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Goals do not work. Yes that statement  is severely ambiguous. No this is not an 'off-the-charts' failure rate of all the popular trends of New Year's Resolutions post. Yes this is a true statement. No this is not a bait and switch line.

If you are a goal setter and push yourself to stay motivated then you need to read this. If you do not have any pressing goals and/or do not have any life goals you also need to read this. Maybe you stopped making goals because they stopped working, then you need to read this. The image to the right is the typical step plan to reach a goal, however sometimes it just simply does not work. Believe me --> Goals don't work.

In studying this topic, I have found three reasons most goals, or goal setting does not work...

Goals On Their Own Do Not Judge Our Character
For goals to have any significance in our lives they need to be rooted in our reality. They must be born of an understanding of who we are and who we were created to function, our strengths, and weaknesses, as well as gifts and talents. We should never allow positive thinking to get us uprooted from your reality. If we don't do this our goals can destroy us. Character is not judged by goals either. Their is so much litter on the highways of leadership of leaders who lead great but lost their souls in bad character moves because their character didn't line up, yet they had to meet their goals for image sake. 

Goals On Their Own Do Not Provide Context.
Think about how many companies has tried to expand so rapidly that they ended up not being profitable and had to downsize or go bankrupt, but yet they met their growth rate and projected goal. It would be foolish to sell lots and lots of products but in the end not make any money, but they met their growth rate and projected goal. Goals make great servants, but terrible masters. Context is critical to goal fulfillment. Context tells us where we need to go first before we start making decisions and start spending time/money/energy/resources/people.

Goals On Their Own Do Not Bring Fulfillment.
This happens all the time in sales, especially commission based sales. A person has a few stellar months or years then decides to take a break and the pipeline empties. Then when they realize they need to make money there is no customers, no leads. When someone is just chasing money the true fulfillment is not there. Nietzsche once said, "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." A how is only a job/means, however why is a cause. Too many people lack a why and have no passion and drive.
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So how do you make goals work?
Create SMART Goals:
  • S - Be Specific - Say exactly what you want in clear, concrete terms.
  • M - Be Measurable - Create trackable markers to know measurement can be made and is happening. Create a baseline and then begin measuring from there. What gets measured gets done.
  • A - Be Attainable - Goals must stretch us, yet be within reason and balanced with our priorities.
  • R - Be Relevant - The goal must be within your vision, mission and overall objectives. Build value in the minds of your customers.
  • T - Be Time Bound - If you don't have a deadline you don't have a goal. Create milestones to measure to see if everything is on time.

Coaching Moment:
Remember - Goals make great servants, but terrible masters.
How will you begin to master your goals?

Download below the 5 Step Worksheet to make your goals work.

If you use another form of SMART acronym, please share in the comments.

smartgoalworksheet.pdf
File Size: 47 kb
File Type: pdf
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