The importance of goal setting

I want to talk about the importance of goal setting.

A little while ago I entered the club championships at my tennis club. After one match, I ran into my friend Louise who was coming off the courts at the same time. She asked me how my match was.

“Ugh,” I said. “She killed me, 6-1, 6-0. How’d it go for you?”
“I went into the match with three goals. One, to get one point in every game. Two, to win one game. And three, to not double-fault.”

“So how did you do?”
“I lost 6-1, 6-0. But I met all my goals so I’m happy.”

You don’t need to know anything about tennis to understand the point: both Louise and I had lost our matches with the same scores. But my attitude was so much worse than Louise. Why? Because I had gone in with one goal: to win. (Which by the way is a terrible goal because it’s not tangible -- you can’t control if you win or lose any game because you can’t control your opponent!). Nevertheless, because I’d lost badly, I felt bad about myself.

Set 3 goals and then give yourself the challenge of achieving them by the end of the event, meeting or interview.

Meanwhile, Louise had set three very smart, achievable, measurable goals. And achieved them! And so, despite losing the match, she felt good about her performance.

Louise’s strategy is great on the tennis court but it’s also a great lesson for a meeting, an interview, a coffee date, or a networking event. It even works at a party, when you don’t know many people.

Set 3 goals and then give yourself the challenge of achieving them by the end of the event, meeting or interview.