In the mission section of Sober Strides you will see that I categorise my goals under two headings, missions (long-term goals) which define an end state, and stepping-stones (intermediate goals) used to evaluate my progression towards a mission.
It is normally recommended that you only focus on one goal at a time; however, I like to choose two, one that supports my own growth and one that supports others in growth. When selecting a goal it is important to ensure that it aligns with your "why". When I made the choice (goal) to not pick up (drink) again, I had a "why", although my "why" has evolved slightly over time it has maintained its core principle. You may already know your why, or you may need to find it, either way to give yourself the best possible chance of mission success you need a "why".
Mitch Horowitz offers the following guidance, "What if a genie promised you a wish, but with a catch: you had to tell him the truth about what you really wanted — otherwise you’d lose everything. We internally repeat what we want to believe about ourselves (“I enjoy my work”) but rarely with self-scrutiny. Make a list — every day — of what you truly, deeply want out of life. Revise it repeatedly, until you feel you are being unflinching honest about your desires. This does't mean becoming Walter White, but you should know what you really want. You may be surprised where it leads you".
Once you have identified your "why" follow the SMART process below to help develop your goal.
(S) Specific - You need to be specific when setting a goal so that the exact nature of the goal is known; ask yourself, what do I want my life experience to look like at the end. Be certain to not take a half hearted approach to goal setting, like I need to loose weight or I need to get fit, you must make a commitment to the specific goal, for example – I will loose 10 kg before 24 Dec 16, or I will complete the Melbourne Marathon 2016.
(M) measurable - To measure your goals you first need to make a commitment to your goal and hold yourself accountable for it’s success. By signing up for an event, enlisting in a program or identifying a firm end state, you will be able to measure your success through achievement, completion or result. Mission success will be known to you and identifiable to others on completion. To aid in measuring your progression towards your goal utilise steeping-stones to motivate, maintain focus and assist you evaluating how well poised you are to achieving your mission.
(A) Acheivable - Goals should be set high enough that they pose a significant challenge, but not be impossible to achieve or overwhelming. Keep goals to a minimum of 1-2, allowing you to give complete front sight focus towards achieving your mission.
(R) Realistic - Be realistic in the goals you set and in your abilities. Take time to ascertain if the amount of effort, dedication and sacrifices required to achieve your goal can be afforded. If you find that you fall short, then just re-evaluate your goal.
(T) Timely - Set and define a time frame/line for achieving your goals. I have proposed the following time frames/lines, short term (1 day - 4 weeks), intermediate (1 month to 6 months) – etc, long term (1 year and after).
“I actually sign a contract with myself for any goal that I set out to do, no matter what it is; because that holds you accountable.” – Gail Devers
Goal Work Sheet
1. My goal (stepping-stone, mission) is it a SMART goal?
2. My target completion date is?
3. My reasons for committing to the achievement of this goal are (my “why”)?
4. Key steps (decisive events) involved in achieving this goal (brainstorm before narrowing the focus)?
5. Which of my values/visions are supported by this goal?
6. What am I willing to commit/sacrifice to achieving this goal (time, effort, money, other)?
7. What obstacles may occur, and how can I manage/overcome these obstacles?
8. How will I know when I have achieved the goal (or not)?
9. What will be my reward when I’ve achieved this goal?
If you do not achieve the goal, that is ok, you just need to reflect on what tripped you up. Go back to the start of this process and re-set, as the goal is worth it- it lines up with your “why”. Hopefully that has made the process of goal setting a little less daunting, and given you a tool to use in preparation for mission success. If you have any further questions or would like some help please don't hesitate to contact me through the contact page. Good luck and go get it!