The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

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What Are 'Goals'?

A Goal is a statement that describes precisely what you want to achieve. Goals are more useful if they are Framed in a Positive, Immediate, Concrete and Specific (PICS) format:

It's ok to change your goals if you no longer feel good about them.

Josh Kaufman Explains 'Goals'

Much has been made in business literature about the importance of having Goals.

Well-formed goals accomplish two things: they help you visualize what you want, and make you excited about achieving it.

A Goal is a statement that clarifies precisely what you want to achieve, which makes it easy for your brain to use Mental Simulation to Visualize what achieving that goal looks like.

If the End Result you're looking for is vague or fuzzy, you're making it difficult for your mind's planning systems to automatically find ways to get it as it works in the background.

Well-formed goals also play a key role in Motivation-the more clearly defined your goal, the easier it is to get excited about doing the things required to get what you want.

Fuzzy goals like: "I want to climb a mountain" aren't very helpful, because they don't give your brain anything to work with. Which mountain? Where? When? Why? Without answers to these questions, you probably won't do anything at all.

Well-formed goals pass the "Everest Test." Useful goals look like this: "I want to climb to the summit of Mt. Everest before my fortieth birthday, and take a panoramic picture to frame on my wall as a trophy."

This goal is easy for your brain to simulate-Mt. Everest is in Nepal, so you'll have to arrange travel. You'll also have to improve your climbing skills, find a guide, buy equipment, purchase a suitable panoramic camera, etc.

Once you make a conscious Choice to achieve the goal, your mind automatically starts finding ways to get it done.

Goals are most useful if they're Framed in a Positive, Immediate, Concrete, Specific (PICS) format:

For best effect, your goals should be under your control. Goals like "Losing twenty pounds" are soul-crushing because they're not directly under your control-losing weight is a result, not an effort. If your weight randomly moves up a few pounds on a given day, it's easy to feel defeated, even though you had no choice in the matter.

For best results, make your goals actions that are within your Locus of Control, like thirty minutes of exercise every day and controlling the number of calories you consume.

To track your goals, any simple notebook or reference system will do. Personally, I write down all of my goals using a simple text file, which I print out and keep in my to-do notebook. Whenever I'm thinking about what I need to do, I have my list of goals handy for easy reference, which makes it easy to determine which tasks are most important.

It's perfectly okay to change your goals. Sometimes we think we want something, only to find out later that we don't want it so much anymore. Don't feel bad about that-it's called learning.

If you find yourself working toward a goal you no longer feel good about, work on something else.

Questions About 'Goals'


"Setting a vague goal is like walking into a restaurant and saying, 'I'm hungry. I want some food.' You'll stay hungry until you order something."

Steve Pavlina, author of Personal Development for Smart People and blogger at stevepavlina.com


From Chapter 7:

Working With Yourself


https://personalmba.com/goals/



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The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is an acclaimed business, learning, and skill acquisition expert. He is the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. Josh's research and writing have helped millions of people worldwide learn the fundamentals of modern business.

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