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Sustainability Tools | JDC EXEC

Four P’s of Goal Setting

Chad Prinsloo | Web Designer

Janine Do Cabo  | Sustainability & Leadership Development  |  JHB, SA

Feb 2021

You need goals to get things done. However, not every goal is effective. The way that you word your goals will determine whether or not you reach them. When establishing goals, it is important to remember the Four P’s of goal setting. They need to be positive, personal, possible, and prioritized.

 

They Need to Be Positive

When you are creating goals, remember to make sure that they are positive. This means that you focus on what you want to achieve rather than what you want to avoid. For example, you would write, “I will achieve a promotion.” rather than “I will no longer work at this horrible job.” Staying focused on the positive will help improve your outlook and remove any negativity. This, in turn, will improve your chances for success. Reaching your goals will automatically help you avoid your present circumstances. When creating positive goals, remember to be as specific as possible.

 

They Need to Be Personal

When creating goals, they need to reflect your dreams and desires. Goals that are not personal are ineffective. Your goals should be about you and only you. For example, “My boss will appreciate me.” is an ineffective goal because it is not about you. It is possible to be a wonderful employee and still be unappreciated. A better goal would be, “I will find a supervisory position where I am appreciated for my talent.” If your goals are not personal, you will never achieve them. Making goals personal places the burden of responsibility on you, but it also means that other people do not determine when you reach your goals.

 

They Need to Be Possible

When creating goals, you need to make sure that they are possible. When you set impossible goals, you set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Creating possible goals demands that you be honest with yourself. Some goals may require continued education or experience to achieve while others will remain out of reach. For example, it is not possible for someone to become a famous singer without any talent whatsoever. You need to assess your talents and determine what you can achieve with hard work and what will be impossible for you to accomplish. Once you have determined which goals are possible for you to achieve, success will be within reach.

 

They Need to Be Prioritized

Brainstorming goals can become overwhelming. You will probably have more goals than you can handle. This is the time to prioritize your goals. Begin by numerically ranking your goals and choosing the five goals that are the most important to you. Choose these goals based on your passions, and make sure that they cover all areas of your life: professional, health, personal growth, finances, etc. All of your time and energy should be spent working towards these goals.

You should place your other goals on the back burner. It is not possible to focus on 20 goals at the same time. In fact, you should avoid the other goals at all cost. You risk becoming side tracked with less important goals if you continue to entertain them. You will need to reprioritize your goals periodically. For example, you can reprioritize after you achieve one of your top five goals.

 

Case Study

Sean was miserable at his job. He knew that he needed a change and decided to create life goals to spur change. He began by creating the goal, “No longer work at this horrible job.” He continued with, “My family will respect my decisions.” Sean also created a short-term goal to find a position in upper management even though he had no management experience. Over the course of the year, Sean tried to realize his goals, but he remained in the same place. Feelings of frustration led him to seek out life classes where he learned to create more effective goals. After following the Four P’s, Sean began to achieve his goals.

 

In conclusion, remember that positivity is a choice that allows for you to not only enjoy the journey but also opens your life up to amazing opportunities.  Once you start looking at life through a positive lens, it’s easier to be personal about what you intend on achieving, realistic so that it becomes possible and prioritize so that you spend the best part of your time on the things in life that will get you where you need to be.  Soon, you too can expect tangible results just like Sean.

 

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