Developing the Goal
Have you read the other articles in the How to leap series? This step is far more useful if you have done the pre work, so please check out the other installments of this series.
After you have done the positivity reinforcing work of developing your focal value set and revealing your future goal, it’s time to shape the goal to make it more achievable.
Many models have been created to develop goals. SMART is one of the most popular; being Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound or you can go with SMARTER, developed by Michael Hyatt which adds “Excitement” and “Risk Assessed” at the end of SMART. Reg Connolly at Pegasus NLP has also developed PECSAW, which represents Positive, Evidenced, Contextual, Self-Achievable, Advantages and Disadvantages and Worthwhile.
All of these models are excellent and have certainly helped me, so I decided to combine them and introduce a few other steps that support the resilience of your objective as well.
I am calling it the THRIVABLE model.
Every goal needs a clear timeframe to achievement. Ideally, even if the overall goal is achieved 5 to 10 years from today, you will need success milestones along the way. Develop your main goal time frame, and the smaller goals that will keep propelling you forward. Us humans are not very good and long term rewards, so giving yourself shorter term goals aligned to your long term vision gets you closer to your ultimate aim.
H: Habit Forming
We know the importance of habits. If you don’t, think about the habits you have now. We have good and bad habits, and for most of us, they are so routine, we don’t even think about them anymore. We have habits around the first thing we do when we wake up, how we prepare before we begin cleaning our homes. There is numerous literature on how long it takes to form habits. 18 days. 21. 28. 66. 200+. In the context of a long term goal however its really in your interest to shape some of the behaviours that will support its achievement into habits, so that you can relax into them, allowing you to take on board new skills and practices later on.
R: Risk and Opportunity Assessed
In the process of working toward your goal and its achievement, you will open up new possibilities for yourself as your skills increase, your focus becomes clearer, and your actions more purposeful. Besides, you also expose yourself to risk; firstly in terms of time as you may begin to pursue new possibilities, but also in terms of relationships, exposure, external forces etc. It’s important to spend a bit of time anticipating both sides of this coin so that you have a recovery plan or next step to draw on. This can help you to prevent derailment along the way.
Your central goal must access how you are unique, drawing on your creativity, your curiosity, and that which grounds you. It must stretch you such that after you achieve it your comfort zone has expanded in diameter, but it must also align to your ideals and values as compromising these can shrink you later on. This is the stuff fuels your goal.
It may seem obvious, but the goal must be valuable and worthwhile. The trick here is in how you measure that value. Most goals have both quantitative and qualitative aspects to them. There is probably something you can see and measure, but there is also meaning, attribution of self-worth, internal experiences, and external acknowledgements that can also support measurement.
A: Achievable on your own
Even if you are team-oriented, consider what you can do for the team, when you are setting your goal. To expand your comfort zone and make an even more valuable contribution, you need to know where you can optimise what you do on your own. Most goals can be broken down to extract your specific role in its achievement.
Achieving your goals should not require so much sacrifice that your life is imbalanced. If it is, you may need to consider extending the timelines, or outsourcing more of it. Balance is key to sustainability and is a good reference for gauging when the risk profile of your goal is creeping up. You may at certain vital points need to make sacrifices, but it’s not recommended to sacrifice during the entire duration of your goal. Balance should be considered in terms of your physical, psychological and spiritual health, your relationships, and your job, and should be built-in to your programme on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Balance should become part of the habits you form when you shape your goal.
L: Leverage Learning & Leave a Legacy
Acknowledge that 5 to 10 years is a long time, and we live in an age of rapid change. What we are uniquely skilled at will need to shift, adjust and change, as will the way we evaluate our goal, or even the goal itself. It is important to maintain a healthy level of curiosity and desire to learn, as well as build in time for that learning to take place.
Leave a legacy
Your goal should leave a mark, not only when it’s achieved, but along the journey as well. Think about ways to leave your mark. You can do podcasts, video logs, write blogs, share your lessons in some way, but leave some bread crumbs about the incredible journey you will experience enroute to your achievement.
E: Evidence, Empower, Ecosystem
You must be able to articulate all the ways you will know that your goal is achieved and the signs that will give you the assurance that you are on your way. Think about these things, then build them into your journey plan. You may even continue to use your journaling work, to help you record and track the key events along the way.
The goal you set must empower you, and it is not bad If it also has the effect of empowering others around you as well. This way you thrive as an ecosystem.
Share with us your thoughts on the THRIVABLE model and how you experience it! If you need additional support, contact me here.
Review our other articles in this series before you get going, and get in touch for additional support on making the goal stick.