Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Goals: How to Reverse Engineer to Ensure Success

Reverse Engineering to Achieve Goals
To improve or change almost anything, start by describing the OUTCOMES you want to achieve, then reverse engineer the actions to get there.  From changing an attitude to physical improvements, this is also the same process used in companies to achieve performance outcomes, such as with the SMART model.

1) Decide the outcome you want using positive terms with future orientation. Ex "More calm" versus "Less angry."
2) Describe success in detail.  How would it look and feel?
3) Why is it important?
4) What would others notice or see when you are being ___?
5) When do you want to achieve it? 
6) What practices/actions are necessary to get there?
7) What are potential obstacles or blind spots?
8) Have you seen anyone else be successful with it?
9) Is there someone who can support you?
10) What can you do to remind yourself every morning of your intention?

When describing success use detailed descriptions that manifest how it will be, look, and feel to you without any references to how it has been. "Less angry" means that you are using past references for future success. Let that go. Simply describe the success you will have. This would also mean NOT using the term "more calm" but to be "calm."

Athletes use a similar reverse engineering to achieve a goal, such as preparing for an "Iron Man" competition.  The outcome to achieve is a combination of swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running a marathon for 26.2 miles without a break. Then, they reverse engineer what measurements and milestones must be achieved each week prior to the competition in order to be prepared.  The subsequent steps shown above are applied to ensure success.
Also recognize that you have a personality style that can impact your potential. Our style determines what gets our focus of attention as we navigate through each day. It can create the blind spots that derail our success.

Also see the article "How to Achieve Your Goals in One Step" on this blog.

-Ken Sergi

(c) Ken Sergi