What you can learn from a 6 year old about goal setting
If you are like most people, you set goals during one set time of the year, usually in January. OR you believe in this foolishness of “making a New Year’s Resolution”. Resolutions are just about worthless. IF you want to do something, why on earth would you wait for January to set and start that goal???
Goal setting is a year round habit that
you should be actively pursuing.
This summer, my wife and I worked out a few goals for my 6 year old that were to be completed this summer before he went back to school. Since they directly benefited him, he was very eager to participate.
- Learn to ride his bike without training wheels
- Learn to tie his shoes
- Learn to tell time on a real watch
Well within the first two weeks of summer vacation, he has managed to complete TWO goals (riding the bike and tying his shoes)! Now for those of you with children you know that teaching any of these goals can be an exasperating and frustrating experience. Not to mention dangerous. I mean, when was the last time you set a goal that involved potential bloodshed and broken bones!!??!
But his goals followed the S.M.A.R.T. principle for goal setting. Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Timely. All goal setting must be measured by the SMART principle. Let’s look at #2. Learning to tie his shoes.
- Specific: About as specific as you can get. Learn to tie shoes
- Measurable: Yep, either it is tied in a nice bow, or it is a jumbled mess of laces.
- Actionable: I would say so. The goal is in his hands to take action
- Relevant: Oh yes indeed. What respectable first grader can’t tie their shoes.
- Timely: Check. His goal was “by the end of the summer before he went back to school.” A very hard deadline.
“Just Do It!” Nike
Where are YOU with your goals? Now is a good time for a reality check- in on your goals. Don’t have any goals you say? Oh my!! You need to get cracking… If you don’t have goals you will stagnate. Stop reading right now and SET A GOAL! Any goal, that follows the SMART model. “I will increase my monthly profits by selling 10 more widgets by July 31st. I will sell 10 more by doing this, that and the other thing”. DO IT NOW!! (literally, do it now. what are you waiting for?)
Now for a real stretch… Set another goal. RIGHT NOW!!
“Do Or Do Not, There Is No Try” Yoda
So in a span of just a few minutes, you now have 2 goals to achieve. If you are in business, the way to exponential growth is my taking massive action. You cannot work on your goals sequentially. They must occur simultaneously. Oh sure, if you want piddly little 2% increases in your business or personal life, go ahead and work sequentially. Start and finish one goal, before you move onto the next. Your growth will be like a sloth. Slow and prodding.
But if you want to achieve massive results in a short period of time you must complete your goals simultaneously. Think about Lee Iacocca and the turn around with Chrysler. He was facing massive issues with the banks, unions, employees, production, and poor image and quality. He could not work on just one goal at a time. He could not just improve the quality of the cars and ignore the issues of the banks and unions. Chrysler would have been bankrupt within days. He had to simultaneously attack every issue under the sun at the same time to save the company.
You need to do the same thing. To achieve exponential improvement and growth you need to be working simultaneously and not sequentially on you goals.
Now if a six year old can achieve these two monumental life altering goals (hey they are monumental and life altering to a six year old. He has avoided the ridicule of his friends) you too can set a few goals for the next 30 days.
He now has the rest of the summer to focus on his last goal of telling time. Not to mention soccer camp, swimming lessons, bug collecting and all of the other stuff six year olds do on summer vacation. Knowing him, this will be completed well ahead of deadline.