Have you made ridiculous goals?


When you read the title of this article, you would be forgiven for thinking that the ‘correct’ answer to the question is ‘of course not!’. But I am going to suggest something a bit radical to all the business owners out there: perhaps you should make some ridiculous goals.

We all know the saying ‘Aim for the stars and maybe you’ll reach the sky’. Which means, aim higher than what you think is realistically possible and worst case scenario, you will still have achieved something beyond what you thought possible.

There is merit in doing this from the perspective of looking at the outcome: you essentially always ‘win’ if you aim higher. But I think there’s another valuable reason to aim for seemingly ridiculous goals. In choosing a goal like this, you are training your brain to stretch and think outside your usual box. You are giving your brain permission to think in ways it has never done before, so that what was impossible previously, is now possible.

Any successful sports person will tell you how big they dreamed before reaching their goals. And those dreams would not have matched their current reality of what they were physically able to do. But having an audacious goal (“I am going to win a medal at the Olympics”) spurs them on in the day-to-day training of their body, and alters their mindset. So too in business. We can easily get stuck in a rut of ‘same old’ thinking and expectation.

There is another version of the ‘aim for the stars..’ quote which goes like this: “When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either” (Leo Burnett). This reinforces the need to ‘think big’. If the goals you set for yourself or your business are no greater than your current situation, the best case scenario is that you end up in the same place. But the worst case scenario is that you end up with less than you aimed for. You’ve got nothing to lose by aiming for ridiculous goals. Indeed it’s the way every successful and inspiring person has achieved the impossible.