Don’t dream, set goals

Most people reading this blog are probably aware of, even if only acutely, SMART goals. This is an old adage in business that acts as an acronym standing for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound. I am not here to push the SMART goal method onto you but I am here to introduce and illustrate the importance of having goals. Goals are an important motivator both in your personal and in your professional life. Success in life is a multi prong approach that always should begin with the end, start making your goals from retirement backwards. If you know where you are going it is a heck of a lot easier to design the road map to get there. 

When developing all of your goals always have the end in mind, without it there is no destination. Personally, I develop goals for every fiscal quarter for 3-5 years. On top of that I have 10 year goals, 20 year goals, and goals for the end. These are all encompassing that do not merely discuss my professional life but also the house that I want to live in, the beautiful family that I want to continue to develop, and ultimately continued happiness. 

Far too often people get lost in goals as these daunting achievements that you will never live up to. This is where the SMART goal format does come in nicely, as it coaches you through developing a goal so that it is achievable and rewarding. I was once told that a person/organization should be meeting about 80% of their goals, if you are hitting 100% of your goals then they are too easy and if you are not hitting 80% then you either are not working hard enough or your goals are too lofty. Find the sweet spot in your goals that lives right around an 80% success rate. Shoot for the sun and get to the moon.

The last two things that I want to leave you with are this; goals must be written down and attained goals must be celebrated. If your goal is not written down that it is merely a figment of your imagination and will likely never be achieved. Once you write a goal on paper it is a plan of action and you are ready to accomplish it. When a goal is accomplished you must celebrate it, go out to a fancy dinner, buy something nice. Do something for yourself, after all you gave yourself a goal, developed a roadmap to get there, and you navigated to the end. You deserve it.