The Power of Setting Unrealistic Goals

It is easy to lower your goals to something more achievable. The logic follows that by not setting your goal too high, you can make the goal. To set a higher goal would be unrealistic. Then, when you miss the goal, you may feel bad having missed it and lose your momentum and drive.

This is poor thinking around goal-setting.

A business doing $10M in sales may set a realistic goal of $11.2M for the following year. That goal is specific, measurable, agreed upon, reachable, and time-bound, everything a goal is supposed to be. But the goal itself is impotent.

The business doing $10M knows it can reach the $11.2M goal. The problem with reachable goals is that you don’t have to do anything different to reach them. They have no power and therefore don’t require any new beliefs, new knowledge, new skills, or new behaviors. Why bother setting such a wimpy goal?

What if the business set their goal for $20M? “Iannarino,” you say, “That’s outrageous. How on earth can they double the size of their business in a year?” And in that very question is the power of an unreasonable goal. It forces you to take action, to change, and to stretch yourself further than you ever thought possible.

What if they miss their goals? What if they come up short?

Exactly what is wrong with not making your goals? Failure is simply a form of feedback. You need to adjust what you are doing before you try again.

The above scenario is true. The company in question did not make their goal. They only made it to 17.5M in the second year. They had to make massive changes to produce that number. It is too bad they missed their goal.

Are your goals unrealistic enough to require massive change and growth to reach them?

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