Overwhelmed By Your Goals? Discover 3 Questions to Maintain Momentum

Jack Canfield 12-17

Overwhelmed By Your Goals? Discover 3 Questions to Maintain Momentum The new year kicks off with high expectations and motivation. But by early February, momentum slows. A sense of overwhelm is often the source of friction that slows the progress of achieving our goals. Some people become overwhelmed because they set too many goals. Others find that the size of their goals paralyzes them. The solution is to set realistic goals and prioritize where you spend your time.

What Is Your Motivation?

The ideal goal is one that forces you to grow to achieve it, yet is not so big that it seems impossible. For some people, a big goal is adopting a consistent exercise program. For others, "big" is as expansive as ending world hunger. Each person has a unique threshold for what will stretch them.

Start by reviewing your list of goals and questioning your motivation for setting each. If we approach goal setting with the wrong mindset, it can be tempting to dismiss our small or highly personal goals as unworthy when compared with goals set by others. In an effort to feel better about ourselves and our goals, we tend to abandon the goals that bring us great joy in favor of goals that look and sound good.

Did you set a goal of writing a book, starting a business, or ending world hunger because that's what you really want? Or did they make it on your list because you thought they'd make you look good to others? If you discover that you set goals only because you thought they were more worthy, remove them from your list.

Is Your Goal Realistic?

Another way we can become paralyzed is by setting unrealistic goals. For example, consider the goal that I often hear from entrepreneurs: Generating $1 million in revenue in the next year. If your business is already generating $350,000 a year, tripling your revenue is a goal that will stretch you. However, if you have been unemployed for three years and are only launching a new business this year, thinking that you'll make $1 million in a year is unrealistic. Without the infrastructure, relationships, products and systems in place, achieving that big of a target may not be impossible, but it is unrealistic.

If you find a goal that is unrealistic, one solution is to set milestone goals that you'll achieve on the way to conquering your big goal.

Raymond Aaron, a world-renowned expert on goal setting and member of my Transformational Leadership Council, teaches us to set three levels of goals:

* Minimum. What is the minimum level you need to establish a strong foundation? This might be creating $100,000 in business revenue.

* Target. Once you've establish a foundation, what is a milestone goal that will stretch you? This might be to generate $500,000 in business revenue - a point at which you'll have abundant income to invest in your company's growth, as well as reward yourself as an owner.

* Outrageous. This is the level that looks unrealistic from where you are starting, but that is possible as a long-term goal. In the example I used earlier, it would be to generate $1 million in revenue.

Do You Have Too Many Goals?

When the source of overwhelm is the number of goals you're trying to achieve, the solution is simple: Focus on fewer goals at one time.

One way to prioritize our goals is to compare them one by one. Imagine that you have four goals. Consider goal one and goal two. If you could only do one of them, which is most important to you? Now take the "winner" - let's say it's goal one - and compare it to the next goal on your list. Is goal one still the winner, or is it less important than goal three? Go through this process until all of your goals have been prioritized in their order of importance to you.

A second way to prioritize your goals is to create a matrix of six columns. List your goals down the left side of the page in column one. In the remaining columns, answer these questions about each goal:

* Column 2: How much money could I make if I achieve this goal?

* Column 3: What impact will achieving this goal have on the world?

* Column 4: How many hours will it take to achieve this goal?

* Column 5: How many people need to be involved to achieve this goal?

* Column 6: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing absolute joy and 10 representing pain, how much happiness will achieving this goal bring me?

By completing the matrix, we're able to easily see which goals will generate the most money, impact and happiness as a return on our investment of time and energy.

Dreaming Big IS Good

Setting lots of goals - including what I call Big, Hairy Audacious Goals - are the mark of a successful person. Use these three questions to ensure that you can dream big without becoming paralyzed by the size of your dreams.


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