How to Calibrate Your Goal

As you pursue a great goal, don’t be surprised when you hit bumps on the road. Bumps are part of the journey.

When your goal isn’t going as anticipated, don’t panic or throw in the towel right away; you usually simply need to calibrate (i.e. make adjustments) to get back on track.

As a general rule, your goal will take longer than expected. It will cost more than you initially thought. It will be harder than you wished it would be. But that’s okay, you can adjust and keep going. What matters is that, despite challenges, you reach your destination in the end.

When you hit those bumps and you risk not reaching your destination within your established timelines, you have a few options to adjust your course (supposing quitting isn’t an option):

  1. scale back your goal;
  2. adjust your timelines;
  3. increase your resources.

Let’s say you aim to record 3 songs and you set your deadline 90 days from now. After planning your project, you start working on it. Along the way, say, you realize it takes longer than expected to craft the lyrics to your song. Because of this, your project risks being significantly delayed, and you need to calibrate your goal.

You have a few options to adjust your course.

1. Scale back your goal

If your deadline is fixed and cannot be changed, you may decide that instead of recording 3 songs, you’re going to focus your efforts on only 2. Instead of producing “half-baked” songs, you’ll produce 2 great ones. What you’ve done here is you’ve scaled back your goal (from 3 songs to 2 songs), without changing your deadline.

If you’re running low on money to finance your project, you may decide to use that same strategy.

2. Adjust Your Timelines

However, if you can change your deadline, you may decide to change it from 90 days to 120 days, which will grant you enough extra time to work on your 3 songs and make them great. In this case, you maintained your deliverable of 3 songs but pushed your deadline back.

3. Increase Your Resources

Another option is to increase the resources you allocate to your project. In the current example, this may mean you throw in more money into the project, or that you get someone to help you with it.

Typically, you have 3 main types of resources you can adjust to increase the support given to your project: your financial resources, your human resources, and your time resources. In other words, you can inject more money into your project, or put more people on it, or invest more time to work on it.

When you pursue a goal, don’t take the bumps on your road as “Quit” signs but as opportunities to calibrate. You can scale back your goal, adjust your timelines, or increase your resources. How you choose to calibrate will depend on your unique situation.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.