Are You Using Goals or Directions?
Had an interesting observation last week during an intense dialogue about achieving goals. This dialogue crystallized a few important issues for me regarding the difficulty people have in accomplishing their “goals.” And I will share this with you now.
Seems the real issue begins with the initial commitment to an idea about setting a goal. Yes, I said ” initial commitment” rather than a game plan or anything else.
There are fundamental differences between setting – and committing – to a real goal. Most people choose to only set a “general direction” rather than a true goal.
Let me explain…
First, the definitions are important here. so here are the definitions of goals and direction.
- Goal – a specific and measurable target in the future allowing an individual or organization to focus upon the accomplishment of the goal within a specified period of time and tracking their progress toward achievement.
- Direction – a general target without any compelling specifics as to amounts, time frames, clear measurement milestones thus achievement is hard to gauge and document. Lacks a definite commitment and clarity of focus.
One of my major learning lessons in life, is personal commitment to a goal and it’s accomplishment contribute to our strength of character and discipline. By setting a strong and definitive goal, I know what needs attention now. I can create definitive plans of actions and place high priorities on each step – every day.
By setting priorities I know exactly what I have to do and the sooner I get moving on it, the higher the probability it is completed by the target date.
Even when I miss a specific target – interestingly, it is usually on the “greater than” side of the target. I benefit from the confidence gained from achievement, plus the bonus improvement in my self-esteem and self-confidence. This is the new energy source creates a passion to “up the bar” for the next goal.
Now, the unfortunate truth is most people take the easy way out. They use a General Direction as their “goal” which is really a “false goal.” There is little effort and commitment to set a direction. Direction lacks clarity of thought and making a definitive choice.
Without a measurable and specific target, any road or path will get you to a destination. Yet, is this destination what you really had in mind or an easy substitute?
Commitment is the missing piece of the puzzle and is the glue driving true accomplishment in life. It covers all areas of life – from marriage to personal health (weight is an excellent example), parenting, continuous learning and all your business goals.
Now one quick point here. There are some people who are more problem solvers than goal achievers. This is a known fact about the human brain and it ability to process these actions. Yet, a problem solver can commit to accomplish their goals. The key is to restate the Goal in terms of a Problem to be Solved by a Specific date and produce X specific result. Goal accomplished – as a Specific Problem Solved.
Finally, when setting your goals in life or business, make certain you “commit” to…
- making the goal specific (what do you actually want as a result).
- time bound (without a deadline the positive stress needed to accomplish is missing),
- measurable ( develop milestones to track your progress and any need for adjustments of effort),
- action plans ( breakdown the process into pieces, create action plans for weekly if not daily actions to take, making them a priority over distractions in life.)
Your future success is directly related to your ability to eliminate distractions, make a strong commitment to achieve specific goals and have the mindset edge of the high performer to achieve exactly what you want in life.
BONUS: If you are having difficulties in life and focusing upon what is important to you in life, then you will be interested in first learning “How to Succeed in Life.” There is such a seminar, which is now delivered online. It has changed the lives of thousands of people – me included – and it is available online. Click on the “How to Succeed in Life” and get started in developing a clear future.
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Voss Graham is an Organizational Architect with 30+ years of experience designing sustainable business growth for organizations of all sizes.
Creating the Strategic Focus with the Executive Leadership Teams, he uses Systems & Process to ensure the Drivers for Business Growth are Executed at the Highest Levels. Voss is available as a Speaker for your conferences or company meetings – contact him at 901-757-4434 or use the LinkedIn or Facebook direct messages.