Question: Can You Over Do Goal Setting?

Scott Costello All, Blog 20 Comments

questionI was reading my good friend Shae’s blog and she had a great post about how she is creating her 100 days left goals.  Shae definitely knows what she is doing and if you get the chance you should head on over there and read it (94 Days of Focus to Finish 2009 Strong).

Her post got me thinking…

Is planning out to many goals or being too detailed  a bad thing?  And if so where do you draw the line?

I, like Shae, create long term goals, short terms goals and then weekly tasks in order to help achieve my goals.   After following that strategy for about a year now I have one lingering question…

Is it Possible to Over do Goal Setting?

If anyone has an opinion I’m sure we’d all appreciate hearing what you have to say.

Thanks,

-Scott

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Comments 20

  1. Hey Scott, I think there is such a thing as overengineering your goals or overdoing them…a couple tips from Harmonic Wealth that I think are worth mentioning (I jotted these down when I read the book):

    (1) Aim high, but be real. Your intentions need to be believable. We often overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do it a decade.
    (2) Six a day forumula…prioritize the top 6 things you need to get done towards your goals each day…determine what the critical 6 are.

    I know what I add detail, I don’t try to list every stinking little step…but I do put the overriding things that need to get done…and then I focus on my critical weekly items (rather than daily) with my accountability partner.
    .-= Shae´s last blog ..94 Days of Focus to Finish 2009 Strong! =-.

    1. Thanks Shae,

      I have a problem sometimes coming up with 6 things in a week to do towards my goals, let alone 6 things each day. Or am I not understanding the point? Are the top 6 items just the top 6 you have to do, but not necessarily in a given day? In the book Power of Less (or was it eating that frog) they suggest having a list of the top 3 items and working on only those 3 items until all of them are done, whether it takes you 1 day or 20 days. Once those 3 items are been completely you can then identify 3 more items.

      is that about what you meant?

  2. Hey Scott, I think there is such a thing as overengineering your goals or overdoing them…a couple tips from Harmonic Wealth that I think are worth mentioning (I jotted these down when I read the book):

    (1) Aim high, but be real. Your intentions need to be believable. We often overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do it a decade.
    (2) Six a day forumula…prioritize the top 6 things you need to get done towards your goals each day…determine what the critical 6 are.

    I know what I add detail, I don’t try to list every stinking little step…but I do put the overriding things that need to get done…and then I focus on my critical weekly items (rather than daily) with my accountability partner.
    .-= Shae´s last blog ..94 Days of Focus to Finish 2009 Strong! =-.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks Shae,

      I have a problem sometimes coming up with 6 things in a week to do towards my goals, let alone 6 things each day. Or am I not understanding the point? Are the top 6 items just the top 6 you have to do, but not necessarily in a given day? In the book Power of Less (or was it eating that frog) they suggest having a list of the top 3 items and working on only those 3 items until all of them are done, whether it takes you 1 day or 20 days. Once those 3 items are been completely you can then identify 3 more items.

      is that about what you meant?

  3. Right – should’ve mentioned that. So yes, the items on critical 6 may take you more than 1 day. But it should be on the prioritized list each day until its finished. So its not 6 DIFFERENT things for each day. It’s 6 CRITICAL things for each day. But if you have something that’s going to take 20 days, you probably need to break it down further into something that makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. It’s about having a least a few quick successes to gain momentum.

    Things can change importance too…with what you described with the Power of Less it seems inflexible to only work the 3 items until they are done. So I like Harmonic Wealth approach because its more flexible and allows you to focus on the most important things in a prioritized order (which can change).

    Am I making any sense?
    .-= Shae´s last blog ..94 Days of Focus to Finish 2009 Strong! =-.

    1. I agree, things change all the time, new doors open. Having 6 Critical things each day makes more sense as some days there are more important items to be accomplished. I have to remember that if one of my critical tasks is to write an article to publish to EzineArticles, that task is actually a goal that I can break up into tasks…

      research the topic
      sum up what I know
      write a first draft
      revise it
      then publish it

      each of those would be a critical task in acheiving my goal of publishing an article to ezinearticles.

      What do you think of the concept of hyper-focusing? I think Steph and yourself have posted about that before. Kinda like I’m doing with the 30DC, concentrate on that one thing until it’s done. Although it kinda doesn’t allow you to be flexible, but I usually do better when I’m not jumping around from one item to another (typical man, one track mind).

  4. Right – should’ve mentioned that. So yes, the items on critical 6 may take you more than 1 day. But it should be on the prioritized list each day until its finished. So its not 6 DIFFERENT things for each day. It’s 6 CRITICAL things for each day. But if you have something that’s going to take 20 days, you probably need to break it down further into something that makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. It’s about having a least a few quick successes to gain momentum.

    Things can change importance too…with what you described with the Power of Less it seems inflexible to only work the 3 items until they are done. So I like Harmonic Wealth approach because its more flexible and allows you to focus on the most important things in a prioritized order (which can change).

    Am I making any sense?
    .-= Shae´s last blog ..94 Days of Focus to Finish 2009 Strong! =-.

    1. Post
      Author

      I agree, things change all the time, new doors open. Having 6 Critical things each day makes more sense as some days there are more important items to be accomplished. I have to remember that if one of my critical tasks is to write an article to publish to EzineArticles, that task is actually a goal that I can break up into tasks…

      research the topic
      sum up what I know
      write a first draft
      revise it
      then publish it

      each of those would be a critical task in acheiving my goal of publishing an article to ezinearticles.

      What do you think of the concept of hyper-focusing? I think Steph and yourself have posted about that before. Kinda like I’m doing with the 30DC, concentrate on that one thing until it’s done. Although it kinda doesn’t allow you to be flexible, but I usually do better when I’m not jumping around from one item to another (typical man, one track mind).

  5. I like hyper-focusing in concept….but in reality, I can’t grow my business at the speed I need and do things that way. However what I CAN do, is make sure I don’t try to make progress on 3 or 4 different real estate niches at the same time….for example, in the beginning of the year, I wanted to do luxury short sales before the end of 2009. But considering I’m still working on wholesaling a deal and I have a great marketing campaign going with lots of seller calls, I’m not going to change gears and start short sales.

    So in response to your comment about concentration…its cool to focus on the 30DC but you’ve also been preparing for real estate license exam. And the internet marketing is on-going…will it ever REALLY be finished? If you only concentrated on the internet marketing, but didn’t have access to deals (either from your own offers or partnering with others who lock in contracts), who cares? So, to me, hyper-focusing makes sense in some ways but not all ways.

    A good example of successful hyper-focus for me was being laser focused on weight loss in ’07 and losing 50+ pounds in 5 months. I really didn’t focus on anything else but that because it was the most important thing for me to accomplish. But ask me if I can do it the same way now…no way because I’m focused on growing a real estate business which takes a lot of time. Therefore I have to do weight loss at a gradual pace rather than hyper-speed 🙂
    .-= Shae´s last blog ..94 Days of Focus to Finish 2009 Strong! =-.

    1. You make a lot of sense Shae. You are right, that I’ve actually not been hyper-focusing on internet marketing, but have also been focusing on getting my license in order to open up more doors. Even still I can’t really hyper-focus because I work a full time job and that will cut into my focus time in a major way. That like you said is causing me to move a bit slower as there is only so much time so I must take longer to do things. Nothing wrong with taking more time, just as long as you keep moving forward and gaining on your goals.

      Thanks for chiming in on this Shae, I wish some other would express there opinions but this has helped get me back on course with setting my goals.

      You’re the best

  6. I like hyper-focusing in concept….but in reality, I can’t grow my business at the speed I need and do things that way. However what I CAN do, is make sure I don’t try to make progress on 3 or 4 different real estate niches at the same time….for example, in the beginning of the year, I wanted to do luxury short sales before the end of 2009. But considering I’m still working on wholesaling a deal and I have a great marketing campaign going with lots of seller calls, I’m not going to change gears and start short sales.

    So in response to your comment about concentration…its cool to focus on the 30DC but you’ve also been preparing for real estate license exam. And the internet marketing is on-going…will it ever REALLY be finished? If you only concentrated on the internet marketing, but didn’t have access to deals (either from your own offers or partnering with others who lock in contracts), who cares? So, to me, hyper-focusing makes sense in some ways but not all ways.

    A good example of successful hyper-focus for me was being laser focused on weight loss in ’07 and losing 50+ pounds in 5 months. I really didn’t focus on anything else but that because it was the most important thing for me to accomplish. But ask me if I can do it the same way now…no way because I’m focused on growing a real estate business which takes a lot of time. Therefore I have to do weight loss at a gradual pace rather than hyper-speed 🙂
    .-= Shae´s last blog ..94 Days of Focus to Finish 2009 Strong! =-.

    1. Post
      Author

      You make a lot of sense Shae. You are right, that I’ve actually not been hyper-focusing on internet marketing, but have also been focusing on getting my license in order to open up more doors. Even still I can’t really hyper-focus because I work a full time job and that will cut into my focus time in a major way. That like you said is causing me to move a bit slower as there is only so much time so I must take longer to do things. Nothing wrong with taking more time, just as long as you keep moving forward and gaining on your goals.

      Thanks for chiming in on this Shae, I wish some other would express there opinions but this has helped get me back on course with setting my goals.

      You’re the best

  7. I like this. Thank you both! I’ve read the power of less and I have listened to harmonic wealth, they are both great but not exact recipes for me. I have taken strategies and notes from both and try to adopt a hybrid to suit my lifestyle. I figure I will have to revise my strategy every 30 days or so. It’s been working pretty good for a couple of months now. 🙂 Both of you appear to be driven and get lots and lots done, and I enjoy hearing about it, and how you organize and prioritize. just my .02, carry on 🙂
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Back from Vegas =-.

    1. Thanks for chiming in Kelly. Your post brings up another question that I have and that is…Do you adjust your goals to fit your lifestyle or do you adjust your life stile to fit your goals? I guess that depends on if you set goals to change your lifestyle…hehe. Round and round my head goes, where it stops nobody knows.

      I haven’t read/listened to Harmonic wealth yet, I’m going to have to put that on the list.

      The best strategy is to do what works best for you. But the over all key is to set goals and to create smaller goals (or tasks) to help you accomplish your larger goals. These tasks are simple items that could be done in no time at all. As Shae said in not so few words, small successes lead to big accomplishments.

  8. I like this. Thank you both! I’ve read the power of less and I have listened to harmonic wealth, they are both great but not exact recipes for me. I have taken strategies and notes from both and try to adopt a hybrid to suit my lifestyle. I figure I will have to revise my strategy every 30 days or so. It’s been working pretty good for a couple of months now. 🙂 Both of you appear to be driven and get lots and lots done, and I enjoy hearing about it, and how you organize and prioritize. just my .02, carry on 🙂
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Back from Vegas =-.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks for chiming in Kelly. Your post brings up another question that I have and that is…Do you adjust your goals to fit your lifestyle or do you adjust your life stile to fit your goals? I guess that depends on if you set goals to change your lifestyle…hehe. Round and round my head goes, where it stops nobody knows.

      I haven’t read/listened to Harmonic wealth yet, I’m going to have to put that on the list.

      The best strategy is to do what works best for you. But the over all key is to set goals and to create smaller goals (or tasks) to help you accomplish your larger goals. These tasks are simple items that could be done in no time at all. As Shae said in not so few words, small successes lead to big accomplishments.

    1. Post
      Author

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