Shoot for the Stars
I am a fan of the “shoot for the stars” approach when it comes to goal setting. The chart below illustrates that shooting for the stars when pursuing your dreams has its benefits. If you have high aspiration levels (aka. your shooting for the stars with a goal or vision that seems way out of your reach), your personal growth and learning will increase. If you have already hit or are close to reaching your aspirations, you are not experiencing much growth or learning, and you should revisit your goals. As your coach, I will educate you on the importance of having aspirational goals to motivate your learning.
The goal-setting process entails discussions that will encourage you to think through and prioritize what's important to you. Where you are today, AND where do you to be tomorrow, one year, two years, etc.? Once you know where you want to be, you will create aspirational goals that will get you there.
This chart is a useful tool for all types of clients – from those that are just starting their career or beginning a new stage of life to those that feel they’ve plateaued at work or in their personal life. This tool can lead to the discussion of the importance of goal setting and taking a “shoot for the stars” approach when thinking about what's possible. This tool may have limited value for those that feel they have reached their life goals; however, these individuals can be challenged to focus on creating goals for a different aspect of their life.
This chart shows that when you are performing below your aspirations, you have a high learning focus, and you are moving into the world of new - learning new ways of doing things and seeking new experiences; you are adapting and building your capacity to learn and achieve long-term results. When you are performing close to your aspirations, you are in the word of the familiar. Your day-to-day is much more routine, and you are not challenging yourself to learn new ways of doing things or seeking new experiences. Unless your goal is to stay right where you are, "shooting for the stars" and creating aspirational goals will help you reach new levels as to what you accomplish.
Baum, J. A. C., & Dahlin, K. B. (2007). Aspiration performance and railroads’ patterns of learning from train wrecks and accidents. Organization Science, 18(3), 368–385.