Creating Powerful Goals, Part 1 (Jan)

Do you know of someone working hard but not making headway in a specific health goal – maybe to lose some weight? What’s often missing is  a compelling, clear goal – like what they want and why they want it. A vague goal like “losing weight” isn’t as compelling as “5 kilos of fat in 5 months”.

In the field of mountaineering climbers encounter thirst, extreme cold and heat, as well as physical exhaustion, over extended periods of time. But yet they persist. It’s easier to give up at times than to go on. What keeps people on the right track to a summit, or to achieve something a little more mundane like weight loss goal?

The key, is creating an exciting, stretch goal that excites you such that when you think about it,  you are eager to make or stick to a plan to get you there. That motivation will also be the lubrication to find ways around problems. Too many of us take on goals which are neither inspiring nor challenging. As a result, we achieve them too easily, and without passion, or become de-motivated during that journey.

For goals which don’t seem quite as exciting as say, climbing to a mountain-top, perhaps, some excitement can be built around the slight uncertainty of success. This spices up the prospect of success.

If the goal itself involves unexciting work, it helps to have a nice payoff at the end. Thinking of the payoff can help boost motivational energy immensely.

Researchers submitted a study to the  Research and Practice in Human Resource Management Journal,  which showed that  stretch goals, and a  competitive environment produced heightened levels of motivation, though at the expense of some added stress.

To be a Summit Leader, you need to think about what, precisely, excites you about your goal, exactly what kind of resources you’ll need to get there, including a timeline, and how it will feel like when you get there. Only by these steps can you create compelling goals to reach the top.