January 7, 2021

The Value of Goal Setting

We love goals.  There is nothing more satisfying than looking back on all the impactful goals that we crushed over the past year.  Plus, come January, we all love having a fresh start and a brand-new set of big, daring goals.

Why do we set goals? Goals help us guide our focus and promote a sense of self-mastery, and help you sustain that momentum in all areas of your life.

Now, we all know that even as we love setting goals, the reality is that there are plenty of goals we set for ourselves that we fall a bit short on.  Does it mean that we have failed if we don’t hit every goal we set for ourselves?

Of course not.

It is important to go as hard as we can in working towards our goals, but it isn’t about pushing forward at any cost to achieve our goals.  It is just as important to evaluate and reevaluate the goals we set for ourselves to make sure they are still in line with what we want to accomplish. We just may find that there are goals we set for ourselves that aren’t the right fit for us, and that’s okay! As people, we are in a constant state of change and it is okay if our priorities shift.  Let those goals go and focus on your destination.

With that said, what is the destination?  Think about goals as compasses.  If we don’t have them, we don’t have a good idea of which direction we are going, and it’s super easy to get lost.  If you create your ‘map’, you’ll find that it’s okay to take alternative routes sometimes to get to the destination.

Start with big goals and work your way back.  Think about where you want to be 12 months from now?  What do you want to accomplish?

Break the big goals down into smaller goals.  Look at your yearly goals and break them down by quarter.  What do you need to complete each quarter to make sure that you meet your big goals?  Then create your plan by quarter so you know what you need to work on and when.

Reevaluate along the way and ask yourself “is this still the best path for me?  Am I on track to my destination?”  You may find three different answers:  yes; no, but if I make adjustments I will be back on track; or no, I need an entirely new destination.  Every one of those is perfectly okay, because there are always leaning opportunities in every obstacle.

Keep your goals by making them a priority.  Life is busy and we all get caught up in all the little day-to-day things.  If you want to hit your goals, you need to be diligent about working towards them, every day.  Find a time that you can set aside for this (maybe first thing each morning) and then stick to it.

You probably won’t hit every goal – and that’s okay.  This is worth saying again.  Don’t beat yourself up if you fail to achieve a goal you have set for yourself.  The key to success, according to Chet Holmes, is “stubborn pigheaded discipline and determination.”  It’s about pushing forward through every obstacle and getting up no matter how many times you fall.

There are many examples in history of people who never gave up and achieved greatness as a result. Before he perfected the light bulb, Thomas Edison self-proclaimed that he failed 9,999 times.  Before the Wright Brothers achieved flight, they crashed and burned two gliders.  Michael Jordan missed over 9,000 shots from the goal – more than most NBA players take in their entire career.

The reason that they, and people like them, succeeded is that they believed wholeheartedly that “failing” to meet their goal wasn’t actually failing at all.  It was simply an opportunity to try again.

Choose your goals – make them meaningful to you and aligned with your true purpose.  Never stop pursuing excellence.

By: Michelle Ryan, Alliance of Women’s Compensation Ambassador,