How HIGH Are YOU Aiming?

In business, thinking differently about goal setting can be a real game changer. By now most of us are familiar with the concept of SMART goals - an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. While it’s important to give as much detail as possible when setting goals to ensure that they are specific, measurable, realistic and have a time line; sticking to goals that are achievable on the other hand may limit us from stretching ourselves to achieving high goals.

So, when you set goals, be sure to include the big ones – the ones that will stretch you.

You know, the kinds of goals that make you a little uncomfortable because they are radical, difficult or on a large scale. If you aim high in business, even if you don't quite hit the mark, you will inevitably end up doing much better than you would have otherwise. Why? Because high goals generate greater effort than low goals, and the highest or most difficult goals produce the greatest levels of effort and performance.

But most importantly, stretching goals make you grow because you learn new skills, build new relationships, learn to overcome challenges and fear; you even get to surprise yourself by discovering capabilities you never knew you possessed. As Jim Rohn once said: “You want to set a goal that is big enough that in the process of achieving it you become a person worth becoming”.

So, the personal development that you achieve along the way far outweighs all the material by-products of your success. Sometimes you may lose money or humiliate yourself because stretched goals are by definition very big, risky and can take several years to achieve. The point is, what you become in the process of achieving these kinds of goal can never be taken away regardless of whether you achieve them or not.

So, how do you go about achieving these big goals? Well, how do you eat an elephant? – cut it into little chunks. The key is to break a large goal down into small, manageable but interlinked parts.

If you want to become a published author, for instance, the odds of success can be improved by starting with articles or memoirs so as to get feedback from your readers, understand your target market better, and refine your writing skills. Over time these memoirs or articles can become the basis of your book. This is the point where you start thinking of the overall structure of the book, editing, publishing, marketing etc. These are small wins that you execute over time.

Essentially, to achieve high goals, it is best to start with smaller projects that encompass the range of tasks involved in larger projects in order to refine your abilities and gain confidence.

So, for each sub-goal, define the outcomes in detail - key deliverables, due dates and people responsible for each component. This way, there is visible and measurable progress towards the completion of the larger goal while showing consistent discipline in execution.

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