Are Practical Goals or Stretch Goals Better For My Business?

This week's Conscious Contact question is from E. in Dallas.

This Week's Question:

I've heard some coaches talk about making goals practical and real so that you can experience success and achievement. Others say you should only set goals that really push you so that you can grow. What I want is something that works. Which is better for me?

Laura's Answer:

Thanks for asking that, E!

The short answer is: both. When setting goals, I find it's most helpful to set a time-frame to the goal, a clearly defined goal, and set a few goals at once in different areas. But mostly you'll want to tune in to see how the goals are really sitting with you and make sure they're YOUR goals, and not someone else's. Here's what I mean ...

I'll share something from my present day experience to illustrate what I mean...this summer (there's the time-frame) I set three goals for myself (there's the multiple marks): 1) to swim 2 miles each week, 2) to buy a new car, and 3) to create 2 new programs for my clients.

I'm covering a few different areas with these goals - physical, practical/life, and business - so I'm growing in an holistic way. I really recommend this to help keep you balanced and sane.

The first goal is fairly straightforward, although it requires repeated commitment in order to achieve it. Because I can tend to flake out on doing the same thing week after week, it's a great goal for me.

I took practical steps to help me achieve it (bought a multi-pass at a local pool, scheduled the time into the calendar, and have gone three times already) but I haven't swam since college and have some major injuries, so who knows how it'll go. It's practical, but it's a push.

The second goal is also straightforward and practical, but it takes a LOT of steps. It will require patience, discipline, and research, as well as doing negotiations in a notoriously slippery-slope world. Let's face it, car buying is intense.

I have a group of people who are resources for me. I have a clear map. I'm already chipping away at the to-do list week after week. Very practical.

It'll take a lot of time dealing in a realm I'm not often in, and therefore very uncomfortable in. It's intimidating, and I'd rather someone else do it for me, but I'll grow my esteem far more if I do it, so I'm pushing through. So is this a practical goal? Absolutely, but it's also a stretch.

My third goal is for creating 2 new programs. This is bigger and more vague. I have some ideas of steps, a coach and sounding board, but I'm not totally sure which direction I'm going in. I'm sure I'm going to stumble a bit.

It's far harder to map out, and I'm not sure people will want what I create, so in that way it's not practical. I know I can create a program, but I don't know if it will hit the mark in serving people.

It takes more creativity, more listening and waiting, and more meditation to do this goal. So this you could say is far more of a stretch, but that doesn't make it better than the other two.

What all of these goals have in common, aside from the time-frame I put on them, is that they are important to me. They come from my intuition and they sit well with me, even though I have some uncomfortable thoughts and feelings about them. I have the certainty (remember that sensation always accompanies intuition) that these are the appropriate goals, even if I don't have the guarantee I can achieve them.

Now I'd love to hear from you about what YOUR goals are this summer. Drop me a note in reply to this email and let me know.

If you don't have goals yet, or would like help with goal setting and mapping for your business and personal life, reply to this email so we can see have a short chat and get you hitting your marks and feeling great about them. As always I welcome your questions, too.

Much Love,

P.S. The Q&A on Conscious Contact is a weekly no-cost feature for those who are looking to grow their business mindfully with direction and support. Each week I respond to one question sent to me via my website or asked in person that I believe will help the most people. To ask YOUR question, contact me through my website at or reply to this email.

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