What is the difference between safe goals and stretch goals?

When it comes to goal-setting, there are two different approaches that you can take: safe goals and stretch goals. Safe goals are challenging but still within the realm of possibility. They push you to step outside your comfort zone but aren't so ambitious that they seem unattainable. On the other hand, Stretch goals are audacious objectives that may seem impossible at first glance. However, these goals can be incredibly motivating and often lead to breakthrough results.

So, which approach is right for you? It depends on your personality and what you're looking to achieve. For example, if you're the type who gets easily discouraged, then safe goals may be a better fit. On the other hand, if you're someone who thrives on challenge, then stretch goals may be more your style. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which approach will help you reach your desired outcome.

Why should you set stretch goals?

Remarkable achievements often come as a result of setting stretch goals. By setting clear objectives, you can push yourself to reach new heights and attain levels of success that you may have thought were out of reach. In addition, setting stretching goals can help to motivate and encourage those around you. When others see what is possible, they may be inspired to set their own goals and achieve great things. So, if you're looking to achieve something truly remarkable, setting stretching goals is a good place to start.

How can you make sure your goals are challenging enough?

One of the most difficult aspects of setting goals is making sure they are appropriately challenging. If a goal is too easy, it may not be motivating enough to spur action. On the other hand, if a goal is too difficult, it may seem unattainable and lead to discouragement. One way to strike the right balance is to base your goals on your recent performance. If you have been consistently meeting your targets, it may be time to set a more ambitious goal. Alternatively, if you have been falling short of your goals, you may need to reset your sights. Another factor to consider is how much time you have to achieve your goal. If you are starting from a strong position and have plenty of time, you can afford to take a long shot. However, if you are up against a tight deadline, you may need to take bolder action. By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that your goals are sufficiently challenging without being impossible to achieve.

How can you stay motivated when pursuing ambitious goals?

It can be difficult to stay motivated when pursuing goals that seem out of reach. However, you can do a few things to keep your teams focused and on track. First, celebrate recent successes. This approach will help everyone remember what it feels like to achieve something and refocus on the task. Second, Encourage new ideas and ways of thinking. This change in thinking will help teams break out of any ruts they may be in and develop new solutions to old problems. Finally, keep the goal in mind. It can be easy to get sidetracked, but reminding everyone of the goal's importance will help keep everyone focused on the prize. By following these tips, you can stay motivated and on track to pursue even the most challenging goals.

jumpin’ for joy
Photo by Kenny Eliason / Unsplash

What happens if you don't achieve your stretch objectives?

While it is always important to set high goals for yourself, it is also important to be realistic. It can be very demotivating if you set your sights too high and don't achieve your stretch objectives. After all, you'll feel like you've failed. However, if you develop a growth mindset, you'll see failure as another opportunity to learn and grow. You'll also be more motivated to keep trying since you'll know that each attempt brings you one step closer to success. So don't be afraid to set stretch objectives for yourself. Even if you don't achieve them immediately, you'll still develop the skills and motivation you need to succeed in the long run.

Actionable Steps:

  1. When it comes to your goals, are they safe or more stretch goals?
  2. Think about one of your key goals.  What would a safe goal in is area look like? What would a stretch goal look like? Could you have both?
  3. When considering the building blocks of wealth, review your goals in this area and complete the same exercise.  For example, how could you turn your safe goal into stretch goals?
  4. Start asking better questions.  Questions can be very natural can be powerful - here is a great question from Elon Musk

'Stop being patient and start asking yourself, how do I accomplish my ten-year plan in 6 months? You will probably fail, but you will be a lot further ahead of the person who accepted it would take ten years.

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Good luck on your journey!