How to Set Goals: The #1 Goal Setting Mistake That’s Holding You Back

Mar 3, 2016 | Business, Personal Growth

We need to talk about your goals.

No, not whether you’re meeting them or not…but whether you’re setting them in a way that will enable you to achieve the best possible results in your life.

We tend to get so caught up in the process of how we will meet goals, that we completely overlook whether we’re being helped or hindered by the goals we’ve actually set!

I want to show you a goal setting process that will not only help you set better ones—it will force you to invent the path to completing them.

But first, I want to ask you an important question:

Do you want the best?

Here’s what I mean by that—“the best” means a life where you are giving as much value and serving as many other people as possible.

I think it’s safe to assume we all want that.

So what is stopping you?

I have a pretty good idea, because not only do I see it all the time, I fight it on a daily basis.

You may know me as an author, but I’m also a speaker and business consultant. I work with companies that are already very successful, and I help them go several steps beyond.

The challenge, of course, is that when you want to help a successful company triple their results, you are attempting to guide them to a place they’ve never even imagined.

And you wouldn’t believe how difficult this can be for people who are stuck on outdated definitions of what “the best” actually means.

Their vision of the best is usually the highest mark of what has already been achieved, whether by themselves or someone else in their industry.

They fall into the trap of comparing themselves to the industry standard—the best practices—established by whoever has been most successful in their field. This is true for corporations, athletic teams, entrepreneurs…you name it. Even families suffer from this!

The truth nearly everyone overlooks, however, is that the best runs counter to what “best practices” really are.

After all, best practices are nothing more than the sum total of the way everybody else is thinking.

Professionally and personally, we tend to think that because we have done certain things that have gotten us good results, we should continue doing those same things indefinitely.

It’s a vicious circle.

And what do we do when we finally decide we want better results?

We look for best practices.

We look for industry standards.

We look for the methods of others, and apply them to ourselves. And this can often be a helpful starting place. It can get you from average to good. Occasionally, it can get you to great.

But if you’re after the best, this is the number one goal setting mistake you can make: allowing your methods to determine your possible destination.

When people talk about best practices and industry standards, they’re talking about the way everybody has thought and operated for years. You are literally putting a limit on what you could possibly do because people have never gotten farther than that. Never mind doubling or tripling!

How to Set Goals That Help You Achieve the Best Possible Results

Forget allowing your methods to determine your possible destination. You determine the destination How to set goalsfirst.

I’ll say it again. Don’t let your methods determine your destination. Determine the destination first and then design the methods that will get you there.

The destination you determine should be the very best you can possibly imagine. What is the best possible result?

When you figure out what the best possible result is, you can back up and design methods that will move you toward destination. Your best possible result will provide you with a stake in the ground and you can chart the course that will take you there.

I’ll give you a personal example. You may think it’s outrageous, but here goes.

To guide my thinking, I determined the very best that could be accomplished by a speaker or consultant. I wanted to find a number so ambitious that I would be forced to come up with methods to move toward it.

Do you want to know what I decided upon? Here it is: one million dollars—to consult for a couple of hours and be paid a million dollars.

Why is that the best? Maybe because no one has done it. But I know that it is possible.

It may sound ridiculous, but it’s possible. How, you ask? How would someone earn a million dollars for talking with a company for a couple of hours?

Well, that person would need to add so much value during those two hours that, within six months, the company would make a hundred million dollars.

If that person could change their culture and change their results that drastically, the question would not be whether they’re going to pay him that much or not—the question would be could he talk twice a day? Could he talk three times?

So I put that goal out there and am now hard at work figuring out how to create that much value for other people. I concern myself with the value I am creating and set goals to support my efforts. Any personal results we desire will be a natural outflow from the value we create for others.

Extraordinary goals help you live in expectancy but not expectation.

I don’t have an expectation that I’m going to accomplish this goal, but I’m excited about the possibility. The sense of expectancy is energizing, and inspires me to keep pushing.

The Secret to Better Goal Setting

Goal SettingTo improve our goal-setting abilities, we must dramatically stretch our thought process of what is possible.

It has been proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a shift in thinking creates a shift in choices, actions, and—eventually—results.

That shift in results creates a shift in culture, which changes dramatically within months.

If you want massive results with your family, finances, or business, every single thing starts with your thinking.

“The best” is an ever-expanding target. As your understanding of what is possible expands (hint: your thinking), your determination of what the best is will also expand.

Warning: When you learn to implement this goal setting process, people will doubt you. Many will not believe you. Some will tell you you’re crazy.

Here’s my advice…

Let them continue to think like they think.

These are the people you really want to compete against, because not only will you prove them wrong—you will absolutely dominate them.

What is your best possible result?

Think about next week, next month, next quarter, or next year. Then think five years from now. 10 years. What is possible? What value can you add? Who can you serve? Where can you make the biggest difference?

Determine your best possible result and then chart your course. Leave a comment below and let me know what it is.

You’re only limited by your thinking and I have a feeling you are already thinking bigger, better, and stronger!


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