Are Your Goals Comfortable, Delusional or Somewhere in Between?

We’ve been talking about methods for goal setting here at The Point Blog to set us all up for a successful 2017.  The last “method” I want to share really isn’t a method, but great food for thought for considering goals and setting them.

It comes from Michael Hyatt who has most recently put out a course to help people prepare for 2017 called 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever.

As a guest on the Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn, he discussed the limitations and possibilities of making 2017 the best year yet.  In thinking about these things, he encourages considering whether your goals are in the:

  1. Comfort Zone- Where a small, incremental improvement is being sought.
  2. Discomfort Zone- Where there is some doubt and uncertainty about how you are going to accomplish the goal. It makes you sweat.
  3. Delusional Zone- Where you don’t have the capacity, talents, etc. to achieve something.

Hyatt says, “All the great stuff in life happens in the discomfort zone.”

As I think about this, I think in most cases we set goals in the comfort zone.  It’s something to put some effort towards so we feel like we are doing something, but it isn’t nearly challenging enough. It’s something we know we can do.  For example, setting our company revenue goal at the same level it was last year, or maybe even a small, 5-10% increase, is a comfort zone goal.  We’ve done it before; we can do it again. Losing 10 pounds when you really need to lose 30 is a comfort zone goal.  You’ve probably lost those same 10 pounds before. Over and over again.   For myself, I realized for fitness goals, running a marathon is a comfort zone goal.  I already know I can do it.  Several years ago this was a discomfort zone goal.

Discomfort makes us sweat.  And sweat may be uncomfortable at first, but it feels oh so good when we actually expend the effort to produce it.  In business terms, we’ve averaged between 5-35% year over year growth since beginning in 2011.  We’re shooting bigger this year, setting a goal closer to 50% growth for 2017.  This makes me sweat, and wonder how we are going to do it, and realize it is going to take additional resources of time and manpower to do it, but I’m tired of being comfortable.   For fitness, running a sub four hour marathon would be a goal at this level for me (this isn’t on my 2017 goal list, though).  I don’t know if I could run that fast for 26.2 miles. I would have to shave about forty-five seconds a mile off my PR time to do it, but if I put the sweat equity in, it is possible.

Delusional is our business being a multi-million dollar business in 2017.  We just aren’t there yet, haven’t planned for it, and don’t have the service line or the time in just a year to develop the service and/or product lines to get there. And that’s okay.  I will never qualify for the Boston Marathon, or at least not in the age bracket I am currently in.  I would have to run a 3 hour and 35 minute marathon to do it.  Cutting 45 seconds per mile off my time may be doable, but cutting 45 minutes off my total time just isn’t going to happen. The good Lord didn’t make me to be an elite runner, and that’s okay too.

So as you consider your goals for 2017, I hope they are on the border of anxiety because this is where peak performance happens.   And peak performance is fun.

Sweat it out in 2017, friends.


If you like this, take a look back at our 2017 Goal Setting Series:

Methods to Madness of Goal Setting 

A Simple Goal Setting Method 

A Holistic Goal Setting Method 

Mary Ila Ward

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