Setting Goals to Get What You Want
October 13, 2009
How specific are you when you set your goals? If you were more detailed do you think you’d be more likely to reach them?
I’ve always heard that being very specifc about your goals increases your chances of achieving them. Last weekend, I saw some pretty good examples of this theory in action.
A Ten Year Plan
I met with about 40 other people for our 10 year college reunion and spent a few hours catching up and visiting about where they were in life. During the course of the evening they were showing a video that was taped about 10 years ago, interviewing members of our class right before graduation.
One of the questions people answered on the tape was, “Where do you think you’ll be in 10 years from now”. Some of the responses were pretty general like “I hope I’ll be making a lot of money somewhere”. Other people laid out their plans in great detail.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t on the video. I’m not sure why I didn’t participate; perhaps I was studying hard for finals or maybe I was celebrating my pending graduation. Whatever the reason, I know if I had that I wouldn’t have been as detailed as many of the responses that I heard.
As I visited with people after we watched the video I made a point to ask each person how close they had come to meeting their “ten year plan”.
Not surprisingly, more of the alumni with very detailed plans had reached the point in their life that they had been aiming for. Of course not everyone’s plans had worked out. Some people had changed course over time, others had tried unsuccessfully and had to change their plans.
Overall, the people that were specific about what they wanted their life to be like ten years down the road were more likely to have achieved those goals. Now I need to sit down and make out my 10 year plan to get my family where we want to be when our kids are teenagers, gulp : )
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