Setting Goals: A How-To Guide in 5 Easy Steps, and A Conversation

Be careful setting goals. If you don’t ask the right questions, you won’t end up with the right answers. Success achieving wrong answers, is not success worth succeeding at. It just means not enough care was taken in setting the goal. To that end,

Here’s a guide:

1- Ask lots of questions.

2- Keep asking why to set the best goals.

3- Don’t stop until you run out of questions.

4- When you’ve asked all the questions you can think of, and provided yourself satisfactory answers, proceed.

5- If at any time more questions occur, stop and repeat steps 1-4 before proceeding.

And, as promised, a conversation:

You say, “I want to lose weight.”

“Why?” I ask. 

”I don’t like the way I look,” you say.

”Oh, you spend a lot of time looking at yourself?” I ask.

”No, it’s just, I want to look better.” you say.

”Has someone told you you don’t look good?” I ask.

”No, but I would feel better and be healthier if I lost some.” You say.

”Sure,” I say, ”those are good reasons. Why do you want to feel better?”

”Doesn’t everybody?” you ask me.

I pause and say, ”I guess everybody thinks they do, but not everybody acts like it.”

”Well, I’d be healthier then.” you offer.

”Right, and why is that important?” I ask.

”C’mon, that’s obvious!” you snort.

”Is it?” I ask.

”Sure,” you say, ”everybody wants to be healthy.”

”Do they? Even if no cheeseburgers? Or beer? Or coffee?” I ask.

”I see your point,” you concede.

“Is there a certain weight that will make you healthy?” I ask.

”No, not just a weight,” you tell me, ”I guess there’s more to it than just a number on my scale.”

”Probably so,” I agree.

”So what you’re saying is it might take more than hitting a number to be healthy?” I ask.

”Right,” you agree.

”Ok. Let’s say you’re healthy. Presto! You’re healthy! Now what?” I ask.

”What do you mean, now what? That’s just it, I’d be healthy,” you reply.

”I mean, what do you do with your health?” I ask.

”I enjoy it!, you say.

”Yeah? How?” I ask, ”Doing what?”

”I don’t know,” you say, ”Guess I haven’t thought that far.”

”Isn’t that the point?” I ask.

”I guess it is.” You say.

”Maybe figure that out,” I say, ”that’ll keep you motivated.”

”True,” you agree.

”Once you’re more fit, and healthy, and you look better, will you be happy?” I ask.

”Happier!” you say.

”But there’s more to it than that?” I ask.

”Maybe?” you concede.

”Like what?” I ask.

”Well, I need to pay off some debt, too.” you say.

”Why?” I ask.

”Isn’t that obvious?” You ask me.

”Well, there are some good reasons for sure, but I’m asking you,” I counter, ”if your debts were gone, then you’d be happy?”

”I don’t know,” you say.

”That wouldn’t do it?” I ask.

”Prolly not,” you say, ”I’d still want more money.”

”How much more?” I ask.

”Much as I can get,” you say.

”Why?” I ask.

”Don’t know,” you admit, ”so I can get some things I want.”

”Why?” I ask, ”then you’d be happy?”

”I see where you’re going with this,” you say.

”Good, ” I say.

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