The 4 pillars of strong goals
People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals — that is, goals that do not inspire them.
Goal-setting gone wrong
Let me be clear, goal-setting techniques are super important. They will for sure lead to goals that will bring you to a higher level in life. Sometimes you can set goals and you truly believe that they will bring you to the next level, but the results can be disappointing. It could be that you replete yourself physically or mentally with the result you cannot experience the results of the achieved goal fully. Or maybe you’re so committed to reaching your goal that you strip away the balance you had in another dimension of your life. Another possibility is that your goal motivates you and suits you very well, but is just simply not a fit with your personal life. Or what I often detect nowadays is that people have the most amazing motivational goals that suit their personal lives but the end result does not really satisfy them. These are goals that are not in line with their values and identity.
In this post, I’ll discuss the four pillars to set strong goals resulting in life-changing pursuits. They are the four prerequisites for goals that will ignite you to move and consequently contribute to your ideal life.
How the 4 pillars can support your goal-setting process
On a football field, the lines indicate the playfield and the inner lines determine a successful game. These four pillars determine successful goals. In your job for sure you have best practices that you follow. Consider these four pillars the best practices to always include for a strong goal. If you make a lovely dish for Christmas, you want it to be perfect. So you follow a recipe step by step seamlessly to create a proven good dish that represents how you want to treat your guest. Consider these four pillars to be the different steps in your recipe that you should follow. Of course, you can improvise by making the dish a little spicier, but you should always take the pillars into account. If we don’t adhere to these guidelines, the football match becomes an unorganized riot, your job performance will be under par and your dish will be a complete mess.
Why the 4 pillars for goal-setting?
So what are these four pillars then? Previously, I already emphasized a goal should be motivational, personal and in line with your identity and values. These pillars ensure that you keep to these characteristics of a goal, resulting in that you do not burn out or create a goal that does not satisfy you.
Firstly, a goal should be balanced out with your physical and mental health. Secondly, a goal should be balanced out with the different important dimensions in your life. Thirdly, a goal should be in harmony with your personal life. Lastly, but certainly not least, if you want to set a goal that makes you happy in the future, it is imperative that your goal is value-based. Let me now briefly explain why these four pillars are so important.
4 Pillars for strong Goal-Setting
- Pillar 1: Goals congruent with your Mind & Body
- Pillar 2: Goals tailored to a Balanced Life
- Pillar 3: Goals in harmony with your Personal Life
- Pillar 4: Goals that are Value-Based
Pillar 1: Goals congruent with your Mind & Body
Goals are literally amazing, but sometimes we can lose ourselves in the pursuit of our goals. When we set a goal to run a marathon within 3 hours, it could be that we neglect our mind. Sometimes we also want to read a book or watch a documentary. Or whatever works for you.
Or your goal could be to obtain all the knowledge that Stephen Hawking published. You lock yourself in your room and you start reading, exploring, investigating and before you know it, you forget that you need to maintain your body through proper food and exercise to keep going. You burn down and that derails you from pursuing your goal. Find out how to prevent this from happening in our goal-setting course.
Pillar 2: Goals tailored to a Balanced Life
A balanced life is a prerequisite for a happy and fulfilling life. All your activities during your week should be centered around the physical, mental, social and spiritual domains of life. The same counts for goal-setting. You don’t want to only set goals in one or two domains. It is important to challenge yourself in all four domains. In that way, all four domains will stay at the forefront of your mind and you’ll feel balanced.
Pillar 3: Goals in harmony with your Personal Life
Then the third pillar: goal-setting in harmony with your personal life. You know those people who say that they have no restrictions in their lives. They take life as it comes and do whatever they want. These people don’t exist. It is an illusion. We all have restrictions to a certain degree. That could be a child, a mortgage or your job that you love. But it can also be a country or city that you are attached to or the routine to go for a morning walk.
We human beings just build a personal life throughout our existence. If you set goals, it is very important they are in harmony with your personal life. If they are not, your personal life will pull you back while you try to progress towards your goal.
Pillar 4: Goals that are Value-Based
Every human is unique, right? There’s no copy of any human in the world, right? Exactly. Every human has a unique set of personal values. People could have the same values, but what they mean to the one can be something completely different than to the other. Psychological research has confirmed time after time how important it is to adhere to your personal values. This often expressed through lessons like you should be authentic or true to yourself.
Eventually, it all boils down to that we need to know our values and that we need to organize our lives around them. We can decide not to, but that will result in negative outcomes like depressions. For that reason, you need to make sure that all your goals are also value-based. You can have goals that are congruent with your body & mind, suit a balanced life perfectly and are in line with your current personal life, but as long as they are not value-based they will still be goals that will not make you happy over time.