Setting Meaningful Objectives
Minessence eZine #57 29 Dec, 2014

Keeping you Up-to-Date with Values R&D and Events—Paul Chippendale, Editor.


Which Objective?

Dreams without action will remain forever just dreams.

When I’ve observed clients who are extremely productive, I’ve found that simply completing a list of actions isn’t enough for them. What’s important is that their actions are linked and driven by their Meaningful Objectives. These clients rarely do anything that doesn’t relate to one of their objectives.

Meaningful Objectives are your North Star, your guiding light, and your reference point for success or failure. Without meaning, objectives become dry and nothing more than text on a to-do list that you might (or might not) look at every now and again…

You’d be amazed at how many people I’ve coached, at every organizational level, who don’t have Meaningful Objectives. Even if they do, their objectives are often unclear. Identifying objectives that are meaningful, and clarifying them so that they are specific, is a crucial step in helping you manage your life. [McGhee 2005, p. 21]

By definition, only objectives directly related to your values can be Meaningful Objectives. To create effective Meaningful Objectives:

  • Make them specific—they need to be so specific that you will know, with absolute certainty, when each is achieved.
  • Make positive statements about what you want—whatever you focus mental energy on strengthens the networks in your brain associated with those thoughts. If you make a meaningful objective about what you don't want in your life, you are enhancing your chances of keeping/getting the very "thing" you are trying to avoid. So, for example, if you want to lose weight, a positive meaningful objective could be, "By September this year I will be fit and healthy and will be wearing size 10 clothes."
  • Set yourself challenges—setting objectives which require skills and abilities above and beyond what you have at present, is an essential criterion for personal growth and development. More...
  • Identify the values which support your objective. 

We have created some resources to assist you with Setting Meaningful Objectives:

  1. The AVI (A Values Inventory) enables you to identify your priority values. More...
  2. After you have taken an inventory of your values, the Setting Meaningful Objectives [SMO] Workbook facilitates the objectives setting ptocess.
  3. An A3 Key Sheet, "Unfolding My Future" helps you turn Goals into Choices. Click here to download.

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