“Stretch” Methods of Setting in Place Achievable, Self-Generated Goals

Stretch Goals pic
Stretch Goals
Image: deanapepe.com

As the head of Open Mind Technologies, Inc., Willy Wood provides advanced techniques of learning across disciplines, with a focus on language arts. Willy Wood has extensive experience in goal setting and self-improvement, and he wrote an article on why setting New Year’s resolutions often does not work.

One reason people fail to reach their goals is that they frequently set goals requiring serious effort to achieve without also creating a step-by-step plan for getting there. One way of avoiding this trap is to create “stretch” goals of an appropriate magnitude, such that they are challenging to achieve but by no means impossible.

Overly ambitious goals, such as losing 100 pounds or earning a prestigious award, may not only be impossible to achieve but may cause one to give up striving to achieve other goals in the future. On the flip side, goals that do not involve enough of a challenge may ultimately result in a why-bother attitude because they do not inspire or motivate.

Finding the middle way involves taking time to closely evaluate what you actually want to occur and to visualize the steps it will take to get there. Do not simply set an overarching goal but break it into achievable component parts and set and evaluate those goals on a monthly basis. Ultimately, setting goals effectively involves becoming your own boss and manager and holding yourself accountable.