Reaching Goals by Cleverly Activating My Mind
Have you ever set a goal (such as a New Year’s resolution or a corporate strategy), failed to achieve it, and wondered why? You might have thought, “I had such a good plan! I wanted it so very much, saw the finish line in front of me, and it wasn’t enough.”
We also have been in these situations. We’ve found that failure can be prevented with the help of a special secret ingredient: Active Questions. As the name suggests, the questions are designed to activate me. It activates my mind, my conscious and unconscious, and my memory to keep at what I’m doing.
This is my useful trigger to achieve any goal
Before I can ask active questions, I first ensure that my goal is well-formed: I have phrased it in the first person, actively and positively, written in the past tense with a fixed date, and defined as a SMART Goal or OKR.
For a quarterly or half-yearly goal, a weekly rhythm for the active question is a suitable approach. The question is, “On a scale from 1 to 10, how much did I do my best last week to get closer to this goal?”
I ask and answer myself honestly and simply with a number. It is not part of the answer to plan the next week ahead. I do that in a separate step.
Reaching the goal through regular reminding
This is how I keep activating my memory. I think more often about working actively toward my goals. To ensure I don’t forget, I stick post-it notes on my desk or on the bathroom mirror. It can also be helpful to track goals on a calendar and to set up frequent check-ins. By evaluating myself regularly, I can see progress or decline in my efforts. Doing so can even help me realize that I don’t want something after all. If the answer to that question is always 1, then I may begin to reevaluate my focus and priorities …