Goal-setting requires at least one lofty dream, but it’s a surprisingly precise science. Experts say it’s not enough to just decide to work toward a promotion or save for a new car. Big goals need to be conceptualized down to the last detail, an elaborate act of imagination that makes it easier to form a concrete plan of action.
Detailed daydreams are a useful goal-setting tool, but in YOUR BEST YEAR EVER, leadership consultant Michael Hyatt recommends a second step: pulling back to check for overall balance. Too often, people inadvertently focus all their efforts on a single area of life. Hyatt says this is a mistake.
It’s much better to maintain a portfolio of goals, and it’s important to make sure that this portfolio is diversified.
Setting personal and professional goals is one strategy. Another is to set two different types of goals: habit goals and achievement goals. Habit goals are new routines that become automatic over time — like taking a walk every day after lunch, or setting aside an hour for reading each night. Achievement goals focus on a single big accomplishment, like finishing an MBA. Successful people tend to pursue both types of goals at the same time, honing their daily routines in service of long-term objectives.
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