Setting outrageous goals, Part 1 – What in the past year made you squeal, laugh, roar, kick, hop and dance with delight?

Posted on December 18, 2009



Time to set some outrageous goals.  Some scary, crazy, ridiculous goals.  And then to publish them.

But first, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Why do we need personal goals? Well, all of us chickens are sitting here in this blog-chicken house because we want to live lives that matter.  And one of the biggest things you can do to live a life that matters is to take your life off autopilot.  Where are you going?  What are you doing?  WHY are you doing that?  If you set personal goals, you can set your course and GO.  If you float along on autopilot, how will you create value?  How will you matter?

Personal goals make the going easier.  Remember Jack Sparrow on Pirates of the Caribbean?  When he wasn’t sure what he wanted, his magic compass stopped working, and he was left guessing at the directions to give his crew.  For me, If I run a race and I can’t see my finish line, I will heed the little voices in my  head that tell me I’m tired, I’m sweaty, I look awful, my knees ache, etc., etc., etc. and I will slow down or stop.  This in spite of the fact that I know very well that running is good for me, will make me look too sexy!, will provide a great example for my kids, will give me more energy, yadda, yadda, yadda.  BUT!  If I can see that end point or finish line, well, there’s no point in stopping now, it’s just over there, in fact maybe I can even pick up the pace and smile at the cameras and lift my feet off the ground.  Similarly, if I know what my goal is and I keep it in the forefront of my little brain, I can steer myself in that direction and stay motivated.

So, here are some ideas to get started with setting outrageous goals for 2010.

  1. Set a limited number of goals, maybe 3-6 because
  2. Your goals should be audacious, stretch goals.  Why?
    • Ask Tim Ferriss of the 4 Hour Work Week.  There is less competition when you set outrageous goals, so you’re more likely to succeed
    • Tim also says you feel more satisfaction when you succeed in an audacious goal than when you succeed in an easy goal
    • Audacious goals make you try something or risk something you haven’t tried or risked before.  So you learn.  When you learn, the value of the activity TO YOU increases, even if you don’t attain your initial objective.  See that?  When you set an audacious goal, even failure = success.
      • A man does not climb a mountain without bringing some of it away with him, and leaving something of himself upon it. – Sir Martin Conway
      • It’s not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly…. Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat. -Teddy Roosevelt
  3. Your goals must mean something to YOU: they must create value (for you), enable change, help you evolve, be aligned with your calling.
  4. Start with past successes.  Now, just for fun, think about 2009.  [picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=dancer+silhouette&iid=222682″ src=”0219/2a9ef270-f232-4356-9c35-5fbdff1b09ba.jpg?adImageId=8467960&imageId=222682″ width=”234″ height=”456″ /]If you need to, pull out your calendar, your photo album, your souvenirs, and whatever else reminds you of your triumphs.  One great source of ideas for goal setting is your triumphs from the past.  What made you squeal, laugh, roar, kick, hop and dance with delight?  Any accomplishment that makes you voluntarily act in an undignified manner qualifies.  Wouldn’t it be great to repeat that?  For me, the highlight of 2009 (so far :)) was writing a book.  I could have danced all night . . .
  5. Build on that success.  Now, to make your goals for 2010 challenging, you might need to mix things up a bit.  Of course, if climbing to the top of Mt. Everest was YOUR high point (hehehe), I think a simple repeat would still be pretty audacious.  But for most of us, simply repeating the success of this past year may not be enough of a challenge.  In which case, think about how you might build on that success.  Did you finish a long distance bike tour and raise money for charity?  Set your fundraising goal higher.  Run your very first 5k?  Try a 10K.  Try karaoke?  Sing for a choir.  For me, I want to do NaNoWriMo again AND I want to take my existing manuscript, edit the heck out of it, review it with my best critiquers and then send it to dozens of agents and editors.

So that’s the way to get started with your goal setting.  Think of a goal to delight yourself, something that will satisfy your soul.  It could be work-related (if you have a job that satisfies your soul, you are blessed), or related to your calling, your health, your soul/spirit, your physical health, or your relationships.  You decide what’s important.  After you’ve figured out at least one goal based on your own delight, we’ll look at other aspects of goal setting and fulfillment.

And please!  Share in the comments your experience with goal setting.  Would love to know what worked, what didn’t and what you learned.  What are YOUR goals for next year?

thanks to Marelisa at Abundance Blog for the great quotes.

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NEXT TIME: Don’t set goals that suck.

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