Why repeat what’s not working?

Have you ever set a goal you DIDN’T achieve? Well, haven’t we all. Now compare to the goals you DID achieve – what was different? I know the key to achieving goals. And it’s not what you expect.

All the goals I gave and got in corporate were a combination of numbers and deadlines. Done as SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable (they claimed as they added another stretch), Relevant, and Time-bound.

That is smart, compared to vague and non-descript goals leading us nowhere. But were they motivating? No. Did we continue repeating that process anyway? Yes.

Most goals have a number and a deadline in them. But what they miss, is the ONE thing that will make them happen: an emotional state.

I’m not going all woo-woo and fluffy on you here, we’re talking goal setting that delivers the results we want – in business and in life. We are simply using research-based knowledge of how our brains work and we get our subconscious doing a lot of the heavy lifting for us, while we’re busy doing other things. That’s working smarter, not harder, isn’t it??

From the SMART goals, Relevant could have filled that spot – if it had been relevant to the individual. Most often, though, it was relevant for the business and the strategy. And if we had made it relevant for the individual, it wouldn’t have fitted the cascading template where one CEO’s goals can filter through to all 12,000 employees at the push of a button.

To make it relevant for the individual, we need to take into account the personal profile and preferences. The culture, mindset and behavioural filters. Just stating a goal with numbers and a deadline is like telling Chinese their goal in Spanish. We wouldn’t do that, would we?

All of my life, I have translated the official goals into something meaningful for me. And set me up to succeed down to even the smallest of daily goals.

Based on my last 6 years as a certified mindset business coach, I now know how I did that: translating goals into emotional states. Taking into account my DISC behavioural profile, my preferred energy masculine/feminine, my cultural lens and the macro patterns of how I’m motivated (whether we’re “moving away from” or “moving towards” motivated as one of the more than 12 macro patterns). Making them come alive. In your mind within a few minutes – not having to spend hours or days creating vision boards, videos or mantras for each little goal (or wasting time beating yourself up afterwards when you didn’t make it happen).

To keep it simple and applicable: to achieve your goals, get the emotional state clear. How will it make you feel when you have nailed that goal? What would that mean to you? And what’s then possible? Translate it into your motivational language.

Let’s get truly smarter with our goal-setting – creating goals that engage and motivate us and our teams. Let’s stop repeating what’s not working.