If your goals aren’t visceral – if they’re not authentic – they’re impotent. People with impotent goals are suffering from what doctors call Goal Disfunction (GD). To firm up your goals, you need Goal Viagra: Goalvitra.
After years of research and experimentation, I’ve developed a prescription-strength cure for GD from three pharmagoalogical substances: Roles, Goals and Controls. They work because they rhyme.
Here’s how Goalvitra works.
Start with Why
According to Simon Sinek, you have to start everything with your why. He says that your brain is a fortune cookie. Inside it there’s a tiny slip of paper with your why written on it. Since your limbic brain uses feelings, not words, your fortune cookie’s written in hieroglyphics – you can tell that there’s something that drives you, an overarching desire that causes you to engage with your environment in the way that you do, but you’ll never be able to fully, completely, and accurately nail it down.
Instead, you’ll circle around it, getting closer and closer. The more you analyze who you are and what you do, the more refined your why will become, adding nuance to your understanding of yourself.
So start with why. Then after realizing your why is really hard to nail down, start someplace else. Like with roles.
Start Again with Roles
Who are you, and who do you want to become? I have a list of six roles that I identified about ten years ago. These roles describe me completely, but they’re also a poignant reminder of how far I have to go. Every year, I go back to that list and review those roles to make sure that they all still resonate with me. Your roles not only help you discover and delineate your why, they help your why become three dimensional.
The six roles I identified for myself are:
I’m not perfect in any of my roles, but all of the roles describe who I am. My roles help me get to my goals. Additionally, I can reconcile all of my activities and opportunities against my roles. If I’m doing something that is not aligned with my roles, then either (1) I need to stop doing that activity or (2) I failed to recognize a role. If an opportunity exists that doesn’t line up with my roles, I need to pass on it.
You don’t have to have six roles. The reason I have exactly six is because thats exactly how many I identified. However, the fewer roles you have, the more focused your life will be, and the more successful you’ll be at each of the individual roles.
Roles also help you maintain balance. We all know of people who built booming practices, but did so by sacrificing their families or their health or their dreams of becoming bass guitar rock stars.
Proceed to Goals
After identifying your roles, start thinking about where you want those roles to take you. The places where you want your roles to take you are called your goals, and your goals should be aspirational. Aspirational means that their achievement is not based solely on self-discipline and willpower; however, aspirational doesn’t mean impossible or unattainable.
You can be all S.M.A.R.T with these goals, but much more important is that these goals remain visceral and authentic. You don’t suck if you don’t hit all five letters.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that aspirational goals aren’t things you can just go out and do. You can’t just choose to do them. I can’t choose to bench press 350 pounds. I can aspire to bench press 350 pounds. I can choose to lift twice a week and max lift once a month.
After determining at least one aspirational goal for each of your roles (or even better, for a combination of your roles), figure out what things you can actually do – things that are in your control – that will help you achieve your goals. Normal people call these objectives. I call them controls. Because it rhymes. Maybe I should call them “objectoles.” You’re right. That’s stupid.
Let’s take a quick look at an example.
Role 1: CPA Firm Owner
Role 2: General badass
Goal 1: To become the premier firm for tattoo parlors and tattoo artist in the United States
Control 1: Identify the two largest tattoo parlors (by gross revenue) in each of the twenty largest cities (by population) in the United States by the end of December.
Control 2: Identify ten prominent tattoo artists in my city by the end of this week.
Control 3: Take one prominent tattoo artist in my city out for
meth coffee a beer every week for ten weeks to learn more about the industry and the accounting needs of tattoo professionals.
Control 4: Attend one major national tattoo convention per quarter for four quarters.
Control 5: Get a neck tattoo that says “CPA-4-Life” by Tuesday.
- Goal 1 is particularly powerful because it is the actualization of two roles. If you’re the premier accountant for the tattoo industry, you’re a total badass CPA.
- Goal 1 is not S.M.A.R.T. It isn’t timely, and it’s not necessarily attainable or realistic. But if it turns you on, it doesn’t have to be S.M.A.R.T.
- All of the controls should lead to the achievement of Goal 1, but Goal 1 is not guaranteed no matter how many controls you identify and complete.
- All of the controls are S.M.A.R.T.
Your GD goals won’t be a GD problem when you apply Goalvitra. Side effects include inflamed satisfaction, nichey scalp and swollen wallet.
Greg was born in Akron, Ohio, in the shadow of the Firestone tire factory. He began to swim competitively when he was eight, swimming for the Mountlake Terrace Lemmings. He graduated in 1995 from the University of Washington with a math degree. He chose math for the ladies. After serving ten-years as an 8th grade math teacher, he decided it was time for a career change, mainly because he “couldn’t stand those little bastards.” He began his accounting career with a local CPA firm in Orem, Utah, where he consistently failed the QuickBooks ProAdvisor advanced certification exam. Greg currently works as the Controller for the Utah Valley Physicians Plaza. He lives in Provo, Utah, with his wife and two kids. He enjoys eating maple bars, drinking Diet Pepsi, and swearing.