We have all heard how important it is to have a goal, but how many of us are certain of our own aspirations and our purpose in life? We may have stated our goals, but have we interrogated them?
Nancy Kline, in her book “Time To Think”, talks about finding one’s bedrock goal by asking the question “what is important about that?” And when you have the answer to that question, ask it again and again until you have clear idea of your true objective. For example, my goal may be to be promoted to manager in my place of work. What is important about that? I want to increase my earnings. What is important about that? I want to be able to save for holidays and special purchases. What is important about that? I feel that I work very hard and that I need to treat myself occasionally. Therefore, is my goal to find a way to put aside money each month? Being promoted to manager could be one of the options I can consider.
Another step to interrogate our goals is to define our principles, values and beliefs and determine whether our goals are in alignment with our ideals and purpose in life. . If your core values are safety, stability and security, would your goal of starting your own business in a recession be in alignment? This is not only important when considering one’s individual goals, but becomes of paramount importance for companies to align their vision and strategic intent with their stated values.
Once we have defined our goal, how will we know when we have achieved it? It is important to find some measurement which will give us that answer. In the example above, I will know I have achieved my objective when I have saved R20 000 in 12 months. However, sometimes our goals are less transactional and more about a state of being and the measurement may be less obvious but still important to define.
Once we start determining the value of our goals and putting some time limit to it, we can start to see whether our goals are viable. Is it reasonable to expect to save R20 000 in a year if I am only earning R5000 per month which is in line with my earning potential and barely covers my base expenses? However, it is so important not to limit ourselves either. Having a long term vision which we can chunk down into achievable targets in shorter time frames will help us reach the heights to which we aspire.
This post was written by Merridy