The XYZ-Format for Goal Setting
Outline Each Individual Goal – Part 1
This year I would like to publish my next book. That’s a desire I have. A desire is not a goal that one can execute on. In fact, we all have desires, things we would like to accomplish, that we have never taken one step towards achieving and even if we have taken a few steps, it has gone unfulfilled. A desire in and of itself is missing two key ingredients that make it an actionable goal. Besides selecting one and only one to act upon, there are two additional ingredients you will need to have to make it complete.
As I mentioned, I would like to publish my next book, normal thinking would have you thinking about the steps that it takes to do so, first. In publishing a book, I will need to write thousands of words, determine what type of publication I want it to be, find a publisher, submit a manuscript, design the product, publish, and market. While outlining the project and steps is good, that is a mistake. We placed the cart before the horse. Setting the steps is something we will get to later. Next-level minded people want to skip what doesn’t work well and move to what does. You might not be aware of this, but everything we do matters, and everything must be done properly and in order.  Prior to outlining steps, we need to re-write our desire into the correct format and make it a goal. A desire by itself is not a goal. We must make it a goal.
In short, the format goes like this: X by Y Because of Z.
X equals “desire,” Y equals “deadline,” and Z equals “compelling reason.”
Allow me to restate this in English.
- We will accomplish [X-Desire] by [Y-Deadline] because of [Z-Compelling reason].
- I will accomplish [X-Desire] by [Y-Deadline] because of [Z-Compelling reason].
For clarity, I will breakdown each piece so that you will have a clear understanding of formatting a desire into a goal.
X By Y Because of Z
X-Desire by Y-Deadline Because of Z-Compelling Reason
X which is your desire is easy. You already have it selected. However, as a review, select one of the things you would like to do, see happen, or achieve.
Y which is your deadline or timeframe is very important. For example, if you intend to do this someday or a day that is not defined, you can simply insert never into this variable. If there is no date, then there is no goal. The equation cannot be incomplete. If there is no defined timeframe, there will be no push to get it done.
What is your timeline?
Goal-setting in and of itself means applying a timeline to the action you wish to accomplish. Note: all goals, etc. have one shared requirement and that is a time component.
What is the deadline to have the desire accomplished? This needs to be specific and reasonable.
When setting a time component, you need to consider time of year and what can be done in a reasonable amount of time. For example, it is not reasonable for me to believe that I can complete a book publication within a week or a month. It takes time to draft 30-50 thousand words.
- Z-Compelling Reason
Z which is your compelling reason and the most important component. While the time element is crucial, the reason why will determine whether you will even attempt to do what is desired to be done. You need to make sure you have a reason for wanting to get that degree, start that new career, or in this case, write that book. The reason behind doing something is the thing that will ensure you won’t quit before it is accomplished.
Using my example of a desire to publish a book, I will put my desire into the proper format so that you can see how it looks.
We would like to publish a book on marriage (X) by the end of the year (Y) so that we have a tangible product to share with those we coach in marriage, and a book that couples can refer to as often as necessary with all the content we provide them (Z).
X (desire) – We would like to publish a book on marriage.
Y (deadline) – by the end of the year
Z (compelling reason) – so that we have a tangible product to share with those we coach in marriage, and a book that couples can refer to as often as necessary with all the content we provide them.
In this example provided above you can now see how the desire has transformed into a goal that we now can act upon. We took the desire, added a timeframe, and reminded ourselves of the importance of getting this desire accomplished. This is a good format when creating your goal. Every desire you select from this point forward should be formatted this way before proceeding if you want to take goal setting to the next level.
Question: What one desire can you now express in the XYZ-Format? Try one now.