29 January 2010

Most of us are familiar with Goals and the importance of setting them. We all know that having a direction in life, an aim to aspire to is one of the cornerstones of a successful and happy life. In this blog we will discuss Goals in greater detail, breaking them down into their two main subsections, namely Outcome Based Goals (OBG) and Process or Behavioural Goals (PG). Outcome Based Goals are the type of goal most people set for themselves as well as being the predominate type of goal people employ around their health. Outcome Based Goals are ones such as:

  • I want to be a millionaire
  • I want to holiday in Europe
  • I want to be healthy and fit
  • I want to lose 10kilos / or weigh 55kgs

They are goals that have a defined outcome and as such are often very useful as a way of being able to measure the success / failure of people’s efforts. If our goal is to weigh 55kgs then it is very easy to know whether we have achieved this goal simply by standing on the scales. Having well structured Outcome Based Goals can greatly enhance our chances of success and help to give us the necessary feedback to adjust our course and efforts as we move towards our goal. Outcome Based Goals are helpful to us because if we do not know where we are going then it can be very difficult to get there! Imagine wanting to go on a holiday and walking into a Flight Centre saying to the Travel Agent “I would like to go on a holiday” and they reply “Great! Where you would like to go?” To which you then say, “I don’t know.” It would make for a tricky time planning your holiday. Walking into and saying you wanted to go to Hawaii for 2 weeks in September would make the achievement (and planning) much easier and be much more likely to realise. Next time you are setting a goal, ask yourself a couple of questions to help ensure you set a goal that will give you the greatest chance of success at achieving it.

1. Is this goal Specific? Can I easily articulate and define what it is I am after? Numbers are often useful in this regard.
2. Can I measure it? How to evaluate whether or not I have actually achieved it?
3. Does it stretch me somewhat yet still be within the realms of what is realistic and possible for me? If you are a person who regularly sets and achieves goals then make your next one a bit more of a stretch, if you don’t have the greatest track record of goal achievement then resize the goal a bit to make it more achievable, you can always upsize later on.
4. Does it have a time component? Either having a start or completion date, nothing like having the deadline of time to prompt some action. Many times people will start the diet ‘someday’ or want to lose 10kgs ‘one day’. Unfortunately for most someday and one day never arrive.

If you are incorporating these questions into your goal setting you are well on the way to creating quality Outcome Based Goals that will contribute to enhancing the quality, happiness and success of your life.