My Goal-Setting System
For the past five or six years, I have made monthly goals and tracked them in a Google Sheets spreadsheet. This worked alright, but I found the system less and less motivating (and effective) as time went on, especially for the tougher goals. It was too easy to just push any unaccomplished goals off to the next month.
What Was Missing
A couple of weeks ago I was re-reading the “The 12 Week Year” by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington and the following passage jumped out at me:
“When faced with a course of action that includes difficult or uncomfortable tasks, the short-term costs of taking action can seem so much greater than the long-term benefits of reaching the goal. Because of this, individuals and entire organizations often abandon both the tasks, and ultimately, the entire strategy. We have found from experience that to execute successfully it is essential to have a strong emotional stake in the outcome.” [emphasis added]
An emotional stake. That’s what was missing from my goal-setting system.
There was no compelling “why” behind my goals. They were just goals for the sake of goals.
One of my multi-year financial goals is to take my entire family on a vacation in 2019. I have outlined the actions I need to take to get there and, if I’m honest, a lot of them are scary, hard, boring, or just not my idea of a good time. Just thinking about them makes me uncomfortable.
Now, I’m a To Do list dork and I love checking completed items off a list, but when I’m facing those really difficult or “uncomfortable task,” checking a box doesn’t cut it.
When I remind myself that I’m putting together this proposal that kind of scares me so my whole family can gather together in Cancun, it’s a whole different story.
Suddenly, the effort seems worth it.