Confessions of a Goal Setter

I spend more time thinking about goals than most people I know. If you checked out my Myers & Briggs profile, that wouldn’t surprise you. I think goals are fun, even amusing.

(Some of you cringed as you read those words, but you’re probably reading this post because you want to stop cringing and embrace this madness–I’ll try not to let you down.)

I set goals for nearly everything: reading, writing, working out, and (of course) project and career goals. The craziest goal-oriented thing I do: I set leisure goals. I decide how I’m going to recharge my batteries, and make it a goal. Otherwise, I won’t recharge and I won’t be as creative as I could have been. (Moving on from the crazy.)

Here are seven confessions from a goal setter. I hope these seven confessions help you make your goals less boring and more manageable.

  1. I know I won’t accomplish all my goals from the start. But this doesn’t keep me from believing I can, or will. Anything less than accomplishing all of my goals is a disappointment. Nonetheless, they’re certain failures that I know I can (and likely will, by probability) have to live with. I have a whole philosophy behind this idea.
  2. I tell everyone my “public” goals. (I have personal goals, like how many pounds I want to lose, that I generally keep private.) This can be an occupational hazard. Many people will decide that they’re not interested in talking to you once you let them know you’re a crazy Type-A who (according to common belief) will try and turn them into one. Once people know my goals, I’m more inclined to accomplish them.
  3. I often ask people what their goals are. Hearing about the amazing things people want to accomplish inspires me. On several occasions these conversations have turned into opportunities.
  4. I set a new goal right after I accomplish one. This way I always have something to work towards.
  5. I learn from the failures along the way to accomplishing my goal. I refuse to let my goals make me naive to reality. The key, though, is deciding that reality is not good enough and that the goals are your ideal.
  6. I keep my goals simple and strategic. They each have implications for other goals, and they’re each memorable.
  7. Ship dates come first. When do I want to do this by and what do I want to accomplish, ultimately? What’s the big picture? Until I have a ship date and a big picture, I don’t set a goal. Goals are scopes.

Go write some goals. You will feel better once you do. Have fun. Be outlandish.

What are your goal setting confessions?

One Response to “Confessions of a Goal Setter”

  1. Charles Jackson October 16, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    I hear you and agree with you and Charles Stanley, and Rick Warren and all the rest. The gift of life and everything in it belongs to God absolutely, so that I find His hand looking back and not forward. How do I take the “I” out of my existence. That big “I” that has PR (public relations) that precedes it and DE (defense da fence) to cover its tail, needs everything in my existence to submit to Jesus. Looking forward, proactive, planning, fills me with too much PRIDE. That is just me. Prayer and waiting, responding to those that are close to me, those God gave to me, now this moment, today not tomorrow, with an eternal perspective is my plan. He will call me where least expected, to exciting world changing glory, as He has done in the past, when my providence for the world is totally lost and His takes me to His plan. That is just me, and I do not recommend this to young guys like you! Go ahead and be proactive, bless you. But looking back you will see whether it was His hand leading. How do you know, do what Jesus commands and you will know. Certainly, Jesus had no plan. He had His Father’s plan. It was a one day plan that began with prayer and He walked with a lamp unto His feet, not a beacon for all eternity which the Father gave Him with patient obedience, even obedience unto the cross. As I look back over nearly seventy years, my plan to be a great surgeon was not so great, as my unplanned gift to be a father and husband, with all the unplanned help from Josh, Jim Dobson, Charles Stanley, RC, CS Lewis, Scott Peck, and on, and on, and on. That is just me trying to help “I” get away from PR and DE, living today for Jesus for the people He has put in my path. The truth of light is a rainbow and your planning is one end (along with ALL my favorite people) and mine is the other end. My end is not for this world.

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