART goal setting:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Realistic

T = Timely

If you research how to set goals, this technique is often one of the first items that pop up. And, if this works for you, that’s fabulous. It doesn’t work for me.

Regardless of how much I set my mind to a specific goal, I never follow through with the steps.

Mostly, when I have a goal in mind, I vaguely stumble around, sometimes reaching the goal, more often not.

The other day, I was listening to Gabriela Pereira of DIY MFA recently speaking during an impromptu Facebook Live presentation. She is one of those people who work hard to reach her goals. During this particularly Live presentation, she shared her process for setting and achieving her goals. Although she admits to being a bit overenthusiastic when it comes to her process, some of the things she discusses resonated with me. Hopefully, you will get something out of it too.

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a common technique, familiar to most people. But if you’ve never heard of it, it’s a simple technique.

To mind map, you take a blank piece of paper, put whatever subject you’ve been thinking about and then write down everything you can think of related to that subject.

It can look like this:

When it comes to setting goals, using a mind map can help you to draw out all of those ideas you’ve been carrying in your head. Gabriela recommends multiple mind mapping sessions on the same subject, digging a bit deeper each time you complete one.

I’ve been using this Mind Mapping technique to work on what I want to accomplish in 2018. It is a work in progress.

Reverse Engineered Goals

Once you Mind Mapped something down to its core, the next step is to Reverse Engineer some goals.

What is Reverse Engineered Goals you might ask?

Let’s begin with what reverse engineering is. The definition is “is taking apart an object to see how it works to duplicate or enhance the object.”

So, how does this apply to creating goals?

It’s simple. Begin with the end. Decide on your end goal and work backward.

According to Mark McGuiness, there are a few steps to reverse engineer your goals:

  1. Determine the most basic level of the goal.
  2. Ensure you are committed.
  3. Identify as many steps as possible that are required to reach your goal.
  4. Take action.

Sounds easy, right?

Nothing is ever that easy.

When it comes right down to it, the most difficult one, at least for me, is number 2 – ensure you are committed. Number 4, Take Action, is a close second.

I’m not sure I can define commitment for myself, let alone anyone else. But I think the Mind Mapping sessions you have will give you some idea of your level of commitment.

I’ve come across the thought that goals are dreams that are written down. There is probably some truth to that statement.

As I said, I’m in the process of mind mapping for 2018 and just dabbling in the reverse engineered goals.

If I can ensure my commitment, things are going to happen this year. That is if I can take action to meet my goals.

But that is my challenge.

What are your challenges when it comes to setting and succeeding at goals?

Have a fabulous week!