I used to really struggle with goal setting. I hated setting my goals low, but I felt like such a failure if I set them too high and didn’t achieve them. And I was embarrassed to share them with anyone. Then one of my coaches shared with me three concepts from Heidi Grant Halvorson’s book Succeed that really changed my relationship with goal-setting.
1) Goals are to keep us aiming in the right direction. They are not for us to arrive at. Goals should be big and challenging and should keep us moving forward. If you’re consistently accomplishing your goals, you’re probably setting them too low.
2) Goals are not about proving that I’m good enough to hit them. Goals are about constantly growing and improving my skills. Dr. Halvorson says, “Focus on getting better, rather than being good.” If we set goals that we know we can achieve, then there’s no growth involved. Setting goals that require us to learn, to acquire new skills, and to go outside of our comfort zone are what cause us to grow.
3) My goals are not my identity. My goals are a tool to help me grow. Not hitting my goals says nothing about me. Constantly growing and getting better says a lot about me.
So set high goals. Work hard to reach them. And be happy when you don’t. The only reason they’re there is to help you get better and better. And when you do reach them, keep moving the goal post.
Steve Johnsen is a marketing strategist, a business coach, and the Founder of Cloud Mountain Marketing. He is also the author of the Amazon #1 best-seller, 5 Easy Steps to Make Your Website Your #1 Employee.