We all know that setting goals is important, yet we don’t always do it. Maybe we don’t have time. Maybe we are scared of not achieving them. Maybe we aren’t sure what it is we really want. And, what you’ve heard is true: people who set goals end up being more successful than those who don’t.
In the book Built to Last, Authors Jim Collins and Jerry Porras compare 18 incredibly successful companies with 18 moderately successful companies. One of the characteristics that these 18 companies possess is that they all set “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” (BHAG). They are called “big” and “hairy” and “audacious” because they are ridiculous goals that seem impossible. Yet, these companies have achieved them. Why and how did they get accomplished? Well, the first step was to set the goal. The second step was to craft a plan to achieve it. The third step was to whole-heartedly believe in the company’s BHAG. Pretty simple, really.
Zig Ziglar says, “You can’t get a bulls-eye, if you don’t know where the target is.”
I love this. This may just be the most straightforward explanation of why setting goals is important. If you don’t set a goal, you aren’t going to achieve what you want. If you don’t map out your destination, you’ll be driving around aimlessly.
We’ve given some guidance on goal setting here over the last couple years. Find a system that works for you. My goal setting is simple:
- Set no more than 5 goals to accomplish in the next 1-3 years.
- Give myself deadlines for each.
- Break down the goals into 3 month milestones.
- Make a note of anyone that may help me achieve that milestone.
I sat down to re-do this last week. It had been too long. For some time, I didn’t feel like I could commit the time and energy to setting goals. I also felt that I couldn’t focus on it given other demands for my attention. But, you know what? I brainstormed for 1 hour and asked myself the question, “What is it that I really want?” Afterward, I felt refreshed and refocused. And, my work has a much stronger direction now.
What is that you really want?
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