Monday, October 12, 2009

Creating Shapeable Goals (Read Time: 3 min.)

One of the biggest mistakes any person can make on the extraordinary success journey is to create goals that are rigid and unchangeable. Your life is constantly changing. Who you are and what you can do in your teens is very different from the person you become in your forties. The same applies to every growth period of your life.

Far too many people believe in the “I can be all things no matter what’s going on in my life” mantra. Not so!

Your goals, if you are to achieve them in an extraordinary way, must be shapeable.

What do I mean by shapeable?

Shapeable goals are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timebound GIVEN the context of your present life circumstances.

Let me give you an example.

Paula and Janet both want to start their very first businesses. Both came from a career in corporate America. Both are passionate, capable, and extremely prepared to start their ventures. Paula is 31 and just had a baby three months ago. Janet is 45 and just sent her last child off to college. Paula has a wonderful husband who is very supportive but works 70 hours a week. Janet has a wonderful husband as well who works 40 hours a week and helps her with the technical side of her business. Paula is a wiz with computers and is currently designing her website, setting up her online payment system, and is drafting email marketing campaigns. Janet sleeps 8 hours a night. With breastfeeding, Paula is lucky if she gets 3 hours a night and, since her husband can’t help in the feeding area, she’s the one who’s up all night with the baby.

Now, can we assume that BOTH Paula and Janet will build, launch and start making money from their businesses in exactly the same time frame? No, we can’t. The context of their lives are drastically different and, therefore, neither can expect to attain the same goals in the same amount of time given the vast difference in those situations.

You are not who you were yesterday. You will not be the same person tomorrow so it makes sense to create goals that work for where your life is right now. Too many people succumb to the pressures of self-imposed, UNREALISTIC expectations and set goals that, in all honesty, given the current context of their lives, they will never reach. This isn’t pessimism; it’s called being a practical dreamer.

Napolean Hill said “Practical dreamers don’t quit.” What he failed to mention was that practical dreamers know how to scrap plans that don’t work for the context of their present life situations and keep scrapping those plans until they find one that works.

How do you find the plan that works? Develop shapeable goals.

Be willing to change your mind about your goals without blaming or faulting yourself for not achieving what you originally thought you could. Don’t look at setbacks as failures; see them as opportunities to re-evaluate and come up with a better plan. Be open to change. Your ability to rock and roll with the changing nature of life itself is a competitive advantage that EVERY extraordinarily success person possesses.

Most importantly, set yourself up for success by fully considering the current circumstances of your life. This doesn’t mean you play the victim or you play small. It does mean that you accept the pace of your life and you create goals that work within that pace.

No matter how fast or furious you see other people going, know that every great achievement was arrived going ONE STEP AT A TIME.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I think we all need to give ourselves permission to rethink, redirect and reshape. Loving your blog!