The ABC of Goals

Over the last week I’ve been in a hotel in Markham, just outside Toronto, Canada with 100 people and Bob Proctor at the Matrixx event focussing on our goals and how we can help each other achieve them.

I’ve written about goals and goal setting before and you may remember why it’s not smart to set ‘SMART’ goals.

One of the first things I learnt this week is that for quite a while, although I’ve been setting and achieving goals, they were the wrong kind of goals.

Well not ‘wrong’ exactly, but not really ‘goals’.

You see, these were what Bob calls ‘A’ goals.

Goals you know exactly how to achieve, exactly what to do to achieve them and you have the resources to do it.

It’s really easy to get seduced by A goals and think you are achieving all your goals with great success.

This is great for our self-confidence, but it doesn’t really get us anywhere.

We’re not really stretching, not making ‘progress’ and not growing.

You could perhaps call them the ‘low hanging fruit’ goals.

We get into what I’d call ‘real’ goals when we have goals we think we know how to achieve, we might need some help achieving, we might need to learn something new to achieve and we might need extra resources to achieve.

These are ‘B’ goals. You and I have a good idea how to achieve these goals and perhaps an outline plan.

We’re confident that we can do it, but it will take some research and planning to get done.

B goals are not projects that we can walk straight into like A goals.

Before I go on to ‘C’ goals I should clarify how I understand some of the words that we wrap around the ‘goal setting’ topic.

My definition of a goal is that it is what you or I are looking to achieve.

It doesn’t include timescales, dates, budgets, or resources although these may be an integral part of the goal.

The thing is that the value or timescale may change but the goal itself doesn’t. A friend of mine has a goal to raise £10m of investment for a project by the end of next month.

For me that’s the target for the goal. She will not have failed in her goal if she raises a little less by that date – close but no cigar maybe, but close enough. The goal is to raise the investment.

For me the process is to set the goal – the what – then the targetthe how much by when – then create the planthe how – and then take the actions identified by the plan in the most effective order.

Which is really straightforward project management.

But then we come to ‘C’ goals.

These are things that you or I have absolutely no idea how we are going to achieve!

Well we may have some vague ideas, some bits and pieces, some clues, but they really don’t amount to much.

Certainly nothing as clear as a plan in any form.

These ‘C’ goals are described variously as ‘Dreams’, ‘Visions’, ‘Burning Desires’ according to who you are listening to.

They are all the same – burning desires, visions, dreams that you have no (or very little) idea how you are going to achieve.

These are ambitions that cause other people to call you crazy, or out of your mind, or to say that you’ve lost the plot.

“You could never do that”, “It can’t be done”, “It’s impossible”.

Which is what was said to a couple of bicycle mechanics back in 1900, which is what was said about running a mile in less than 4 minutes or climbing Everest back in 1950 – and so on.

A ‘C’ type goal is something that is ‘out of reach’ – the opposite of the low hanging fruit, and it is a burning desire, vision or dream, something that we really really have to achieve.

Something we would ‘risk everything’ to achieve.

Now here’s the thing I discovered at Bob Proctor’s Matrixx event.

We spent a few days working out our ‘C’ goals or identifying the key elements of them.

C goals will include a lot of detail about what the end result ‘looks’ like and usually some of the ‘stepping stones’ on the way and most of us started with around a page of A4 on the description of our burning desire.

We each had 90 seconds to explain the goal and ask for what help we thought we needed to achieve it – highlighting our areas of least competence in our quests.

So the description had to be one sentence to allow time for questions and suggestions and the exchange of contact details to follow up.

Here’s what I found.

Your C goal might be someone else’s ‘how’ – and vice versa.

By working together both people or a group of people can achieve, or take a big step forward, in achieving their Visions.

Individual goal achievement projects can become mutually beneficial joint ventures – and that’s what happened in several cases.

You have to know what your Dream really is in full intimate detail for yourself but also clearly n one sentence as well so you’re able to broadcast it.

To make sure that like-minded people are aware.

Know and feel your dream in your heart and in your gut, keep it with you always; you never know who you’re going to meet.

Because if no-one is aware of your Vision then they cannot help you.

Ask others about their Visions, and if they have one, and if they tell you, then you know who to tell about yours.

What is your ‘C’ Goal? – one sentence, 30 seconds, and what help in any shape or form do you need to figure out how to go about achieving it?

The answer is always ‘no’ if you don’t ask.