Goal setting doesn’t work. They’re not supposed to work. You’re supposed to work! The purpose of setting goals is to inspire and motivate you to work smarter and more resourcefully. Do goals accomplish that purpose? Yes! Goals that are above the line do and the goals below don’t. Simple as that.
So, what do I mean by “above the line and below the line.” Your goal either passes the ACID test or it doesn’t. If it passes, it’s above the line. So, what is the ACID test? I’m going to assume that your goal is SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant/realistic & time-bound). Any article or book about goals espouses the importance of making them SMART and I wanted to be sure to include it again as there is power in repetition.
However, a goal can be SMART and yet not pass the ACID test.
The elements of the ACID test are the following:
Alignment: Your goal must be in Alignment with YOUR values. If your goal is not authentic to who you are and what you are about it is merely a suggestion, of which you hallucinate, you have bought into. In this instance, it does get to be all about you.
Capacity: You must have the mental, emotional & physical Capacity to achieve the goal. Be willing to admit you may not have the skill set or will set to accomplish the objective. If you are 48 years old, standing 5’7″ and haven’t stepped on a basketball court since high school, you most likely won’t be the starting power forward for an NBA team anytime soon no matter how SMART you write the goal.
Inspiring: Your goal must Inspire you to be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish it. Associating to the achievement of the goal must cause you to feel you can go beyond any upper limits you may have bumped up against to this point.
Determination: You must remain Determined in the face of all adversity. Published authors suffer scores if not hundreds of rejections before becoming published. Most success stories experienced massive failures along their way to victory. The majority of overnight successes will tell you they have been at it their entire life.
Here are the four ACID test questions to see if your goal will do the job of getting you to do the work necessary to make it a reality.
1. Is the goal in alignment with my values?
2. Do I have or can I develop the capacity to accomplish this goal?
3. Am I Inspired to do whatever it takes to achieve this goal?
4. Do I have the Determination to overcome inevitable adversity and setbacks?
If you can honestly answer these four questions in the affirmative you are assured your efforts will pay off.
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