There is perhaps no research finding in the field of organizational psychology that has been more solidly established than the value of setting goals. Moreover, the type of goal that you set is very important. If you sift through all of the research, goal setting can be boiled down to three main tenets:
- A goal is better than no goal
- A specific goal is better than a broad goal
- A hard and specific goal is better than an easy goal
With this in mind, I would like to share with you a simple--and extremely effective--framework you can use for setting your goals (and helping others craft theirs). If fact, when used correctly, you can throw out all of the other goal-setting frameworks you have tried in the past.
The process consists of three components: 1. Think Big, 2. Act Small, 3. Move Quick.
You always want to think big and never want to sell yourself short through only setting small goals. When you do, you reach for less than what you are capable of doing. Think Big is about defining your ultimate goal--a major accomplishment that you're after. Act Small is the series of milestones you set that you must hit along the way. Move Quick is the timeline you put in place to follow. Timelines are proven to increase goal attainment.
The Act Small goals are a key part of what makes this framework so effective, since they provide specificity and serve as guideposts towards your ultimate goal. As you achieve each of these sub-goals, you build momentum and increase your confidence in yourself.
As you can see, BSQ allows you to set the best type of goals: specific goals that are difficult--but achievable--and time bound.
To illustrate, let's pretend you want to open a new restaurant.
The Think Big is not only opening a successful restaurant, but also defining your timeframe to do so. Then each of the Act Small components has a targeted timeframe to be completed. This allows you to easily track your progress and readjust as necessary.
You will find that the application of the BSQ framework for goals is endless and it can be used for any situation. Give it a shot today.
Note, portions of this post are adapted from Lesson 3 of Trajectory: 7 Career Strategies to Take You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.