"The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them."
-Denis Waitley, Author: The Psychology of Winning
Going for Gold with Goals
A Goal: a mark set as the outcome of a race; an aim, a purpose; an object toward which play is directed
Over the years, much has been written about goals and their importance. Yet the majority of us still donít take the goal-setting process seriously.
Oddly enough, some individuals are now teaching that we should live without goals and be in the moment -- and stop living life for the future.
So whoís right? I would say both. Let me explain the latter notion first.
To suggest that you should be free of any goals is ludicrous. In fact, I think this teaching is irresponsible and misguided. Think about individuals in your life who have or had no direction, no purpose, and no goals. Do you recall their energy or the impact they had on others? Most likely, they didnít have much of either!
Imagine sales managers, athletic coaches, or teachers without goals for themselves or others. Would you have any confidence in them? Absolutely not! A lack of goals and direction is draining and does not inspire others. Iím sure the intentions of those teaching no goals are well meaning but the outcomes are not.
On the other hand, if enjoyment and fulfillment in our lives is realized only in the moment when we achieve a goal rather than on the longer-term activity of achieving it, we will never be happy. Our whole life will be about trying to get somewhere and not enjoying the journey along the way.
Now letís address those who do set goals -- to the point of obsession. These individuals heap goal after goal onto an already full list, where the goals themselves become a burden rather than an inspiration.
There is no benefit to this strategy and there is evidence that as many as 50 percent of their goals are not their own ideas; they are transferred expectations from family, friends, and work. An example is where parents force their kids into directions that are fulfilling to the parents -- not the children.
So what should we do? Well, both. We should be in the moment, enjoying life as it unfolds -- in context with our direction, purpose, and goals.
Goals bring focus, energy, and direction. With so many distractions and possible options, setting goals helps clear away confusion and doubt. Once you have established your goals, your five senses are able to work for you, bringing the necessary answers, resources, and success to the process.
First, give yourself permission to address your previous goals -- to update or even completely change them. Therein lies the conflict that many find difficult to embrace: the seemingly fixed nature and direction of a goal vs. the power to change it! I want to encourage you that you are not a robot; you have the free will of choice and development. You can change your goals and continuously revise them.
Even though many people have been taught that goals should be concrete and plans can be fluid, they missed the point that we are all growing and changing. What was important to you last week or last year may not be important today because you are different now than you were a moment ago. You continually take in new experiences that are adding to your options and goals possibilities.
Let me share a personal example. Twenty years ago, I went through an extensive goal-setting process. In several pages of written goals, I documented what I thought were my goals for the next 20 years. In my immaturity, I failed to acknowledge the 20 years in between the 20 years of goals and that those years might influence my directions in the future.
Here are three of my goals from 20 years ago that are no longer on my list.
ē Growing up on a dairy farm and attending Agricultural College, I had a goal to own one of the top herds of registered Holsteins in the world. I operated my own dairy for 5 years. One day at 5 AM, looking out the barn window at the sunrise, I asked myself if this is what I was supposed to be doing for the rest of my life. My answer was a resounding NO! I sold my dairy within 2 months. It had been one of my goals for over 15 years.
ē I had a goal to be a world-class body builder. A successful marriage commitment, a young family, and several businesses later, I desire to be able to walk fast without being winded.
ē I had a goal to travel around the world and be a speaker and trainer. After over 1000 flights and almost 2000 presentations over a 10-year period, that goal has been achieved and it is now changed. My new goal is to make one or two presentations each month -- with 100 times the leverage and impact of the previous 1000!
Goals can be anything you can be, do, or have.
1. Be clear at this moment what is important to YOU.
2. Write out your goals and be specific.
3. Commit to enjoying the journey on the way to achieving your goals.
4. Review your goal list often and revise it as you see fit.
Note: Some goals are never "finally" achieved; goals you are continually achieving are called lifelong goals.
Twenty years ago, there was no way I could have predicted my path or even imagine Iíd be where I am today.
And without setting goals and focusing on them over the past 20 years, I know I would not have been able to accomplish what I have to date. And I am quite enjoying the journey!
Going for Gold with Goals
1. Goals are a critical process to success and personal energy.
2. Write out your goals and be specific.
3. Make sure your goals are yours and not expectations from others.
4. The enjoyment of the journey to your goals is as important as the goals themselves.
5. Donít burden yourself with obsessive behavior that creates massive lists of goals. Goals are there to give direction and to encourage and energize you.
6. Give yourself permission to revise and change your goals and directions as you mature and as your life unfolds before you.
7. Goals need to be built on your purpose, your passions, and your values in life. If possible, become clear about those first.
8. Review your goal list regularly and imagine yourself not only being successful, but enjoying each moment along the way.
9. Let all your senses and resources work with you on your goal list.
10. Goals should help you stretch yourself and grow into your capabilities and gifts. If you can see all the steps necessary to achieve your goals, did you aim low so that your success was assured? Thatís safe, but not challenging.
11. When it comes to moving forward and carrying on with your journey, expect the unexpected.
12. And make sure you are having fun along the way!
Until next time, keep "Living On Purpose",
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Ken Keis is an internationally known author, speaker, consultant, & President of CRG. Many professionals herald CRG as the # 1 global resource center for Personal/Professional Development.
For information on CRG Resources, please visit crgleader.com
For information on Kenís Training and Speaking Programs, please visit kenkeis.com
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