“If you know how to get there, your goal is not big enough.” - Jack Welch
Did you know there is an art and a science to goal-setting? What else would explain the overwhelming number of productivity apps and *ahem* planners available to us? Each comes with its own unique system. But how can we determine which system works best for us and keeps us motivated to stick to it? I’ve been there. Whether it was teetering back and forth from a specific goal or buying more planners without even being a quarter of the way through the one I already had, I know the feeling of searching for something to help make goal-setting, time-management, and committing to my plan a little easier. Whether or not you’re using The Pinnacle Planner, here are 5 tips to empower you the next time you find yourself stuck in a rut on the path to pursuing your goals.
Understand Your Relationship With Your Goals
Before we even begin to write down our goals, it’s important to think about our relationship with them. Have you ever experienced those moments where you were dead set on accomplishing a particular goal in search of fulfillment, only to reach it and not be satisfied? Yep! Me, too. Looking back on it I was thinking of my goals in terms of my final destination instead of as temporary signposts to guide me, equip me, and strengthen me in my journey of personal evolution. The former not only put unnecessary pressure on me it kept me in a constant cycle of creating unrelated goals as a cover-up for something deeper: my lack of an established purpose. This isn’t to say that searching for our one thing until it is found is bad because it is not. What I am saying is that it is important to be aware when we’re in this space and be strategic in identifying a “next move” that acts as a guide instead of as a final destination. Knowing that we never truly arrive but are in a constant state of growing is what will help us establish purposeful goals that are in alignment with a bigger picture.
Be Impeccably Clear With Your Goals
Never underestimate the power of a clear statement. This personal principle of mine applies to both the written and spoken word. Unclear speech only sends contradicting energy into the universe which is essentially the same as Google Maps telling you to always make a left turn to get to your desired location. You’ll always be going in circles. When you write or speak about a goal it is crucial to express it simply, clearly, and with conviction. This simple (but not easy) act sets things in motion. Once started, life unfolds clearly and your sense of navigating the complexities of life become sharper. For example, writing “I want to lose 5 inches off my waist by X date” is much more compelling than “I want to lose weight” or “I want to fit into X size.” The first example gives you a starting point on how to break the goal down into manageable, mini-goals over a particular period of time whereas the other statements do not.
Positively State Your Goals
Our subconscious mind does not respond to negative statements. They simply do not propel us to action. Were you ever motivated to do something for someone after they bashed you for everything you did not do? If you did follow-through, I would bet my bottom dollar you weren’t too enthused about doing it. It was out of mere obligation. To prevent feeling like a prisoner to your own pursuits, always state your goals--and tasks-- in the positive. For example, “I won’t eat out any more, but will start cooking at home” starts on a demoralizing note. Instead, “I enjoy experimenting with different foods to create my healthy body” is a better starting point to propel action and maintain it.
Balance A Sense of Urgency With Your Goals
We’re all aware of establishing deadlines for our goals because otherwise, why have them? But how we go about balancing a sense of urgency with a realistic timeframe to accomplish our goal(s) especially if there are a few competing ones? The answer is establishing your own pace and getting various views of your time. The Yearly Game Plan, Goal-setting page, The Monthly Checklist, Weekly Goal setting, and Daily Focus sections were created to work together to provide the various points of view for you to see your progress unfold. I hadn’t intended for this to be a plug for the structure of The Pinnacle Planner but it works because this is exactly the sequential planning system The Pinnacle Planner was created to do—help you create a cohesive path to the completion of your goal. It’s very difficult to effectively establish deadlines if your efforts, time, and energy are not related to one another. Work backwards to connect your mini-goals to your big picture goals by planning out your creative, manager, and buffer days so that you can create focused yet flexible timelines.
Establish A Pinnacle Goal
What is a Pinnacle Goal, you might ask? Simply put, a goal that is realistic to achieve but the “how” of ways to get there is unknown. This is the essence of a Pinnacle Goal. I shared on our Instagram page the story of my desire to travel. I had a big picture goal of visiting all of the continents but I had no clue how I was going to do that. At the time, I was a recent college graduate working as a nanny making a very modest income. Despite not knowing how I was going to achieve it, I simply started with researching opportunities to help me make this goal a reality. For me, it came in the form of pursuing my Masters in Education with an emphasis in English Language Teaching. This one act then snowballed to me working as an English Language teacher in a few countries and eventually landing me my dream job at the U.S. Department of State where I had the pleasure of working with international audiences and traveling to countries I’ve never even heard of before. The moral of this story: I started with a goal that my circumstances at the time would have easily deemed as a pipe dream. However, my confidence in knowing that it was realistic and juuuust outside of my reach/comfort zone at the time motivated me to bring it to life.
I’m a firm believer in all things working together for a greater good. Creating effective goals from a place of purpose is just one step in the direction of living powerfully and intentionally. Are you ready for it?