How I Set Goals, Evaluate Results, and Adjust for Reality

A couple of you have asked why I went quiet all of a sudden, so I thought I would give you a sneak peak into to how I set goals, evaluate the results, and adjust for reality. This is probably the most important thing you can do when trying to make a significant change in your life. And I’m going to tell you all about it, PLUS there are a couple of big announcements!

How to Set Goals

There are a variety of ways to approach setting goals from the SMART framework to the slightly tweaked SMARTER framework from Michael Hyatt. For the majority of my goals I follow the SMARTER framework, but I have found in my life there are some goals that are repetitive (especially work goals) and for those goals I use the SMARTER framework to make what I call a Mega-Goal.

Let’s say you have a repetitive goal at work to sell a certain amount of product. Each year that goal will probably increase a bit, but it is really the same goal: Sell $XXX,XXX of product this year. The vast majority of us do good work, meet our quota, and move on. If we start every year with that same goal it will feel stale to and not really risky.

What I do with that type of goal is pretend it doesn’t exist. I make a Mega-Goal, a goal that doesn’t even remotely resemble the goal set for me by the company. I might say, “In 2023, I want to be asked to lead the entire sales organization at my company.” or “In 2023, I want to be asked to give a presentation to the head of my division about how I have been so successful in sales.”

I achieve that goal, by default I will have achieved the goals set by my company. Mega-Goals renew our competitive spirit, they give us a new way to look at what has become routine in our lives, and they call us to radically alter what we thought was possible.

How to Evaluate Results

Regular evaluation, whether a Mega-Goal or a SMARTER goal, is critical. For SMARTER goals you should be reviewing your goals on a weekly basis. (Frankly, spending 5 minutes each morning just reminding yourself of your goals is also helpful.) This evaluation doesn’t need to be extremely cumbersome. Just think about where you stand, if anything is surprising you, if there are roadblocks, if there are things that need to change. With Mega-Goals I like to choose either milestones or time related check points. With the blog I set a time related check point: After 4 weeks we shut it down to evaluate.

Here is the data for those 4 weeks.

For a small little site this is not bad. I know most of what is happening here is because I have friends who like me and want to read about what I’m doing with my life. I intentionally wrote about a wide variety of things and use some clickbait headlines to see what would happen. (You guys bit hard for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! Shame on you.)

So, I know some of what works and what doesn’t work. But more importantly what I determined this month is what we are going to be doing moving forward.

How to Adjust to Reality

When I started this blog I thought I would just write a blog. Here’s what is happening in my life, here are some things I’m thinking about, and some things I think are important for you to be thinking about.

As the month wore on and some feedback came in, the reality is that people are very interested in breaking out of “normal”. The idea that you can radically change parts of your life while being married/having kids/keeping a real job is appealing.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to focus on inspiring people that they do not have to settle for the status quo simply because they have reached middle age. (Or any age for that matter.)

Exciting Announcements

The first announcement is the format change. Instead of trying to post 5 days a week,I’m going to shoot for one really well written post each week. I am also going to be launching a podcast with one new episode each week. And finally, I will be providing you with one immediately actionable email newsletter each week. (Sign up for the newsletter.)

The second announcement is that October 23, 2020 will be exactly 40 days until I turn 40 years old. I have decided to do something completely crazy for these last 40 days.

Some of you may know that I host a weekly Facebook Live with my friend Matt Koziuk called “Tell You What I Think”. Every Thursday night at 8pm we spend an hour talking about anything but politics and coronavirus. Well, on October 22, 2020 I will announce this crazy thing that I’m doing for the next 40 days.

Wrap Up

I am so glad you are reading this. I hope more than anything I can inspire you to renovate whatever parts of your own life that have become outdated and aren’t serving you well.

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