Since we’re nearing the new year I’m sure many of us will be taking this chance to reflect on the year past and renew on the year ahead. I thought this would be a nice time to make a distinction between setting goals, and setting directions.
What is a goal? Simply put, a goal is a target you set that is:
For example, I want to make $5000 (specific and measurable) a month by June ’06 (time-bound) through my sales job (how it is achievable), which is double my current salary (realistic).
Counterexample, I want to make lots and lots of money (unspecific, unmeasurable) in 2006 (not time-bound, when specifically), even though I’m not sure how (how is it achievable?). It’d be nice to make millions, even though I’m kinda jobless now (realistic?).
And a goal must always be something you want ($5000), not something you don’t want (not lose $5000).
The bottom line is; if there’s no plan, and no measure, it’s not a goal, just a pipe-dream.
Now, setting a direction is a whole different animal. The criteria of a direction is the opposite of a goal. A direction is:
(no smart acronyms here, pun not intended, sorry Paiboon)
For example, a direction I want to set in 2006 might be to be more courageous.
A goal is your road, but a direction is your compass. The 2 compliment each other, and if you have a general direction, for example to be more courageous, you can set goals that will challenge your courage, like to sky-dive in Feb, which is more specific. And when you encounter a new goal which you aren’t sure you want to slot in, you can check in to see if it fits in with your direction.
My direction in 2006 is to live vivaciously and courageously, and experience life to its fullest, increasing the love, wisdom and wealth in my life.
My coach’s challenge to you is to quickly, off the top of your head, answer this question:
What’s your direction for 2006?
And write down the first thing that comes to mind in the comments below, thereby making it more real now and without hesitation.