Setting targets is one thing.
But what kind of target are you setting? How achievable is it, really?
This one can be hard to estimate. I find myself thinking, “I need to go really ambitious, because if you have low targets you’ll just reach them, and I need to push myself!”
Then reality appears and reminds me that setting a target is one thing; doing everything you can to reach it, and dealing with the extras that life and the universe throw at you (like rising costs and health issues and rearranged meets and financial challenges), is another.
It doesn’t mean you don’t set strong targets. It simply means there are levels of targets you set, and this enables you to be ambitious and realistic at the same time.
I go with three levels:
The target: This is what I really need to reach, for whatever reason. A particular health goal, a net profit percentage, word count for my book. It’s achievable even if things are particularly tough, and there’s time and room to achieve it.
The win target: This is slightly more ambitious. Requires extra effort, some stretching, and gives a higher sense of accomplishment. It’s still realistically achievable, though I might need to dig deep or ask for help or think creatively to get it done.
The dream target: This one actually feels almost impossible when the target is set. Unrealistic. No chance in hell I’m going to get this…but wouldn’t it be nice?? How might I achieve it, actually? What has to happen for this to be achieved?
Ultimately, we’re all seeking the dream target for our goals. Whether it’s health, or finances, or business numbers, or personal achievements, we’d really like to blow those out of the water. It feels like we’re more successful, more impressed with our own selves.
For me, there’s also a sense of wondering just what I am truly capable of. After all, if I’m reasonably sure I can meet a target, that’s barely a goal. It doesn’t really require any striving. A win target requires something. But a dream target…that leans towards the impossible. Or at least the improbable.
And I’d love to beat the odds, and beat the improbables.
It’s January, which means it’s the time of year we’re all hyper-aware of goals and targets. New year’s resolutions abound. Targets are set. Goals are written down, and this year, unlike all the other years, we’re really going to do it. Everything is fresh and new. Clean slate. Dream targets.
I’m not much of a new years resolution type of person. I tend to make resolutions when they are needed – whether that’s in March or August or December. (I also like to be a bit of a rebel, and not make my resolutions when everyone else is doing it.)
But I do like the opportunity to look at a clean, open calendar and not only ask “What’s possible this year?”…
…and also to ask, “What’s impossible this year?”
That’s the dream target.
You’ll notice it’s the smallest circle in my sketch. At first I thought I’d done it backwards, but on reflection I think the circles represent focus.
When you’re looking to achieve at a certain level, you can fling a lot of effort around and still reach your target.
When you want to go deeper and achieve more, you need to say no to a few more things and be focused on the two or three areas which will get you the win target.
When you want the impossible, you need to say no to everything except for the one, single area you are driving all your attention to. That’s your dream target.
What’s your target? Your win target? Your DREAM target?