What would you say is the biggest mistake in goal setting? Would you say it is a goal that is not specific or has no clear metric? Maybe it is when a goal is focused on actions instead of a clear end result.
Those are problems, but they aren't the biggest goal-setting mistake. And, by the way, the same is true of planning.
When you follow the THP process (THERE, HERE, PATH), you create the best structure for getting something done or creating something. And, before you work on HERE, please ensure you have determined THERE. If you want to learn the complete THP process, get course 1 - Value Right Results AND People.
Biggest Mistake in Goal Setting
So, what is the biggest mistake in goal setting? Here it is.
You don't clearly assess where you are
in relationship to your end result!
The Biggest FLAW in most planning or goal setting happens when you are not CLEAR about HERE. You need clarification about your current reality, resources, problems, strengths, or opportunities.
You may understand your basic situation, but have you taken the time to get extremely clear about it? Too often, you have assumptions about where you are rather than clear facts. It is like the difference between an editorial filled with opinions and some objective research based on factual evidence.
Three Views About HERE or Current Reality
You can look at your current reality in three ways, and only one is good.
1. Immediate Events, Obsessive Details.
- Time is in very short phases
- Details and bits of information are the focus
- Can’t see what the details imply when put together
2. Vague Perceptions and True Mysteries
- Time is unlimited
- Everything is cluttered and chaotic
- Pondering the distant future is more important than what is happening now
3. Objective Shapes and Patterns
- Details AND overall shape are recognizable
- You see the forest and the trees
- You see the connection of the present with the past & how the present may lead to the future
- Future is NOT causal from what you see now, but you do see connections
The last view, Objective Shapes and Patterns, is the only one that will help you. The other two do not see Current Reality. Those two are perceptions of current reality. It is like your view of your current situation. It is either factually correct (view 3) or seen as better than it is or worse than it is. The only thing that will help you develop the right actions for any goal is knowing exactly where you are.
HERE is Critical for Goals
What if you were a travel agent and someone called you? They said, "I want to go to Washington D. C." There is one question you need to ask. Otherwise, you will waste a lot of time. What is your guess?
Try this example with your friends and see what they guess. We use this all the time in our training, and it takes a while before anyone figures out the question. Most people offer questions like...
- "How much do you want to spend?"
- "When are you leaving?"
- "Which airline do you want to use?"
And many other good questions. But those questions won't help unless you ask the traveler, "Where will you be leaving from?"
If the travel agent does not know the origination of the trip, it is impossible to help the traveler.
Help for Your HERE
When you develop your HERE, use the middle section of the THP Planning form and write a report. Please don't write an editorial about the current reality (HERE) of your goal (THERE). Do not write your assumptions, estimates, or theories about current reality. Only state the reality of your current goal (THERE). And do not write about the history that got you where you are; describe what is happening now.
If you want help, click this link "HERE (Current Reality) Checklist."
A very helpful set of items is often the DNKs - what you Do Not Know. Those are an essential part of current reality (HERE).
Finally, when you define your current reality, write in point form. Write one statement per box on the THP Planning Form in the HERE section. If you do that, you will do much better when you create actions for your PATH.
So, please be sure to get clear about HERE. Many of the actions you choose could be guesses if you aren't. If you are clear, you can develop your PATH much easier.