Goal Setting

Ever have trouble achieving goals? Or even setting them in the first place? It's pretty-much a well established fact by now that those who are successful, are goal-setters. They decided what they wanted, wrote it down, and formed some kind of a plan to make it happen. Then, they worked that plan. Every damn day.

But, notice how I didn't say, "those who set goals, usually achieve them"? No, I said "Those who are successful, are goal-setters." Big difference. Setting goals alone doesn't guarantee success. Just look at all those new year's resolutions that go by the way-side. That's because there's a few key ingredients to goal-setting that successful achievers employ that the rest of us miss. It changes the "goal-setting" into "goal-achieving."

Let's start with what I think is the biggest contributor:

What on earth is chunking? Chunking is a process we do unconsciously in our minds to better make sense of a situation or task. For example, if I began to describe something with four wheels, an engine, bucket seats, and a pit-crew waiting to fuel it up - you might make a good guess I'm talking about a race-car. You took all the elements and you "chunked-up" to get the image of a car. So, you can chunk up to figure out the big picture, and you can also chunk down to zoom into the details.

You can consciously chunk up and down by asking yourself these questions:
To chunk up, ask yourself "What is this an example of?" or, "for what purpose?" For instance, to chunk up from cars we might say transportation. To chunk up again, we might say movement.

To chunk down, ask "What specifically?" or, "what are examples of this?" To chunk down cars, we might say Audi. Chunk down again, we'd go into the model, like R-8, and again to the engine or wheels.

We chunk down into the details, and chunk up to the big-picture.

So, we've got chunking sorted. Now we just need a goal. Well, some people really do have trouble deciding what they want and it can be a real problem for them to decide on a goal. It's real easy to just keep plodding on, letting someone else tell you what to do, while you go about achieving their goals for them...
But that's a whole other topic for another day. To keep me focused, let's just assume you know what you want, and you're pretty damn keen on achieving it.

How to maximize your goal to guarantee its achievement
Wow, that's a pretty lofty goal right there! "Guarantee," you say? Yup, I'll stand by that statement. Here's proof: Let's say you've got yourself a whopper of a goal, a real shoot-for-the-stars beauty. At first glance, it might seem unattainable, and if you linger on it with too much rational thought, it might die a natural death before its even given a chance. Let's save its life, and set it in motion. Here's where chunking comes in.

Chunk that baby down
Break it down to baby-steps, and all of sudden, it doesn't seem so unattainable. Bit by bit, that huge chunked-up, impossible goal becomes smaller steps. Steps that are completely attainable. The absolute best way to chunk down a massive (multi-year) goal is to make it DAILY. Find the small steps you can take, every day, to bring that thing into being. You're a creator now, and you've got a duty to your creation to shepherd it into existence.

Overcome frustration
One problem that almost always comes up when you're working toward a new goal is frustration. Particularly when the area you're in is brand new to you. Say your goal is to create a successful business, and you've never even had a lemonade stand before - you're a complete n00b. Frustration sets in because you don't know how to chunk up and down in that area yet. You get frustrated because something you thought was small is taking way too long, or costing way too much. Let it be okay! That's the price you have to pay when learning a completely new thing. Pretty soon, you learn how to chunk, how to accurately estimate timeframes, and plan your projects.

Goal achievement, in practice
1. Set your goal, and make it a big one.
2. Chunk your goal into an action plan. And make those actions small.
3. Take action - every damn day!
4. Evaluate the results of your action. Is it moving your closer to the end-goal? Change course if needed and...
5. Take new action!

It's simple on paper. Hey, it's a simple process, period! It's the doing that can be difficult. But if that goal is something you really want, something you're totally passionate about bringing into the world, then you'll have an easier time staying motivated.
Bring your passion to the work, be stubborn, don't take no for an answer, and you'll have a hell of a lot of fun achieving your goals.


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