This is a question that can be approached and looked at from a few different angles, and I’d suggest it’s a key question every time…
“Have you set your goal achievement deadline as 12th Never?”
It could be argued that the concept of attaching a date deadline only works to specific areas of self improvement, goal achievement for example, and even then that it’s a technique which is said by many to actually be counter productive rather than helpful.
It’s probably viewed as counter productive when it’s set unrealistically, because that brings ‘failure’ as a result, which only has damaging self belief issues. For example if you set a deadline 6 months away to be a millionaire and you are starting from nothing, although it’s *possible* the most likely outcome is failure.
While that ‘counter productive’ argument has some logic to it, in my view it simply means that we have to give more careful consideration to the date setting exercise in the first place, rather than dismissing the whole idea altogether.
In fact, while accepting that the idea of date setting does take in the area of goal setting, let’s widen the scope to pull in the broader umbrellas of self improvement and personal development.
If we do that, I think we get a better understanding of the benefits of deadline setting, by looking at it in a different way. Let me explain…
Some people say that we should set a goal in the form of “by January 1st 2020 I will have 1 million pounds in the bank” for example.
Other people say that goals should be instead be set in the form of “I have 1 million pounds in the bank”
The way I’d look at it in this example, would be to do away with the money target altogether, because the actual goal is what the money will allow us to be, the freedom it may bring to allow us to be our real selves, and what we will become on the journey.
If we focus on those personal development targets rather than solely a monetary target we are setting a richer foundation in my view.
To take that view further, once we’ve set the goal, instead of focusing on that end deadline, we should work out a road map of steps between the goal back to where we are now, so that we have the very next step worked out that we need to take.
Once we’ve done that, we are starting to answer some key questions, like – ‘why don’t you have your goal already?’ and ‘what are you going to do about it?’
The next question to follow on from that is ‘when are you going to do it?’ I think *that’s* the date we should be worrying about, because it’s the action, the taking of that next step, that’s what will move us closer to where we want to be.
It’s why I call ‘action’ of the 4 magic words beginning with ‘A’, and it’s a reason so many people don’t move forwards – not because they set the end goal date as 12th Never, but because they set their *next step* deadline as 12th Never!
The excuses pile up – oh, I can’t do it now, I have to wait until so and so does this, I have to wait until that other thing happens, I can’t do it until, and so on and so on…
Anything to avoid actually taking the action, when often it’s action that can actually be taken right now!
It could be that the avoidance stems from fear – fear of failure, fear of ridicule. Those fears can be very real, although of course I believe one of the best ways of overcoming those fears is to take the very action we’re fearful of. Instead of worrying about potential results of action, take the action and *find out* the results!
Another reason we might be avoiding the action is that the goal isn’t really something we want at all. It might be that the goal is imposed on us, by our peers, family, society etc.
If that’s the case, then the next action to take is to re-evaluate the goals, to make sure you are setting goals that empower *you*, that serve you, that bring joy and passion and purpose and fulfilment to you, not others.
If we do that, and set goals that align with our true selves, then we stop using 12th Never as our deadline of choice, and find that we start taking action right now. That shifts the whole movement forwards, it brings vague dates from the future into sight.
Look to your own goals? Have you been using the 12th Never as your date deadline? If you have, you need to look again. It really can change your life – it can transform it!
By the way, if you’d like to get more ideas on goal achievement, don’t forget to grab my free 8 step goal achievement formula!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. Here’s that other point I mentioned, The 4 Magic Words Beginning With ‘A’