Goals Greater Than Fools

Photo Kate Hliznitsova

This time of year will expose you to articles from vaulted gurus and neophytes alike who seem to receive the same bulleted memo about how goals are too limiting and only small people use them.

What a rubbish take.

It is common for people to mix definitions; one person’s strategy is another person’s tactic. Some treat objectives like vision statements, and others tear apart the cliché SMART goal acronym, despite its usefulness. Regardless, watch out for the braggadocious annual theme, which proclaims the goal is insignificant compared to the vision.

Again, this is rubbish. Your vision can be as grand or small as you’d like; there’s no way you’ll achieve it without a goal.

A goal is the management of your vision.

A goal may not be as sexy as a vision; however, it is essential because you can’t plan for luck, and wishes don’t work.

By the way, if you believe that wishing alone works, I challenge you to keep a journal for 45 days, listing all the things you ardently desire.

  • On the 46th day, read your list and place an X beside the wishes that haven’t come true yet.
  • Put a circle in front of any wishes that did come true without any effort on your part.
  • Finally, review your entire list and place a checkmark before any wishes that could become true with some physical activity on your part.
  • Tally your results.

If you have mostly circles, congratulations, wishing does seem to work for you. Everyone else will probably have many Xs. Don’t feel discouraged because you can turn the items with a checkmark next to them into, wait for it, goals.

The goal is a crucial part of your success in any endeavor. Wrong goal, wrong result. Vague goal, vague result.

While the goal isn’t the only tool available to help you, it is like the rudder of a ship. Given the option, you’d prefer to have one because, without it, the chance of happily drifting into a safe harbor and up to the dock of your choice is minuscule.

Small goals consistently achieved, eclipse grand visions not acted upon. Always ignore those who belittle your goals. You’re already bigger than them.

Have you met your goals yet, or do you need to be reintroduced?

  • Did you make a shopping list before you ran your errands?
  • Did you create a packing list when you last traveled?
  • Did you work off a task list last week?

If you answered no to any of the previous questions, did you forget something, feel disappointed, or end up spending more time or money to make up for being inefficient?

If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, how does it feel?

What about your life, do you have a success plan for that? Wouldn’t you agree that your life merits at least as much thought and effort as your errand-running? When you ignore the ingredients required to bake a cake, it’s a recipe for disaster. Is your life less complicated than that?

No. It is not.

So it makes sense that you would make a Master Plan filled with goals and experiences you want to do, be or have over the next year, three years, five years, and over the next decade.

Did you make a ten-year plan in 2012? Have you exceeded your expectations since then?

Yes, a lot can happen in ten years. That is kind of the point. A lot is going to happen. Are you going to be one of the people who make things happen, or are you going to let things happen to you and acquiesce to a BOHICA position?

Take a leadership stance toward the management of your life.

Use this checklist to make better goals

(You’re worth the effort.)

Goal Checklist

  • Is it your own?
  • Is it specific and measurable?
  • Is it exciting or motivating?
  • Is it attainable and worth your effort?
  • Does it stretch your abilities?
  • Is it relevant to your purpose and values?
  • Does it have a deadline or timeframe?
  • Is it written down?
  • Are you sure it is significant and not just a task?
  • Do you know how you will celebrate once it is achieved?

Lead on Purpose Leadership Workbook Package

Improve your focus, make the best use of your time and grow your leadership with the help of this leadership workbook and companion video.

You’ll answer and reflect on many questions using the various tools provided, and your responses will give you insight and further motivation to succeed in your chosen goals.

Lead on Purpose, starting today!




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