Thoughts on Leadership: Goals

The new year has just begun. ‘Tis the season to make goals! The new year can be a powerful motivational boost when it comes to setting and pursuing goals, but it is an opportunity that is very easily squandered. How can you utilize goals to set yourself up for success in 2022?

First and foremost, goals must be broken down into a few different categories. You need to have your stretch goal, the singular Big Why that motivates and drives all of your other goals. In The ONE Thing, Gary Keller develops the Focusing Question to help people figure out what this should be, and it’s a very useful paradigm.

The Focusing Question is: “What’s the ONE Thing I can do / such that by doing it / everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” Figure out what that one activity is that underpins everything else and then set goals around making that one thing a reality.

These should be big and specific too (another concept explored in The ONE Thing). So if your ONE thing is getting in shape, what you don’t want are goals like “Eat healthier” or “Exercise more.” Goals that are nebulous and undefined are practically not goals at all. Think of a dartboard or target. Hitting a bullseye is all about perfect precision.

Make sure your goals are time sensitive and measurable. This way you can break down your New Year’s resolutions by month, by week, and even by day to make sure you’re on track for your goals. Your goals should also be big enough so as to necessitate real strenuous effort on your part.

Now, what goals you set for yourself is of course very personal. Success looks differently to different people and even within different dimensions of our lives. But one thing that is for sure is that high achievement is always and everywhere the result of big ideas and laser-like focus.

Because goals inherently give us a target to orient our lives around oftentimes the journey is as worthwhile as the accomplishment. The very act of pushing ourselves and striving towards a goal is worth the effort, even if you do fall short in the end. Failure can teach us a lot, if we’re willing to listen and try again.

In closing, what goals are you setting this year? How do they contribute to your overall vision for your life, your Big Why? Are they big and specific? What tactics will you put into place to make sure you achieve your goals and make 2022 a year of success and personal growth?

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