Adding PI to your goals settings is the ultimate hack to achieve them.
“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.” — Alan Turing
I have struggled with goals my whole life. For most of my life, I have never really set goals. When I started working, I discovered goal settings each year.
At the beginning of the year (generally after the first quarter!)I will sit down with my manager at Airbus, and I will receive my goals to achieve for the year. Wish me good luck, please!
In my private life, I tried many different ways to set goals. Nothing worked for me. I tried setting goals at the beginning of the year, in the middle, or at the end.
I tried a five-year or a decade master plan. Many of those techniques have yet to work for me.
At some point at Airbus and in many other big corporations, the S.M.A.R.T. goals principle was introduced.
S.M.A.R.T goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.
Just reading the acronym, I can only imagine that it was created and sold by some big consulting groups to big corporations.
It sounds smart adding S.M.A.R.T. to goals. We give you specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound goals. Did you fail to achieve them?
Well, it is your fault. But why? I said.
Because we are SMART, and you are dumb if you cannot get them done!
Some years ago, a cherry was added to that not-so-good cake. Your manager defined the goals. But you are the one who has to do the self-evaluation first on whether or not you think you have achieved them.
Not only do I have to accept goals that are not always smart for me, but I also have to do my self-evaluation.
Do you see the trick? Well, the rest of the story is for another article.
Coming back to goal setting, I have been wondering if there is a better way to set them in an achievable way for my private life.
That is where the number PI enters the game and is a game changer.
“The number π (/paɪ/; spelled out as “pi”) is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, approximately equal to 3.14159. The number π appears in many formulas across mathematics and physics.”
Pi. (2022, December 23). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi
There are so many features in the number PI that it will take forever to list them here. One feature I want to share is that PI closes the loop in every circle.
PI is the magic ingredient to rule S.M.A.R.T. goals and make them achievable. I am not saying you should eliminate the SMART framework of setting goals. Instead, I want to add some PI on top of it.
Here is the equation of successful goals:
Successful_GOALS = PI x S.M.A.R.T_GOALS
P AS PROXIMAL — Proximal (from Latin proximus ‘nearest’) defines goals that are close to us in time. We must set achievable goals within one month and one year from now. Proximal goals are more realistic and, if appropriately defined, are more achievable than distant goals.
Yes, we must set goals for five or ten years from now. But we must ensure that we slice that pie in smaller parts that we can swallow in one week, one month, or one year from now.
I might have had an objective to publish a book five years ago. I must focus on writing 1000 words every day. By the end of the week, I will have five pages. By the end of the month, I might have one chapter. I will have a first draft by the end of the year. Then, I can focus on the following year, editing each chapter and sharing my draft with close friends and family.
By the end of year two, I could reach out to publishers and enter the process of getting my book out there.
I might finally publish that book in ‘ years instead of five, just because I committed to writing 1000 words per day.
That is the magic of a proximal smart goal: we walk one step daily, no matter what.
I AS INTRINSIC — “An intrinsic property is a property that an object or a thing has of itself, including its context.” Intrinsic and extrinsic properties (philosophy) — Wikipedia. (2022, May 14). In Wikipedia.
In stories, the main character will go through an arc to achieve their needs and/or desires. The need for a character is internal to them. The desire is something external that does not depend on the character.
An intrinsic goal is in our circle of control in opposition to an extrinsic one beyond our control.
We must ensure that any goal we set is mainly within our sphere of action. That does not mean that we should not have extrinsic goals. However, we must be aware of the nature of the goals we are setting if we don’t want to spend our whole life between deception, frustration, and a sense of failure for not reaching the goals we set for ourselves.
Wanting to be rich and famous is an extrinsic goal. Finding joy in daily life and enjoying the journey is an intrinsic goal. What happens to us is extrinsic events. The way we react to that is through intrinsic behaviors.
Intrinsic goals are achievable because they are within our control.
The S.M.A.R.T. goals are a great yet incomplete framework to achieve what we want. We need to close the loop by ensuring that we bring in P.I to the conversation.
We need goals that are both time-bounded and close to us in time. We do not need only achievable goals; we must ensure they are intrinsic. We must also ensure that we control the means to achieve them.
P.I. is magic. PI is complete. PI is infinite. PI encompasses the whole universe. PI is the only way to close and get closer to the person we want to be.
By adding PI to the equation (Successful_GOALS = PI x S.M.A.R.T_GOALS), we are three times more likely to achieve our goals.
That is not a feeling. That is math because, after all, PI is ~3.14.
We have to make sure that we factor in P.I to our already S.M.A.R.T goals. That is the only way to make the pie bigger.
I have struggled with goals my whole life. PI is my epiphany.
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You can read my previous article on The space and time Continuum: how to use them to your advantage? (Friendly link)
Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash