Goal Achievement is not an Exclusive Process

Last week I read an article/blog that stated that one should forget about goals and resolutions. Goal AchievementThey don’t work!

Rather than goals, you should focus on your actions instead.

It really pissed me off, because I knew the author was only writing that to be controversial for the sake of it….and, I would hate for her readers to take it to heart.

The problem here is the exclusive mindset.  That it has to be one thing or the other.

We need to replace OR with AND.

Goal achievement is a process of steps.  Just like goals are not a destination, neither is setting of goals.

You need goals AND you need to take action.  Setting a goal is simply the first step by starting with the end in mind.

I ask you….If you don’t know where you are going (what your goal is), then how do you know what actions to take?

In the story of Alice in Wonderland, Alice comes across the Cheshire Cat at a fork in the road.  Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which road she should take.  The cat replies, “That depends a good deal on where you want to go to.”  Since Alice doesn’t know where she wants to go and tells the cat she doesn’t care, the Cheshire Cat wisely responds, “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go!”  

So you want to be clear on your destination.  The more inspiring it is, the more likely you will stay on track to arrive there.  The inspiration of your goal, or even your vision, will help you work out the roadmap to get there and will help you overcome obstacles that come in your way.

Goal achievement is a process.

  1. Get clear on what you want and write it down.  Visualise it.
  2. Take inspired action – this means acting on the opportunities that present to you that align with your goal; it means making daily actions that will get you closer to your target, and it often means acting outside your comfort zone.  To achieve bigger goals then you have before, will take some courage to do what unsuccessful people choose not to do.
  3. Stay focused – avoid and eliminate distractions.  The better you are at this, the quicker you will reach your goal(s).
  4. Keep Evaluating and Re-aligning yourself to stay on track towards your goals.  Know ahead of time what measurements will let you know you are achieving your goals, and set sign posts to mark the way.
  5. Be Flexible – be resilient to opposition and resistance along the way.  The more flexible you are, the more you are able to go with the flow and change direction as need.  When you are flexible, you are open to finding alternative ways to achieve the same objective.

I’m hoping that you achieve your grandest goals in the coming year.  But, when it comes to your own goals, you need to do more than just hope.  Think about it – when you hope, it leaves things a little to chance.  When you intend, and when you commit to achieving your goals, you are more driven to do the things that it takes to make them happen.

Have a fantastic year, I am here to support you to being a successful and inspiring leader in business and speaking.

2 replies to Goal Achievement is not an Exclusive Process

  1. I agree and disagree Annette, and also appreciate your bringing this up. Goals suit people who are at a a certain point in their development. By this I mean they are in a zone that will make it highly likely they will benefit from the process of developing goals. Some other people may have had experiences that goal setting is simply when they set themselves up for failure. So sometimes people are not good at setting useful goals, get anxious about being tied down, have been given bad advice regarding goals, and heaps of other things. I think this is simply my experience of encouraging folks to develop goals, and thei range of responses to me. It reminds me of how different we can be.

    And for some people, their lives are so regimented towards goals, anal goal achievement, that they may ‘need’ or better, it might be good for them, to drop being goal oriented. It’s like that idea of being goal oriented, highly focused on the wrong thing. I work with a lot of managers who promise me and each other that their families are number one in their lives but whose action point out their work is when they are away from home so much of the time.

    But I reckon you know all this.


    Peter Howie
    Australia via FB

  2. Thanks for commenting Peter. You bring up a whole new issue of what it means when we ‘fail’ to reach our goals. I have failed many times in reaching specific goals, yet I do know that having set those goals have allowed me to achieve more than had I not set them. For me, setting goals helps me to get clear on what I do want to experience in my life.
    The flexibility (point 5) helps one be less rigid that a goal has to happen exactly right for one to be successful.
    I also meet people who are scared to set goals, or to stretch themselves, or simply don’t know what they want. Goals can be as simple or as complicated as you make them out to be. It could be as simple as getting the mortgage down to a certain figure, to have a holiday, to spend more time with family. Just ask yourself – what do you really want?
    People who say one thing, and their actions reflect another – are in conflict with their values or priorities. Your example suggests that the managers idea of looking after their family is working 24/7. Goal orientation is not necessarily the problem – the planning of reaching their goals, and including goals for their life outside of business may be what is needed.
    I agree that goal orientation for the sake of achieving goals is senseless. There has to be a greater purpose aligned to fulfillment in life overall.
    Thanks again Peter. I appreciate the dialogue.

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