Word Count: 908
Estimated Read Time: 7 minutes
“If you set your goals high, and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you” – Les Brown
Happy New Year!
It is 2019 and words like change, grow, goals, fitness, and progress color our conversations. Enthusiasm and excitement are fuel as we make resolutions with a sincere determination to get them done. Some are new, while others have been on our list for months or maybe years. Whatever the category, there is no better time to resuscitate past goals or set new ones like the start of a new year. What is it about the start of a year that stokes our desire and passion to accomplish goals? In his book When, prolific author, Daniel Pink says that a new year is a landmark or a way to navigate time similar to how spatial landmarks helps us know where we are going and create memories.
Personally, the first thing a new year offers is a fresh slate or a restart. Second, there is a mental confluence of clarity and receptivity. Third, I have a desire and courage to become better at doing life. What promises have you made to yourself or others this year?
This month, I will provide insights into goal setting and goal accomplishment. The aim will be to provide a cadence that will hopefully enable sustainable growth throughout the year. Here is a guide to the posts I will be sharing this month:
- Ready, Set, Goals! (today’s post).
- How to Accomplish an Elusive Goal (available to read on 1/10).
- What is Your G.P.A? (available to read on 1/17).
- Why Quality Always Wins the Day (available to read on 1/24).
- The Mindsets that Lead to a Successful Year and Life (available to read on 1/31).
Let’s begin by defining 4 different categories of goals:
These are bite-sized goals that become an aid or a stepping stone toward a bigger goal. Last year, I had a goal to run my first marathon. My stair goal was to run 8 to 10 miles, three to five times a week. This stirred up a motivation and fervor that inched me closer to running the marathon. Well known evangelist, Vance Havner noted, “Vision must be followed by venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.” Admittedly, I did not get to run the marathon (I will give the reason why in a later post), but on one occasion, I ran 15.89 miles, which was my longest distance to date! I am still stepping up the stairs as I venture to that marathon.
These are goals that require a change in lifestyle for them to become actualized. When I decided to write my first book, it required a sacrifice on my part in one particular area: TV. I was accustomed to sitting on the couch after work and watching TV till bedtime. Giving up TV time was difficult, but the pleasure of accomplishing the goal overcame the pain associated with the sacrifice. Switch goals call for a realignment of how you use your time, talents, energy and even money. A switch begins by stripping away what no longer matters so what matters can be front and center.
Stride (not Strive) Goals
These are goals that becomes part of your daily routine. This incorporation gives you breathing room and avoids suffocating yourself under the pressure of trying to reach your goals immediately. Striving can create an environment that is stifling and exhausting instead of freeing and rewarding. Through strides you not only see the forest (big picture) but you also take note of the trees (the details). Striding is more about the person you are becoming while accomplishing your goals rather than simply accomplishing your goals at any expense, including compromising your values.
When you stride, you make space for love and grace to temper selfish ambition and make you a better person on the journey to goal accomplishment. Grace also accepts failure as part of the journey not an end to it. As Zig Ziglar says, “What you get by accomplishing your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
These are goals that if and when accomplished will radically change your life and impact the lives of others directly and positively. In the book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, these goals are called Wildly Important Goals (W.I.G.S). It is a defining mark in the story of your life. Big enough to be mentioned in your eulogy. One significant goal as a father is to raise our children to know, fear and live for God, reach their God-designed purpose, and serve others with their lives.
Furthering the Discussion: Les Brown says, “Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life.” What are your goals? What category(s) from the list above do your goal(s) land in? Please share in the comments box.
Keep on Keeping on!
Pink, Daniel (2018). When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing p.93-94.
McChesney, Chris, Covey Sean, Huling Jim (2012). The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals.