BIGGEST Mistake in Goal Setting – Planning Too!

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.

Yes, those are problems, but they aren't the biggest mistake in goal setting. 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 some done or creating something. And, before you work on HERE, make sure you have determine THERE. If you want to learn the whole THP process get course 1 - Value Right Results AND People.

Biggest Mistake in Goal Setting

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 occurs when you are not CLEAR about HERE. You are not clear about your current reality, your resources, problems, strengths, or opportunities.

You obviously understand your basic situation, but you do not take the time to get very clear. 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 different ways and only one of the ways 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 jumbled and chaotic
  • - Pondering distant future is more important than what is happening now

3. Objective Shapes and Patterns

  • - Details AND overall shape is recognizable
  • - You see the forest and the trees
  • - You see connection of present with past & how present may lead to 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 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 really is or worse than it really is. The only thing that will help you develop the right actions for any goal is to know EXACTLY where your 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 that 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 of the time in our training and it takes a while before anyone figures out what the question is. 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 clearly write a report. Do not 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 what is the reality of your current goal (THERE). And, do not write about the history that got you where you are, just describe what is happening now. 

If you want some help, click here for the "HERE (Current Reality) Checklist."

Often, a very helpful set of items are the DNKs - Do Not Know. Those are the things that you "don't know", which is an essential part of current reality (HERE). 

Finally, when defining your current reality, write in point form. And, when you use the THP Planning Form, write one statement per box on the form in the HERE section. If you do that, you will do much better when you create actions for your PATH.

So, get clear about HERE. If you aren't, many of the actions you choose, could be guesses. If you are clear, you can develop your PATH much easier.

Share with Your Friends