Setting a goal for yourself or your business? Make sure it follows the Three As.
I’m a big time goal setter.
I set little goals, medium sized goals, and giant Moby Dick–like whoppers. And I go after all of ’em like Ahab.
More often than not, I hit ’em, sometimes less successfully than others, but I get there. And yep, sometimes I miss. But it ain’t for lack of trying.
And I make my staff set goals too. At the beginning of each quarter, each staffer comes up with three goals for their department . . . from sales goals, to bringing on new investors, to taking online courses in negotiating . . . and the staffer reads them aloud at a staff meeting, and then 13 weeks later at the end of the quarter, we find out how we all did.
The cool thing is, even when they come up a little short . . . they are always a heck of a lot further along than had they not set a goal in the first place.
Why do they work? Because I insist that all of my goals and my staff’s follow my 3 As:
Your goal has to be something that makes you sweat. You know how when you work out you get this rush of energy afterwards? You feel like you can do anything? Setting a goal that makes you work for it actually gets you amped up to go beyond the goal, and conquer the next one. So make sure whatever your goal is . . . finishing a draft of your script, raising money for your show, or losing 5 lbs . . . it isn’t going to be too easy. It should make you nervous when you read it out loud (and read it out loud to others you should – because it without a doubt increases your chances of achieving it when you’re public about it). I know, you’re nervous about missing your goal and feeling like a failure. Don’t be. You’re not going to hit all of your goals 100% of the time. You shouldn’t. If you’re always achieving your goals, you aren’t making them aggressive enough.
Make ’em aggressive, but don’t make them ridiculous (“I will write a screenplay, a play, and a book in the next month!” or “I will raise $10mm in 3 months for an unknown play!”). The goals have to be something that you can actually do. As you go down your path to your finish line, you’ll be constantly saying to yourself, “You got this . . . you can do this . . . ” and believe it or not, your brain knows when it’s BSing itself. Set too absurd a goal, and your body won’t kick in when your brain says, “Keep working! You can do it,” and you’ll flop on your face.
Whatever your goal is, it has to be something that you can prescribe a very specific action to. “I want to be a better person,” sounds like an amazing goal, but it’s too vague, too ambiguous and way to birkenstocky. Make your goal something that you can take specific steps to achieve, which usually means setting a very specific goal. (“I want to sing a high A,” which can be done by voice lessons, reading vocal technique books, etc.)
If you find yourself sitting on a couch, or at a bar with friends saying, “I really want to write that screenplay,” or “Isn’t XXXX a great idea for a show,” try setting a goal with the 3 As. It’ll work. And you’d be amazed at the things that will happen to you.
Need proof? I once said, “I want to write a blog . . . once a day.”
Seven years later . . . and my life and work is so much better as a result.
(If you need help with achieving your goals, click here.)
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