In today’s culture goals are synonymous with school and sports, but not our day to day lives. Have you learned how to set goals and achieve them? Have you learned to dream? If not, here is a great blog post from LIFE Founder Tim Marks about goals.
One thing my mentor, Orrin Woodward, has helped me develop is the habit of setting goals. G-O-A-L-S, goals. Goal setting not only helps me structure where I want to go in LIFE, but it gives me a way to keep score.
Great goals only come out of great dreams, but once you have a big dream you’ll be more apt to get some goals together. Of course, there is more to goal setting then just sitting down and thinking them up. There is a little bit of strategy to it. Really great goals need to be three things: written, specific, and scheduled.
- Written – In Launching a Leadership Revolution, Orrin and his co-author, Chris Brady, underscore the need to have written goals. If they’re not written down we’re tempted to think that our goals are not important or we might even forget what they are. Write your goals down – that’s step one.
- Specific – Be specific about your goals, because when you focus on specific goals you tell yourself, “I am going to keep score.” When your goals are specific then you know exactly what you’re aiming for. This works for me and I’m sure it will work for anyone else. I perform differently when I am keeping score. Make your specific goals aggressive yet realistic. This is where a mentor can be a big help. Just like Orrin and I work together on goal setting, get with someone who can help you come up with some specific, realistic goals.
- Scheduled – Great goals are set on a time-line. There needs to be an end date set for getting things done, and it should be something that is sooner than 3012. Having a time-line in mind will get you moving rather than spending all your time planning. This makes all the difference in the world. As Stephen Covey says, “A mediocre strategy well executed is infinitely better than a well executed strategy that sits on the shelf.”
Now some people look at goals and say, “I don’t want to have a goal because what if I miss it and then I won’t feel good?”
If you have a big enough dream, then your goal is going to be something that will fire you up, even if you miss it. I don’t hit that many of my goals the first time I set them. I still rarely hit them the first time. I think I’ve only hit one or two in their original time frame. That does makes me mad! But if I don’t hit it, I just say, “Here’s an opportunity for me to get better.”
You are going to miss goals along the way, but I can tell you this, if you have an expectation that you’ll hit a goal, then your mind will find a way to make it happen. So get with a mentor and set some written, specific, and scheduled goals – then get out there and execute them!