Two Keys to Goal Achievement

Goal Achievement - What and Why

The key to goal achievement is to select the right frame for your goal. And, our different personal preferences mean the same goal should be framed differently. Here we look at your ‘Big Picture’ and ‘Nitty Gritty Detail’ preferences.

The ‘Why’ of Goal Achievement

A ‘Why’ framed goal focuses on the reason behind what we’re doing. It’s the deeper meaning, the bigger picture and the higher purpose. Stacking bricks may not be inspiring, whereas building a cathedral is. Cooking dinner may be a chore unless you’re eating to be sexy at 100.

When we’re focussing on something in the distant future it pays to focus on the value behind what we’re doing.

When the task in front of us doesn’t appeal, it helps to abstract it by looking at the underlying why. It helps us to stay motivated and avoid temptations.

To create Why : Write down what completing that task will help you achieve. Then ask what this will achieve. Keep asking this question until you feel inspired.

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The ‘What’ of Goal Achievement

A ‘What’ framed goal focuses on the task at hand. It’s about being concrete, specific and practical. It’s highly useful when we’re faced with a challenge we don’t know how to overcome. It suggests less thought, more action.

Overcoming Writer’s Block requires a ‘what’ view. Set a specific target of how many words and start writing. Avoid judging the quality. Pay attention to the task in front of you.

When we’re focussing on something in the near future, giving more weight to feasibility and practicality is what’s needed.

A ‘what’ framed goal is ideal when a task is difficult, unfamiliar and takes a while to learn.

To create What : Write down your first step. Complete that then repeat.

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What’s Your Preference?

Do you prefer the big picture or the nitty gritty detail? Whilst we all have preferences a fixed bias may be thwarting your success in fulfilling your goals. Both ‘Why’ and ‘What’ goals are useful.

This is an extract from the Book Rapper issue Victory: How to Fulfil Your Goals. It’s derived from Heidi Grant Halvorson’s book Succeed.

Previously: How to Design Effective Goals


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