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Friday, July 11, 2014

Make Your Goals Specific And Measurable... Like Batman

Make Your Goals Specific And Measurable... Like Batman
Batman is the quintessential problem solver. Since his inception in 1939 he has always been, first and foremost, a detective. A costumed Sherlock Holmes. More than his martial arts skills, his money, or his gadgets Batman's intellect has always proven to be his most valued asset.

Though the movies have often failed to demonstrate this aspect of the Caped Crusader, there's a great scene in "The Dark Knight Rises" that shows Batman's intellect and how victory can be achieved when you first break down your problems and tackle them one step at a time.

First, you've got to understand, that in "The Dark Knight Rises" Batman had spent the majority of the movie getting beaten to a pulp. He had grown too cocky, over-confident, and had lost his edge. As a result, when he finally comes face-to-face with the physically superior villain Bane, Batman gets pulverized and tossed into a third world dungeon with a broken back.

As his body heals, Batman considers what he did wrong, and when he finally returns to Gotham City he approaches Bane like a surgeon, dissecting the threat before they come to blows. First he recruits some allies. Then he gathers his equipment. Then he spreads hope to the citizens of Gotham and fear to the followers of Bane by announcing his return in dramatic fashion. Finally, after months of planning, Batman springs his trap and defeats the bad guy.

With a little planning, determination, and some allies, nothing is impossible to overcome.

  • Don't try to tackle your problems all at the same time. No matter how much craziness you've got going on in your life, it's wise to break the issues down and take them on one by one. This is what makes Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University so effective—it breaks down the budgeting process into easily achievable goals, goals that you can't help but reach as long as you keep moving forward.

  • As Batman so clearly demonstrates in "The Dark Knight Rises," your goals must be specific and measurable. When he returned to Gotham City to face Bane again, he had a detailed plan that included the use of specific allies and certain equipment. It's an example of the obvious—if your goals are too vague they are just dreams.

  • Long-term thinkers are the ones who win. Batman knew that defeating Bane was essential to the survival of Gotham City. His plan took months to form, but it was for a far-reaching purpose. Today's culture doesn't think like this. We're all about immediacy and convenience, and rarely do we think beyond our needs for the day, week, or maybe even the month. But when we keep our eyes on the future instead of our immediate circumstances, the possibility of reaching our goals becomes more and more inevitable.

This is a simple formula that can be applied to any tricky life situation:
  1. break your problem down into smaller goals
  2. make your goals specific and measurable
  3. plan around those goals with a far-reaching future in mind

You may find yourself beaten at times. You may find that there are some Banes out there who are going to catch you off guard, knock you down, and thwart all of your efforts, but you can't let your circumstances overwhelm you.

Are there any specific and measurable goals that you're currently chipping away at? Or have you been thwarted?

Keep pinchin' :-)


  1. I've been having general goals even though I know that specific and measurable is the way to go. Just very recently though I've finally made progress on my goals the right way. Thanks for the reminder and the batman reference.

    1. Thanks for reading Kathleen! I think having general goals is a good method for getting yourself closer to more concrete goals, especially once you start seeing results. For me and Danielle, our goals have evolved over the years, but every time we reinvent them we try to get a little more specific.

  2. You made me smile today! I love the way you tied this to Batman. :) Great tips on planning.

    1. Haha! My pleasure, Dawn! I COULD tie everything in life to Batman, but this is Penny Pinching Prose where we try to rise above redundancy. lol