Whenever we have a goal in mind, there are three questions that I find are necessary to ask yourself when evaluating your goal: What I want, What I got, and What I can get. Using these questions helps you to visualize your goal better and better strategize how to obtain your goal. Since many people are looking for work, or would like a new job— I will use wanting a new job as an example.
- What I want…
- This is your ultimate goal. What do you really want to have happen. This is what you are truly striving for. In our example, you want a better paying job that has a better career path.
- What I got…
- This is your current situation. It is always helpful when goal setting to determine where you are at in your goal and determine what you have presently. This constantly changes, so you will have to ask yourself this question often. In our example, you may be at a thankless job with no clear career path. You later may have a few interviews lined up, or even a second interview.
- What I can get…
- This is the minimum goal you can achieve and still be considered successful. It is much like a compromise. You can consider this as getting somewhere in your goal, but not getting the ultimate goal. In our example, what you could get is be transferred to another department. It may not exactly be a promotion, but it has a better career path than staying put.
I have been using this technique for many years to visualize my goals better. In fact, when I first met my wife I went through this checklist as well:
- What I want… A wife.
- What I got… A great person I got along with very well.
- What I can get… At least a person I can go dancing with.
I am happy to say that I got what I wanted in the end.