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Everyone has a story to relate about this popular quote. Mine is about my family. I came from an urban poor family. Dad didn’t have a permanent job most of the times. The family income was unpredictable every month. Prudent spending was how I brought up in the family. Since young, I learned how my mom plans and manages the family expenses. When facing the difficulties, she self talk positively and pivot. She plans ahead. She even prepare herself well with mental rehearsing on those difficult conversations.

Self-talk, mental visualisation, simulation, role-playing, whatever you name it. That’s how she managed those challenging moments. No one taught her about beginning with the end in mind. Somehow she knew the importance of having a clear goal, staying focused and pivot. Good time or bad time, she always becomes my role-model of agility and staying focused until accomplishing the goal.

She didn't make it obvious to me that I should model her. But I grew up understanding the importance of setting a clear goal. Focus on those actions that turning the goal into reality. It’s the mindset game first before the skillset and strategy.

In business, we’re taught to set a specific and finite measurable financial and business goals. In today’s rapidly changing business world, this is not simple and straightforward anymore. Setting a business goal is complex because of many unknown obstacles and unpredicted external factors directly or indirectly affecting the business. The pandemic makes it even tougher for us to plan and set a clear goal.

The modern goal setting narrative is, we learn as we go. It's okay if we don't have all the answers to start with a perfectly predictable and precise end goal in mind. We live in a world where we learn to navigate through by observing what the world unfolds to us and how it responds to our reactions. We rely on constant feedback to refine our actions and directions towards accomplishing the planned goals.

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Starting with the end in mind is still an essential habit of getting anything accomplished. However, for the redefined version, it needs to include the element of start with a why. Start with a visionary goal in mind. The vision is infinite and purposeful. It becomes our compelling reason for taking risks to explore the unknown and experiment with different new possibilities and opportunities. It's a more rewarding journey if consciously setting goal with a why in mind.

Consequently, when we set a goal, ask ourselves these questions:

  1. 1
    How would an ideal (perfect) end goal look like for you?
  2. 2
    What makes you want it so badly?
  3. 3
    What kind of feedback would help you know the progress of your goal?
  4. 4
    On a scale of 1 to 10, ten means that you have reached your goal, where are you on the scale now?
  5. 5
    How would you notice that you are one step higher on the scale?
  6. 6
    What do you need to do differently to move one step higher on the scale?
  7. 7
    What is holding you back from doing it differently?
  8. 8
    What and who will help you find out those obstacles unknown to you?
  9. 9
    What could possibly fail your plan?
  10. 10
    What would make your plan flexible and easy to adjust?
  11. 11
    How would you notice that you have derailed from the plans and goals?
  12. 12
    How will you celebrate success at the finishing line?

What could be other questions that would help you accomplish your goal? Write your questions in the comment section below.

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About the Author

Simon is the ICF-Professional Certified Coach (PCC), Certified Trainer, Facilitator, Coach Trainer, and Food Service Specialist. He specialises in business selling, leadership development, and coaching culture building.

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