Monday, April 10, 2017

Video: Michael Bernoff - Goal Setting Might Not be That Important

Michael Bernoff - Goal Setting - 3 Stages of Goals

Goal setting is something we hear often enough.  It’s something we know… or at least we think we do.  Maybe goal setting isn’t as important as we think it is.  Many people set goals, but maybe there’s more to it?
According to Michael Bernoff, the speaker in this video, the key to success isn’t setting goals as it is something else that’s even more important.

If you’d rather watch it on YouTube, here is the link:

Here are some of my notes from this video clip:

What is a goal?
A goal, simply put, is to “get somewhere” (different than where we are now).

Often, if set goals, because something in our life isn’t quite “working right.”

What’s a common problem with the goals we set?
We also tend to create goals that are arbitrarily defined.  Maybe we do not put a timeline on it, for instance.  If we do put a timeline on it, maybe the number doesn’t really reflect how we feel and what we want; it’s just a number we told ourselves we should “shoot for.”  The same applies to the quantity of a goal, for instance, maybe we want to lose 19% of our body fat… when 18% would make us (nearly) just as happy.

Banoff shares, “We typically, whenever we’re not pulling something off (in our lives), we design plans for ourselves, and we also design a back story in advance of how we cannot pull it off.”  Essentially, we almost know in advance that we’re going to fail.

The Problem with Goal Setting in the Past
There are 3 tenses:

How important is our past?

Banhoff says that, “The past is not very important… It really doesn’t matter what you did up until now.”  It matters what you’re going to do today (or even tomorrow).

Goals: Getting Excited vs. Causing Depression
“It’s easy to get obsessed about our future.  The future is a very exciting thing.”  The problem is that excitement only lasts 5 minutes (or however long…).  It eventually wears off.

“For many people, our goals are some of the most depressing things we could ever come up with. If you want to fail in life, just stare at goals… and not get them.”
“We have a tendency of judging our life by the goals we DID NOT get rather than the goals we’re looking to get.  Our “dream board” really becomes a “nightmare board.”  It tends to remind us how far we are from what we want.”

“…that thing you want, you’re misrepresenting in your life.”  It’s not about having goals; it’s about getting goals…achieving them.”

What’s the most important part of our goals?
“There’s one other little thing that most of us miss (the forth tense vs. past, present, & future tense). It’s a little word called ‘motion’…”

“…and motion is about getting yourself to take action.”

The sheer fact of “having a goal” gets you excited.  However, it’s not about getting you excited.  It’s about getting you to take action.

Goal Setting: The Usual Way
He explains, “Most of us understand how to have a goal…Write it down, and get excited.”

He made a good point, “There have been studies recently…They say that sheer fact of having a goal turns you on more than actually achieving it.”

“You know why they teach goal setting to people? It’s easy sell you stuff….If I get you excited, you’ll be excited. It’s going to wear off in 5 minutes, but you’ll be excited.”

Goal Setting: Michael Burnoff’s Way
It’s not about getting excited. It’s about taking action to get you where you want to go.

Who is Michael Burnoff?

According to his website, Michael Burnoff is a public speaker and a leader in the personal and professional development industry. He helps transform corporate culture in the ever-changing marketplace. He wants to positively impact the world by empowering people. He studied and modeled effective leaders recognized worldwide. He talks and workshops focus on self-confidence, health, happiness, action-induced transformation, and other areas.

My Takeaways

After watching this video, I still think goal setting is important, but the speaker does a good job of reminding me that goals without actions are merely dreams…that continue to haunt us…until we either finally attain them… or simply give up and let go of them.  Not that I want to encourage premature quitting, but honestly there is a place for each of these… and it being “okay.”

The past helps shape us and gives us opportunities to gain wisdom.  When we focus on that, it gives us a chance to become stronger.

However, many times, it’s tempting to rest on our laurels of what we’ve done yesterday in place of actually looking to do more today or tomorrow.  That’s when the past is not very helpful… in fact, if we’re not careful, it gets in our way of focusing on what we need to do in the present… and what we can get accomplished in the future.

After spending some time thinking about this, as I write this, I’m leaning toward paying attention to 2 things:

1. (Long-Term Future) Goal: What would we like have accomplished down the road?

2. (Short-Term Present) Goal: What can we do today to get us a little closer to reaching our future goal… if we don’t get there today.

The long-term goal gives us a chance to get excited about the future.

The short-term goal gives us a chance to “get in motion” toward that more exciting future.

Do you have an easier time setting long-term goals or keeping short-term goals?

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