One Thing I Didn’t Tell You About Goals

OK. My people have made me aware that my last two posts have been my most popular since I started scribbling on that balmy day in May 2009.  

That means there’s a good chance you’ve been taking some action, even a wee bit, and you may well have a goal or two for 2012. I hope you do. So now you’re at the action stage.

And the actions you take will determine whether or not you achieve your goal or something else happens. So far so staggeringly obvious.

But here’s the thing…

What’s your next goal..?

The one after the one you’re working on now. What is it? You must have one. Spend some time on this.

The reason you need to define your next goal is because if you don’t there’s a good chance you will not achieve your current goal. You will not drive down a dead end street at 100mph.  

And don’t say you’ll work out what the next goal is when you achieve the current goal. Because even if that were true, not knowing your next goal will slow you down dramatically. And, if and when you do achieve your current goal, you may find that you actually are in a dead end. A real one.

Level Up…

Goals operate on levels. Like quantum mechanics. There’s generally considered to be only three levels. So it’s easier than quantum mechanics. Relax.

Level 1 – Process Goals…

Think of process goals as inputs. That is, what you actually do. Also known as high-payoff activities. Remember them?

  • I generate 7 “A class” prospects per week.
  • I make 3 sales calls per week.
  • I coach for 2 days per week.
  • I produce and launch a product every quarter.

Level 2 – Performance Goals…

Think of performance goals as milestones on the road to a final destination. You still “do” them, but you are less directly in control of the result compared to a process goal.

  • It is 31st December 2012 and my coaching and product sales are £X.
  • It is 31st December 2013 and my coaching and product sales are £Y.

Level 3 – Outcome Goals…

Outcome goals are significant achievements or life events. The culmination of a lot of process and a lot of performance. The Level 3 goal is the next goal I’ve been talking about.

  • It is 31st December 2014 and I have a business that covers my total life costs and produces a surplus of £Z and my commitment to this business is no more than 16 hours per week.

Here’s what often happens…

You set a great goal at Level 2. The annual sales budget for example. You don’t define Level 1 goals (high-payoff activities) so you reduce your ability to hit your Level 2 goal. I’m not going to bang on about that because this post is about the next bit…

There is no…

…Level 3 goal. There is no next goal. No context. No reason. No meaningful motivation other than stick motivation (as in carrot/stick).  Because the carrot doesn’t really work any more. Either you’ve given up carrots or you have to take more and more carrots to get that great carrot effect. And the stick never worked at any level.

So there’s no effective motivation left at Level 2.

Higher Ground…

The Level 3 goal, the next goal, is your purpose, your vision. The importance of purpose or vision is immense. In these pages of scribblings I have quoted wise words on this topic from both the Bible and The Clash:

“You better realise that you gotta have a purpose or this place is gonna knock you out, sooner or later.”

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

They’re saying the same thing. You can guess the source of each quote.

Do this…

Spend some time getting a Level 3 goal. You may need to develop some more Level 2 goals to bridge the gap between your current goals and your Level 3 goals. Or you may be able to go straight to the Level 3 goal.

Whichever way works for you, do this and you will have tapped into the greatest source of sustainable motivation there is. And instead of modest goals being difficult to achieve, you will find that big goals become, if not easy, certainly well within your reach. Worth a try?

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please leave a comment below, I know you’re not a “digital native” but this website does not bite 😉


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Thanks a lot. Mark

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