How to Make a Fuzzy Goal Concrete (and Skyrocket Your Chance of Hitting It)

How to Make a Fuzzy Goal Concrete (and Skyrocket Your Chance of Hitting It)

My 2012 goals list has quite a few goals that started out as fuzzy:

  • “Read Harry Potter, Madeline L’Engle, and Annie Dillard” began as “read some of those books I’ve been putting off for ages.”
  • “Read 3 books about the craft of writing” started as “become a better writer.”
  • “8:30 2k row” started as “increase my pathetic aerobic capacity.”

Those original goals–like “be a better writer”– are wonderful ambitions, but they’re terrible goals.  If I don’t define what I’m aiming for, I won’t know when I hit it.  And I want to hit my goals!

Good goals are specific, realistic, and attainable.  To transform my vague ambitions into good goals, I need to decide 3 things:

  1. What will success look like?
  2. What work am I going to do to get there?
  3. Is this a realistic goal?

(I’m saying this all matter-of-fact now, but it’s taken me years to figure out how to make decent goals.  And I’m still learning!)

Here’s a low-stakes example from my own list: I want to learn to knit in 2012, but I know so little about knitting that I don’t even know what I don’t know!  So I made my goal to knit mittens, baby booties, and a really cute hat in 2012.  It’s specific. Concrete. Realistic. And competely attainable.

Don’t stress about creating perfect goals. You can always tweak your goals, change them entirely, or build upon your success by creating new ones.  But by choosing what to focus on, and choosing how to approach it, you skyrocket your chance of success.

Next week I’ll tell you about how I’m making my very fuzzy goal of “be more on top of things” concrete.

Do you have any fuzzy goals for 2012? Share in comments! How can you make it attainable?

photo courtesy toolstop

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  1. Jamie says:

    Great post! One of my “fuzzy goals” is to increase the number of positive investments I make in my relationships (specifically through gift giving, one of my weaknesses). To make that more concrete and attainable, I have decided to focus on sending a card and a small gift (on time!) for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and promotions this year. That’s doable, right? 🙂

    • Adriana says:

      Yes. Sending birthday cards on time to my 20 nieces and nephews is one of my goals! This year I have stocked up on cute kid-themed cards and I am placing reminders to myself on my online calendar.

  2. Lucky says:

    I know what you mean. I have some relatives who are not exactly up to date with the digital world, and I feel like they are being ignored in some ways (not on purpose but no one sends them pictures of the kids or anything any more because no one prints pictures any more, we post them on facebook). I was feeling kind of bad about it all during Christmas, and decided in 2012 I should try to do something about it. It wasn’t until I committed to writing 4 actual letters a week (or sometimes I send cards) that something started happening though.

  3. Christine says:

    I started with the very fuzzy goal of, “get more organized”. I have narrowed that down to, “tackle one organization project a month”. I am working on our basement now. I’m almost done (with the basement)! Talk about tackeling the beast right out of the starting gate!!!!!!!

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