We all set goals. Sometimes we articulate them, sometimes not. Sometimes we achieve them, sometimes not, but more often if we articulate them. Publicly announcing them on our Facebook or Blog is one way to do this. Emailing our triathlon coach or trusted friend is another. If it’s an important goal and you want to do it right, there’s a more formal approach and it’s called contracting.
By contracting, I’m not talking about 1099′s and temp agency assignments. Rather, I’m referring to the process of creating a contract with yourself to clarify what you’re looking to achieve. Your triathlon (or other type of) coach may put something like this together with you, but you can do it yourself if you can manage to stay accountable to what you’ve agreed to.
Here’s what to include in your contract:
- Goal Statement - In your own words, what you’d like to achieve or become. Don’t make it complicated.
- Desired Outcome – Stated in a way that you can confirm successful completion. This is important for subjective goal statements.
- Value of the Goal to You - Why is this goal important to you.
- Other Priorities – What else is competing for your time and energy? List other priorities in your life that you intend to maintainand those you intend to release to make room for the work to achieve your goal.
- Obstacles to Overcome – You won’t figure out all of them, but name the ones you know about and can reasonably expect.
If you have all of these items hashed out and written down, then you have a pretty good idea of what it’s going to take to achieve your goal statement. Any sign of trouble or doubt and you can return to the contract and remember what you’ve committed to, why you’ve committed to it and what you’re willing to give up in order to achieve it.
You know, I haven’t done this myself, but maybe I should.