An idea that is developed and put into action is more
important than an idea that exists only as an idea.
(Edward de Bono)
Have you ever set a goal that felt outside the realm of possibility? Were you able to achieve it? Or did you find yourself discouraged along the way?
As a young person, I learned that setting outrageous goals was a key to success. If I wanted to achieve something great, I had to reach for something bigger and beyond my reach. This strategy worked from time to time, but there were many goals that I gave up on too early, discarding them as impossible.
This reminds me of a quote that hangs on classroom and locker room walls everywhere,
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.”
– Les Brown
While it may seem like shooting for the moon is the best way to achieve great heights, there might be a better, more reasonable way to set goals.
In his book, Before Happiness, Shawn Achor shares a new goal-setting strategy based on science and research. His recommendation is to, “Design goals or minigoals that you genuinely believe you have more than a 70 percent chance of achieving. If you doubt your likelihood of success from the beginning, then you dramatically decrease your chances of hitting your target.”
If you want to aim for something huge and seemingly impossible, break your big goal into smaller pieces, as described in this article. By focusing on small chunks of your larger goal, you can maintain your motivation and experience mini-acheivements along the way.
Another inspirational quote comes to mind,
“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.”
– Creighton Abrams
It seems that goal setting is like chocolate and wine, or exercise and reality TV – better in moderation! If you are like me and have spent years striving for lofty and unattainable goals, try adjusting them. Write down goals with the 70-percent strategy in mind. Let us know if the new strategy helps you stick with and achieve your goals!
Image via Unsplash
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