Goal Setting Secrets – Setting Measurable Goals


The literature, which supports the effectiveness of proper goal setting, is overwhelming. I must emphasize however the words ‘proper goal setting.’ The small percentage of people who do set goals, do so incorrectly which is why over half of people who make New Year’s Resolutions abandoned them after three months. One of the biggest problems for people in the goal setting process is that they fail to set measurable goals. Take for example the following list of some of the most popular goals set by people.

o Spend more time with family.

o Get in shape

o Have more fun

Proper Goal Setting requires your goals to be measurable.

These are all great ideas but they are not goals. Remember when you went to the family reunion and someone had set up the volleyball net. Slowly more and more people made their way over to the court while you rallied and played around. After a period of time, rallying gets boring an inevitably someone says, “let’s play for real.” Suddenly the game changes. Now you have people getting in their ready stance, positioning becomes important, people start diving for balls and arguing whose ball that was that just landed in between them. What changed to make people behave differently? The ball is the same, the court is the same, even the people are the same. What changed was the fact that now you are measuring. Now as you count points, effort matters. At the end of the game there will be a winner and a loser.

The principle is true for all areas of life. If you really want to change something then you must measure it. Another way to look at this is whatever you measure, you focus on, and what you focus on you change. When you engage in goal setting, you have to set goals that can be measured.

Lets take a look again at the goal ‘Spend more time with family.’ How are we going to measure this? How will we know when we have reached the desired amount of time to deem ‘successful’? We need to break this down and ask ourselves, what does this goal look like? I once had a goal setting session where I set a goal resembling ‘Spend more time with family.’ My family helped me out by defining it for me. This is what they said:

o Stay off the computer between 5:00pm and 8:00pm

o Take my wife on a date every other week.

o Once a week have a one-on-one with one of the kids.

Now I had something I could measure. At the end of a few months I could even give you a percentage of how I had done. My family was not looking for perfection here but improvement. If I could show my family that 80% of the time I had done what they had asked, they would certainly determine that to be successful. My family really helped me out that day in my goal setting process.

What about the goal ‘Get in shape’ what does that look like? Last I checked ’round’ was a shape but I don’t think that’s the shape you are talking about. If this is one of your goals you have to break this down into something you can measure. Is it a certain weight you want to reach, inches you want to lose, a cholesterol number you want to get to, a blood pressure reading you want to lower? After you have defined what ‘Shape’ is then you have to set some measurable goals that are going to get you there. They might be things like exercise for 45 minutes three times a week, or stick to my meal plan everyday, or cut out all junk food. Make sure you goal setting is as practical as possible.

Now let’s take a look at the last goal to ‘Have more fun.’ Again, how will you know when you have reached this? Last time I checked there was no such thing as a Fun-Meter, which you could hook yourself up to and get a reading. First of all what activities are fun for you? Once you determine that then do some goal setting to motivate you to do those activities more often. Lets say hanging out with friends is what really gets you jazzed, then set some goals for times with friends every month. You might want to set aside two Saturdays each month for entertaining guests and designate one weeknight as movie night where you go and check out the latest movies. Goal setting in the areas of things like time with friends may seem a bit weird, but if it helps you build some new habits, it is worth it.

The secret is to make your goals measurable otherwise they are not really goals at all but rather good intentions. But if you take the time to find a way to measure your goals and create the supporting steps to help get you there, in no time at all you will experience incredible success in your life. Remember that your goal setting must be measurable.

Source by James Robbins

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