Some of my success has been limited by my lack of ability to aim higher.
The problem with setting goals that are clearly quantified is that you can quite easily set a target that is too small or not challenging enough.
One things that sticks in my mind was at an interview where I was pushed on how much I felt I should get paid. I gave a pathetically low amount.
My fear was that if I said too much I would have put them off straight away – my logic was that I was offering them a bargain – they interpreted it that I didn’t value my time.
The lesson there was that I should have aimed higher – even if I did give an amount that was too high, I could have negotiated and still got a wage that would have worked out well for both parties – myself getting paid more and the company thinking they got a true bargain as they had negotiated my wage down!
As a gym goer I have constantly revised goals of what I wanted to achieve – quite often I find that these are aimed a bit too low and what I expected to take months, I achieve within half the time.
The opposite side is that you aim too high and as a result experience failure and feel bad.
The best compromise is to actually stick with aiming higher – something that will push you beyond the limits of what you want to achieve, but consist of great difficulty to do so.
By doing this we have to realistically expect failure is an option, but because of the challenging demand of the task not to feel bad about it, because by aiming higher you get more output than you intended.
Examples could be:
- Writing 3000 words a day rather than 1000
- If you average 1700 a day you are doing 700 more
- Aiming to get 10,000 followers on Social Media rather than 300
- If you get 1200 you got 900 more
- Deadlifting 200kg rather than 120kg
- If you lift 140kg that’s 20kg more
- Running 5k in 20 minutes rather than 25 minutes
- If you run it in 24 minutes, that’s still a minute faster than your low aim
- Aiming for a 1st class honours at University rather than a 2:2
- You achieve a 1st class honours because when you were at 2:2 level you told yourself to aim higher, so you dedicated the time and effort towards studying
“By aiming too high we have to expect that failure is a possibility and embrace it”
Another option is to have high aims but also accept compromise of what you would be happy with.
For example you might want to lose two stone in three months. But you during your efforts you might be content losing just one stone in three months.
The risk is that you start slacking off when you get to the one stone mark, because in the back of your mind you keep telling yourself you have done what you intended.
Therefore the aim high with failure is my prefered approach when I quantify the outcomes of my goals
Aim higher – instead of focusing for the top of the tree focus towards the sky – you might just get there