“Goals are dreams with deadlines” ~ Diana Scharf, author
Goals are the secret ingredient for turning our dreams into reality. Our good friend and fellow leadership practitioner, Bob Whipple, “The Trust Ambassador”, wrote a helpful blog on goal setting recently. We excerpt below some of Bob’s wise insights for setting great goals.
1. Make your goals tangible
We all have good intentions and dreams, but to really engage the power of goals, you simply must write them down. The act of committing goals to paper or keyboard means that you can no longer push them aside later on when the going gets tough.
2. Goals should represent reach
Easy goals are not powerful because we can accomplish them without effort. Pie-in-the-sky goals are also not very powerful because we see them as impossible. To be effective, goals must be difficult to accomplish, but possible to achieve with great effort.
3. It is better to err on the side of too great a goal than too small
Having an aggressive goal is much more valuable than an easy goal. As Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”
4. Tell other people your goals
Sharing your goals with people you respect and love has a way of legitimizing them in your mind. It also helps garner friend’s support and creativity as you work toward your goals.
5. Refine the goals to just a vital few
One or two good goals are enough. Reason: Goals help us focus critical energy on what must be done. If we have 15 goals, we will get confused and discouraged.
6. Repeat the key goals every morning and evening
As you restate your goals daily, you call up the power of the universe to help you align your thoughts and actions to be consistent with your goals. This amazing power allows a magnet-like attraction that draws you toward the things you seek.
7. Form a group of people who understand and agree with your goals
Unless your goal is to be a hermit, you are better off with a Mastermind Group helping you.
8. Celebrate the small steps along the way
It is wise to celebrate the baby steps on the way toward your goal because it helps remind you why you are subjecting yourself to all the work in the first place.
9. Enjoy the ride
The ride is really the prize. The real fun was in the struggle, and the accomplishment was just the icing on the cake.
10. Look back with pride
(Occasionally) look over your shoulder to see how far you have come. The progress is often slow enough that we do not even recognize it.
Bob Whipple’s goal-setting list is terrific. We can only add a few thoughts:
- Remember the old acronym: SMART: Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
- Prioritize. Goals often come in conflict, so prioritize your goals to ensure you don’t short-change the top priority.
Core Concept: Goal setting is serious business. Dreams and visions are fun and inspirational. The best leaders are great goal setters. They follow advice from wise counselors like Bob Whipple.
The link to Bob’s complete blog is here: Dreams v. Goals.
Bob Vanourek and Gregg Vanourek, father and son, are co-authors of Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations.