Stop Setting Big Goals – flat pack furniture shown me why!
So I have a secret, I hate goal setting. Not sure why but I do. It’s not that I doubt my ability to reach a goal to anything like that but goal setting feels transactional and I don’t want a transactional life.
I found myself yesterday sat in front an array of big boxes each filled with the parts to build 5 different pieces of bathroom furniture. I had been ordering them over last few weeks for my mum who wanted to change her 2 bathrooms.
I don’t get excited at the thought of building for pack anything so I had been avoiding going to my mums in the hope that she would get someone else to build them. (joke)
Tools and courage at the ready we started to unpack the parts to our first cabinet. Mum tried to help but with fibromyalgia and arthritis she couldn’t hold a normal screw driver and the electric one didn’t last long before it gave up.
First one completed
After 30 minutes the first one was complete! What a success. Not as awkward as I thought it would be. Mum and auntie keep saying how I learnt from my dad how to be patient and how to build things. This is very true, as an engineer if you ever wanted something dad would say don’t but he will build. And he did. Always.
We continued on and after a few more hours we had all 5 cabinets built. The last one, that was the hardest. The fixtures didn’t fit as well and some of them would literally just pop out if you weren’t touching it. It was a struggle to get that last piece right, like a jigsaw puzzle but someone chewed the final pieces so they don’t quite fit but they are meant too.
Goal Setting v Delivering Value
Goal setting can become more of a to-do list. A tick box action. Yes it takes hard work but when you have big goals it can often feel overwhelming. If I had set goals to build all cabinets at the start I would have felt overwhelmed. Seeing all the boxes was enough.
However I chose instead to focus on why I was doing this. It wasn’t about the transaction of building a cabinet, I’m not a factory. It was the value my mum would gain from starting to see and feel her bathroom changes moving along. I would be successful if I make my mum happy by having at least some new furniture built today. Make a start at least. If I only built one she would still be better off than before.
Why is this different?
If you focus on just hitting a goal or delivering stuff to your customer then your sense of achievement isn’t around whether you delivered the right stuff or how much value it brings. If you focus instead on value, and providing value in increments then your customer will be happier, quicker. Putting the customer value at the heart of your action instead of the action of completing the goal. Doing stuff.
Plus you get a greater sense of achievement from delivering increments of value as it provides motivation to keep going when your customer is happy.
After completing the first cabinet, I was motivated. I knew because I had my dad’s logical approach it was easier than I expected.
Another cabinet down, then another. Then a refuel and break ( with cheese and crackers, yum).
2 more to go, I told mum I was getting tired so maybe only one more today. Which she was fine with. So the second to last was an easy one, just a box basically for a laundry hamper. Done. Simples.
And then just one left. It was dark outside and I was getting tired. My arms were aching now.
Should I stop or should I carry on. I was 80% through all of the building and 80% delivery is great value. However, I am a ‘completer/finisher’ by nature so not finishing the last 20% would have bugged me. So, swig of coffee and back to it. The last one was the most challenging. The fixtures didn’t seem to want to stay put. The screws no longer wanted to be screwed. We got there though. Finally finished the last piece 4 hours after I started.
Don’t set out to do stuff, set out to deliver value first and foremost. It’s not a course you are creating or a workshop, it’s a transformation or a solution to your clients pain.
Be aware of the bigger picture but focus on breaking that down into achievable chunks. It’s far easier to focus on building one cabinet than 2 bathrooms worth of cabinets. So focus on one video, one module and make that valuable and high quality.
Don’t let obstacles be the reason for not delivering. Figure out how to remove a blocker or decide it’s not a blocker. My electric screwdriver gave up and so I used different normal screwdrivers to get each bit done. I was offered the option to give up but my dad never used electric so I knew I didn’t need to either. Sometimes going ‘old skool’ is best. Post it notes on a wall or big sheets of paper to map out ideas or outlines to courses are much better than using new software or fancy tools. Both equally have a place. Always focus on the solution not the problem!
Take a break. All work and no play makes anyone feel dull. Breaks allow us to reboot and refresh.
Remember your why! Seeing my mum happy at her new bathroom furniture coming to life is why I started. Out with the old and in with the new. Keeping your why in mind will help when the journey gets tough, when obstacles get in your way and you wanna give in.
Focus on the value behind the goal, not the goal itself.
Love & Light,