Goal Setting Guide: Achieve Your Goals
with the 4-D’s

Goal Setting

The new year is the ideal time to set new goals. Our brains see January 1 as a psychological “fresh start”, making it D-Day for regrouping, repositioning, and refocusing. Of course, certain approaches to goal-setting work better than others. Here’s how to rise to your ambitions using the 4-D goal-setting framework.

The Art of Appreciative Inquiry

The 4-D framework stems from an approach known as Appreciative Inquiry. Used by organizations like the UN, Appreciative Inquiry involves approaching inquiry from a positive rather than a deficit position. Rather than asking “what’s wrong?” or “what needs to be fixed?”, followers of Appreciative Inquiry begin with “what works?” and go from there. Basically, rather than making resolutions based on things you struggle with or don’t enjoy doing, the goal is to do more of what you do enjoy and have found success with.

Using the 4-D framework, Appreciative Inquiry can be applied to just about anything from individual goal setting to organizational improvement.

The 4-D Goal-Setting Framework

Appreciative Inquiry’s 4-D model consists of the following stages:

  • Discover. This involves identifying what’s working for you or your organization. The focus should be positive – focusing on what you’re best at or where your high points or “wins” are occurring. Look closely to see what factors are influencing these positives.
  • Dream. Now it’s time to envision what might be based on the positives identified in the previous step. Unlike other methodologies, these possibilities aren’t just hopes based on the desire to “fix” something – they’re connected to previous achievements or successes, making them viable and obtainable. This step helps you create a specific strategic focus.
  • Decide. Here you’ll create a series of positive propositions that define “what will be”. This step brings together the qualities of both the previous steps – your bests and your aspirations – to create an ideal outcome.
  • Do. The do or delivery phase is your “how”. Essentially, it outlines the steps you’ll take to achieve the outcome identified in the design phase. However, unlike traditional approaches, the 4-D framework encourages you to be iterative and spontaneous here, adjusting and improvising as you seek to realize your personal or organizational dreams.

A Place for 4-D Goal Setting

Optimum ABQ has been thoughtfully designed to help high-achieving individuals reach new heights of performance. With extensive amenities and an all-new state-of-the-art Human Performance center, we’re here to empower you to identify your strengths and steer them towards new highs in 2021 and beyond.

For more information about our comprehensive performance environment, or to arrange a tour, please get in touch!