The “Small-Medium-Large” approach to goal setting

February 3rd, 2016 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on The “Small-Medium-Large” approach to goal setting

Hi Lifetickers,

This is the second in our series on goal setting approaches. If you missed the first, it was called the “Brain Dump” approach and we encourage you to read it. This one however is the “S-M-L” approach or more verbosely – the “Small-Medium-Large” approach.

Quite simply, this approach encourages you to introduce into your mindset the idea of having three concurrent goals and no more. By limiting to just three, you will have more focus and perhaps this will help you achieve all of them. As you can probably imagine, the S-M-L approach requires you have a small goal, a medium goal and a large goal. These aren’t necessarily sizes in terms of magnitude or difficulty, but rather time. It is more ideal if the Small goal is less challenging, but the imperative is that its achievement should be soon! The reasons they should all be based on time are as follows:

  1. The Short goal allows you to be working on something that will deliver a result soon. This means you get into the habit of logging into Lifetick and completing tasks. It also keeps you motivated because the likelihood of achieving the goal is high and the time to achieve it is within say three months. The sooner you see results, the more likely you are to be motivated to continue on your goal setting journey! What’s more is that as soon as you have completed your Small goal, you can immediately enter a new Small goal. Momentum is a wonderful thing. Which leads me to point number two,
  2. The Medium goal allows you to pursue something more meaningful in your life. Something that might require careful planning or a sustained effort of saving money. Typically, the duration is 6-12 months. This is long enough to require some ongoing effort, but not too long that it seems entirely unachievable or too far into the future to worry about. Its companion, the Small goal, will keep you returning to Lifetick again and again and this will ensure the Medium goal gets equal visibility. Visibility means “front of mind” and front of mind means more likely to do something about that next task for your Medium goal. The more we think and see and do things about these goals, the more real they become. And the more palpable and possible and exciting they become. Sometimes it’s not so much about physical effort, but mind effort and “visualisation”. Keep your Medium goal always in mind.
  3. The Large goal is the big one. The one you are afraid to start because it is so daunting. The one you perhaps dare not tell anyone in case they laugh at you. The one you think that in some ways might define you one day. It is also the one that you have time to nurture and grow and refine. The one you contemplate by day and dream about by night. It is the one you must capture in Lifetick most and just as the Small helps the Medium, so too does the Medium help the Large. I could repeat all the points in #2 above and they would all count, but there is an even great significance for capturing and working towards your Large goal. By the time you have entered, re-entered, refined, re-tweaked, re-imagined, re-tasked and actually completed some preliminary tasks of your Large goal, you will have actually completed several Small goals and perhaps one or two Medium goals. What this has done for you is create an environment and mindset of doing, achieving and believing. You have already begun to realise that these things can be achieved and for many of us that is half the battle. Without even realising it, your celebrations of completing the Small and Medium goals has given you the necessary fuel to keep on keeping on with your large goal. Of course it is hard work and it requires ongoing hard decisions, but it is something that you will have the time to devote to its crafting because first and foremost it is based on time. And time is on your side.

And so we have our S-M-L approach. Maybe we sometimes have an S-S-M-L or just an S-M, but as long as we have a mindset of S-M-L then we improve our chances of achieving the big things that matter to us. The good news for you is that Lifetick is free when you manage four or less goals, so what’s stopping you?

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