Goal Training-Part Two

Are your New Year’s Resolutions starting to lose their luster? Tired of making inspiring goals only to be thwarted by, um, life? Sick of feeling like a failure every time you try to accomplish that goal you’ve had forever?

Last post, I expounded on the number one reason most big goals fail: They are not well-planned out. Having a goal with no strategy or game plan is a recipe for failure. The first step one needs to take after one makes a goal is surprisingly obvious yet frequently neglected. Yep, you got it. As soon as you articulate a goal, you must then break it down into its smaller components. Below, I explain the next step to making sure that you WILL achieve whatever it is you’ve set out to accomplish.

But first, a disclaimer: this type of goal setting IS tedious and IS time-consuming at the get-go. Don’t get discouraged by the amount of mental energy it takes to plan these steps before you even get started. Putting in the work now, before you even more into action, is what will guarantee your success. Also, if you practice this goal training for a while, you will begin to notice that your brain will naturally start breaking down goals into smaller components and even smaller steps. You will naturally begin rewarding yourself when you accomplish ridiculously easy steps (more on this in Part Three). And you may notice, as I have, that setting goals becomes kind of like a game where you know you have set yourself up for victory. I would even go so far as to say that sometimes it can almost be fun.  

In my last post, I used the example of cleaning and organizing my entire kitchen as one of my big, hairy, audacious goals (or BHAG as those of us who are fond of acronyms like to call them). For you, cleaning and organizing your kitchen may not be such a big deal. But this resolution had made it onto my New Year’s list time and time again until I learned these four steps to accomplishing goals. So in this post, I will illustrate for you how I used these steps to be successful. You can use this goal training for ANY goal with which you’ve had issues accomplishing in it the past. And I would highly encourage you to continue to use it for any goals you set in the future. It is easy, versatile and effective.

Goal Training-Part Two

Once you break your BHAG down into its smaller components, you then take each smaller component and break it down into what Martha Beck calls “ridiculously easy” steps to accomplish. How does one know if one has created a ridiculously easy step? By putting each step against this litmus test: these steps take some kind of effort, but they are so easy, you have 100% confidence that you can accomplish them. If you’d like an example, take one of the smaller components from my BHAG and see how I did this below.

BHAG: Clean and organize kitchen.

Smaller Component One: Project Refrigerator-Clean and organize the fridge (and throw out the science experiments).

Ridiculously Easy Steps to accomplishing the cleaning and organizing of the fridge:

1. Turn off the refrigerator.

2. Take all of the condiments out of the shelves on the fridge door and put these on the kitchen counter.

3. Remove all of the food and food products from the shelves inside the fridge.

4. Remove all of the fruits, veggies, meats and cheese from the bins in the fridge.

5. Wipe down/clean the shelves in the fridge.

6. Wipe down/clean the shelves on the fridge door.

7. Pull out the bins.

8. Pour a sink full of hot, soapy water.

9. Wash bin one.

10. Wash bin two.

11. Wash bin three.

12. Wash bin four.

13. Dry all four bins.

14. Put bins back into the fridge.

15. Put the condiments back in the fridge door, checking expiration labels and throwing out expired food.

16. Put the food products back on the fridge shelves, checking expiration labels and throwing out expired food.

17. Put the appropriate food back into the bins.

18. Turn on the refrigerator again.

Each of these steps, in isolation, is ridiculously easy for me. Pulling the condiments out of the fridge? No problem. Filling the sink with some dish soap and hot water? Simple. Washing ONE bin? Easy. No, actually ridiculously easy.   

Now it’s your turn. Take one of the smaller components of your BHAG and break it into ridiculously easy steps. Next post, Part Three, we’ll talk about the bribes, I mean rewards, you will give yourself in order to keep the momentum going.

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~ by projectlifedesign on January 21, 2010.

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