Recently, I was asked several questions about goal setting. I mentor several people and one of my mentees asked a few thought-provoking questions. Since she was curious about goals and goal setting, I figure you all may be as well.
Q: Do you use long-term goals to set up your short-term goals?
Ketterman: Absolutely! I set annual goals around the end of each calendar year. After reviewing the previous year’s accomplishments and progress, I sit down on the beach in December and script out my desired outcomes for the following year. This helps shape the goals. The annual goals are then broken down into smaller chunks in the form of monthly, weekly and daily goals.
Q: Where do you place your goals?
Ketterman: Great question! I place my goals in a clearly visible place in my home, my walk-in closet, at eye level, this way I am forced to look at the goals daily. As headway is made, I make notes and update progress directly on the goal sheet. Your mind likes to see progress. To get to where you are going, you need to know where you are. Taking small bites out of the elephant allows you to feel less overwhelmed and more in control.
Q: How do you prevent yourself from becoming burnt out?
Ketterman: Recharge! To achieve peak performance, you must:
- Take little breaks during the day
- Take a rest day every 7-10 days
- Take an extended time off at least once per quarter
I know what you are thinking. Rest? Who has time for rest? It is not a matter of having time to rest, we must make time to rest. I speak from experience. I had a running streak of 8,700 consecutive days of running at least one mile per day, without missing a single day. You are correct. That is 23 years without a rest day. During that streak, I looked forward to going to the dentist and barber just to be still for an hour. When the streak finally came to an end, taking a rest day was harder work than working out. It was, however, the best thing for the body. Your phone needs to recharge. Your car needs to refuel. So does your mind and body. Take breaks and take rest, and I promise you, your performance will improve.
Q: Have you ever set a goal and not reached it?
Ketterman: Of course. If you hit every goal, every time, you are simply not setting your goals high enough. Goals that are always reached are a fancy to-do list. Set goals that make you dig deeper, reach further and take you out of your comfort zone.
Q: What was your reaction to not reaching your goal?
Ketterman: Disappointment at first. It is very disappointing to miss a goal in some cases. Other times, I just reboot, reflect and reset the goal for the next month. It is very important to take a little time to reflect—not dwell—on your last few months. You go to the doctor to get a physical to check-up on your body and mind. The same is true for reviewing your goals. Life sometimes causes you to modify. Make adjustments, not excuses! It is perfectly fine to pivot once in a while. The key is to keep moving. Good luck!
As always, feel free to email your comments, ideas, and suggestions to me at email@example.com.