Know when your goal is complete..then move on.

by Brad Isaac on December 28, 2005

One of the benefits of setting very specific and measurable goals is you know when you are finished. If you know when you are finished, you will not waste time, energy and make sacrifices to complete your goal. Since you will not be wasting your time completing a goal that’s already finished, you will have time and room for other goals.

Let me give you an extreme example: we may all know or have seen on TV an anorexic who feels that they are “too fat” yet she may continue to lose weight even to the point of killing herself. I know there are deep psychological issues at play. But if we can take those out for a second I just want to make a point.

In anorexia, there is no endpoint or completion for the individual. She feels she needs to lose weight and that’s it. So she stops eating. She exercizes too much. The patient will continue to lose weight even though she does not need to.

On the other hand, most, if not all, methods of treating anorexia involve setting specific goals for meals, eating and self talk.

The point I am making is we always need to know our endpoint. We need to know when our goal is complete otherwise it can become an unhealthy obsession. This can easily happen with finances as well. We get it in our head that we want to be “rich”. How do we know when this goal is complete? Is it $100,000 in the bank? Is it $1 million in the bank? $10 million?

I can scrimp, save and make sacrifices to one day become “rich”. However, if I do not know what being “rich” means I can get there and not even know it. I might continue obsessing about it well beyond its time. I may neglect family, friends and health in order to complete the goal of being rich when I have already gotten there.

So we must set specific goals with clear outcomes. We mus make the finish line easily recognizable. And move on to the next goal when the first one is completed.

Technorati Tags: Goals, Goal Setting, GTD

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