Remember last time you went for a trip. The first thing you decided was the destination, right? What next? You booked a ticket, you made some arrangements with your friends, with your family or with your boss. You packed your bag. But before even deciding the destination, you knew why would you go for a trip, right? Vacations, business trip, need to disconnect, see your family – before preparation you knew WHY do you need this. You knew your objective first.
What about our objectives in life? Do we have them? Do we know them? Do we know where are we going and why? The same as in the car navigation, we need to choose the destination first.
Today I would like to share with you some key points on how to create meaningful objectives, and how to become closer to our dreams or one of our life destinations.
Lets take a simple example that some of us can have in mind: “I want to study”.
First of all, we would need to define the objective.
FIRST STEP: Defining your objective
In order to define it correctly, we would need to have our goal: positive, real, self-responsible and ecological (why would we choose ecological food, but not the mindset and our goal?)
In order to define our goal, we would need to answer the following questions: What? Where? When? WHY? I call this strategy 4Ws.
For example, your WHAT could be: “To complete the course on Project Management”
Your WHERE would be: “In the business school of Copenhagen”
Your WHEN could be the following: “Starting within next 6 months”
Finally, WHY do you need this? Your meta-objective which could be: “For making the possible change in my career, applying for manager position at my current working place”.
Now, when you have defined all 4Ws, its time to remember about the ecology (your mindset), this means that its time to answer the following question: “Will it affect positively my current situation and important people in my life?” If yes, then your goal is ecological. Since the idea is to do no harm, just as medical credo is: “at least do no harm”, this means that your goal is not against your own believes, values and is not making harm to anyone else.
Now lets see 2 goals.
I want to study
I want to study Project Management, in the business school of Copenhagen and will be starting within next 6 months. This will allow me to make a possible change in my career, applying for manager position at my current working place
Do you see the difference between these 2 goals?
SECOND STEP: My resources vs. my limitations
There are two important questions that we should ask ourselves:
What are my resources?
What is preventing me from completing my goal?
That’s right, it’s nice to have our goal to study in Copenhagen, but maybe our current resources are not enough to complete this (money, time, etc.).
Once you identify limitation in your case (maybe its combining the time with your current work, family and your other hobbies), you will be able to prepare a plan of action, how will you get what you need?
Money limitation: the solution might be taking a credit from the bank.
Time limitation: the solution might be speaking with your manager about the flexible working hours or one year of career break (sabbatical year).
You will find the solution for limitations, if you know WHY you want to do this and HOW positively this will affect your life.
THIRD STEP: Where and when do I start?
And this is the key. To start.
The question of evidence in order to see if we are moving towards our goal can be: “How do I know whether I accomplish my goal or no?”
For example, your answer to the question of evidence can be: “I will have my ticket booked and first half of my studies paid, agreement with my boss, etc.”
And of course, we try to decide and plan our goals from the perspective of positive adult (taking responsibility for our lives). Sometimes our goals might be judged by our inner criticism (I cannot do this, my boss will never allow this, etc.) – this is a killer of our dreams, our goals and objectives.
When we know the answer to WHY, we know that we are living our own lives. When we know our destination, we can plan our trip and enjoy the ride.