To achieve your goals or any type of project, you need to be clear. Here are 5 reasons why.
Clarity brings focus
The clearer you are, the more focused you can be. Which one would you say has the best chance of success? The person that defines the end goal as ‘wanting to start their own business’ versus the one that defines it as ‘wanting to start a Math tutoring business by the end of March 2014’?
It’s perfectly fine to have a desire to have your own business but you won’t get very far if you don’t know the type. A bit obvious as an example I know but I bet many New Year’s resolutions out there don’t stand a chance because they are too vague.
Clarity helps us decide what’s important
When you have a clear goal or vision, you can decide how you will get there. If you’re vision or goal is vague, it will be impossible to have a clear plan. So it’s a two step process: clarify the goal then clarify the way there.
I’m working with a client at the moment where the goal is unclear but people are actively working towards it. A recipe for disaster particularly since we are talking about quite a few people. How can they tell that doing X will get them closer to goal and that doing Y is a waste of time if they are unclear where they are headed?
So to be able to make clear decisions on your journey to success, you need to be clear.
Clarity helps people get aligned behind a goal
In the above example, we are talking about 20 people working towards and unclear goal. The result is confusion and eventually, things will stop moving. You can only get teams pulling in the direction of a goal if you are crystal clear what the goal is and what you expect them to do.
I attend too many meetings where a statement like this is made ‘What we need to do here is…’ What follows is a good discussion with lots of ideas and possible goals but NOBODY is tasked with clarifying the goal and helping the team take on tasks. Everyone leaves the meeting and weeks later, someone says: ‘did we make any progress on X?’ Hum.
Clarity helps you stay motivated
Talking about progress. It’s very hard to measure progress if you don’t know where you’re headed. And measuring progress helps keep motivation up.
Take a goal of wanting to lose weight. A fairly typical goal after Christmas. If you don’t know how much you want to lose and where you started, how will you know that you are losing weight? You need to have your starting weight, decide how much you want to lose over X period of time then measure your progress. Otherwise, I can guarantee that you will lose a pound here and there but you’ll probably put one back on here and there.
Clarity helps you get where you want to be
Overall clarity helps you get where you want to be. In my work, we often hear ‘they keep moving the goal post’. This means that someone is changing the goal so all our efforts and plans don’t work anymore.
The same will happen with a personal goal if you are not clear on the goal post and as a result keep moving it. You will be wasting your energy and your limited amount of willpower (see previous post on that) taking actions that will not get you closer to what you want.
Are your goals and projects clear?