Framing Goals on a Trajectory

Last week I did one of my resolution consults for a client who wanted to increase their income. The goal they listed was “To make $20,000 per month in 2016”. This would represent a significant uptick from their current income, but is not unrealistic or unattainable given their business and they brought in last year.

I had them re-frame their goal anyway because it was too static and did not set them on a trajectory for future success.

In this case January was alredy half over and while business has been steadily improving they were not likely to hit the 20K mark, so they would be starting off the year failing at a monthly goal.

But even if they did hit that goal in January – Do you really want to have the same goal 12 months later? What does that say about your business? That it has plateaued.

Of course in business, as in most of life, things generally do not stay plateaued. Things grow, or shrink, which is why I am not a huge fan of big static goals, and instead aim to set things on a trajectory.

I told the client that making $240,000 year was totally a great yearly goal, but that they should be sure to break it down so that they were hitting that 20K a month mark in June or July. Aim for 13 in January, 15 in February, 16 in March, and so on.  Then in September aim for 23. In December be aiming at 24 or 25k for the month. This way to hit the number you want for the year and do not suffer from failing the first few months when an instant increase to 20 falls outside the spectrum of enchantable possibility. Best of all you set the trajectory for next year.

No matter what you are attempting: weight loss, increase in clients, return on investments, or clarity of mind – remember to think in terms of trajectory and not static goals – then strategize accordingly.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments

No that is a brilliant way of framing it. Soft start, exponential growth.


Great article. I like the concept of progressive conditioning vs training. Conditioning progresses, training ends.

Simon Tomasi

Exponential growth for how long?

I would suggest: start with achievable to reinforce success as the trajectory increases. Then plan for sustainable growth. When that is materialising weigh up pros and cobs of taking it to the next level, or focus on other improvement projects.


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