Reward in Goal Setting
Celebration is a really important thing to do, upon successful completion of any goal. Setting a reward gives you something pleasurable to look forward to, in addition to the fulfillment you experience upon successful completion of your goals. The great thing is that you are not required to spend tons of money to enjoy that celebration! It can be allowing yourself, as one of my clients decided to do, just to read a book of her choosing for pleasure – without feeling guilty and without being disturbed. It could mean a bubble bath, or a trip to your favorite park. Whatever brings you joy is a great way to celebrate.
It’s important to stop at the completion of a goal to celebrate all that has been accomplished, and all that God has shown you during the journey to that point. In fact, you can see it as an act of worship by showing gratitude for His continued presence with you along the way, and for Him giving you the direction, the energy, and all of the other necessary tools to compete the journey. It’s a time of reflection, possible recalibration, and gratitude. It’s also a time to examine lessons learned on both the positive experiences and in the areas involving challenge.
Celebrating a victory here is not just about brining joy to you, alone, though. Your victory celebrations are for others, as well. When you celebrate your victories publicly, you give hope to others who are trying to reach their goals as well. You become living proof that it is possible to accomplish goals. Your celebration might be the very thing that God uses to encourage others to begin their journey on the path He’s placed before them. What a privilege to be used by God in that way.
Relevance in Goal Setting
After you clearly articulate why you want to do something, and create a vision of how reaching that goal will change your life, it’s then time to come clean and admit the relevance of that particular goal. Relevance, in this case, refers to how much you care about this goal enough to make it a priority. Are you willing to let go of or cut something else from your schedule to work on this goal? On a scale of 1-10, how important is it to you to reach this goal? If your answer is a ‘6’, then, yes, it’s true that you’re more than 50% committed. However, in that case, you probably need to take a closer look at the “why” you want to set and reach this particular goal. You may need to recalibrate.
A lower relevance score usually indicates that you’re trying to work on something that’s important to someone else, but you have yet to find or assign your own value to that particular goal. Until you do, your efforts will most likely fall short of achievement or sustainability. A lower score on your relevance scale can also mean that there’s an obstacle you haven’t fully examined or addressed, therefore, you’re not confident that you can achieve the goal. In that case, it’s really important that you drill down and get everything out on the table. It may be that through this process you change direction and disregard this goal altogether, or you might keep the goal and establish a better plan for addressing potential obstacles. Unturned stones here will most likely cause you to stumble in your journey towards reaching your goal. Time to be brutally honest and get to the bottom of how committed you are to this goal!
Next Week: Reward in Goal Setting
The “How Will I Know” of Goal Setting
Last week, I reviewed the “what if” of goal setting as it relates to possible obstacles that can arise and the solutions you create to deal with them on your way to achieving your goals. This week, I’m going to focus on the “how will I know” piece of goal setting.
So far, you’ve drilled down to some concrete specifics on your goal. Now, however, we need to talk about how you will know if you’ve actually been successful in your attempts towards a goal. This may seem obvious, but again, you really need to be careful here.
The “how will I know” aspect of goal setting speaks to the specific measurements that go with a particular goal. If I set a goal that says, “I want to lose weight,” I have not given myself a specific or precise measurement that will let me know if I’ve achieved the goal. Does my goal to lose weight mean that I will be successful if I lose ¼ of a pound? Does it mean that I have been successful by losing 3 pounds?
When you set a goal for yourself, place a specific measurement with it that clearly indicates successful and acceptable accomplishment. In the example of losing weight, you would say, “I want to lose 12 pounds over the next 12 months at the rate of one pound per month.” Each month, if you have not lost the expected pound, then you have not met your objective for that month. If you reach the loss of a pound, you have successfully met your objective for that month. If you lose two pounds, you are ahead of schedule towards your ultimate goal of 12 pounds.
When you do not list a measurable way to track your success, you set yourself up for the very ambiguity that keeps most people from reaching their goals. Measurement is a guide or tool that we use to gauge where we are from the finish line. Do we need to make an adjustment to speed things up or slow things down? Are we ahead of schedule, behind schedule, or completely off track and going the wrong direction?
In many business environments, rewards are awarded to employees who meet their expected goals. If measurement is established when the goal is originally set, then there is no room for inference on the part of the employee or the organization. Either the employee met the goal, or he did not. If he hit the measurement specified, then he reached the goal. If he didn’t hit the measurement, then he did not reach the goal. In that case, it’s not about the emotion of the pursuit. It’s about the end result. Either he achieved the desired result, or he did not.
Simply put – if you don’t know where you’re going – how will you know if you got there?
Next Week: Relevance and Reward