Goal is a 4-letter word I’ve always hated. It’s as repugnant to me as most profanity. But can a 4-letter word revolutionize your life?
But, it’s that time of year, a time for reflection and projection for the next year.
Like the vast majority of people who set New Year’s Resolutions, my pattern is to promptly break them within the first two weeks of January. And, because of this repeated failure, I resolve that goals are not for me.
- Goals don’t work.
- Goals are something only certain people set. I’m not one of those people.
- Goals are something others use to control me.
- Who needs goals anyway?
Until last year.
Then I saw a video describing Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever.
And I was intrigued.
How could he make such an outrageous promise?
I listened to the first video. Then the second and the third. Michael Hyatt’s methodology was so logical and well defined, that it made perfect sense. And, since I was tired of feeling like I was floundering, I bought the program, determined to try it.
Of course, I procrastinated long enough that I did all five days in one day—January 1. Did I mention I tend to procrastinate? :/
Here’s what I learned during this past year that is revolutionized my life:
- Goal setting allows me to live intentionally. Last year, for the first time ever, I began to take control of my life. As much as I don’t want to admit it, this happened because I set more realistic goals. I decided what I wanted to accomplish in the coming year instead of letting others decide that for me.
- Goal setting stretches me. And sometimes this causes some pain. But, as my friend, Kary Oberbrunner, says repeatedly, “you can choose chronic pain or acute pain.” My challenge was to set a goal that was beyond comfortable. Why? If the goal isn’t something out there, you won’t try to hit it. In other words, if it’s easily within your abilities to do it, you aren’t challenged and thus blow the goal off. Hmmm, my problem all these years? Not willing to step out of the comfortable into the challenge. What was a challenging goal? Write an ebook and publish it. You can get your copy here.
- Goal setting is an art not a science. I set several goals for last year that I didn’t hit. One of the reasons was that the goal was too broad. For instance: exercise 5 to 7 days a week seems like a good goal. But, exercise Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:00 a.m. for 30 minutes is a better goal. Why? It is specific. I know exactly what days, when, and how long I’m going to exercise. I can make it even better by specifying what exercise I’m going to do on each day.
- Goal setting isn’t just for business. One of the things that hit me between the eyes in the BYE course was that goal setting is for every area of my life, not just business goals. Setting personal, intellectual, spiritual, relational, and business goals are important. I had to answer this question: what is important to me in each of these areas? In order to achieve the answer to that question, I need to determine the path (see #1) to get there. Setting the goal. There’s that 4-letter word again.
This week, once again, I’m completing the Best Year Ever course. And I’m excited. I can look back over the past year and see that I did complete a goal! In fact, I completed several. And, even though I didn’t complete them all perfectly, I made significant progress and learned much.
Yes, goal is still a four-letter word. But now, instead of being my most hated, it is becoming my friend. We still have issues to work through, but we are now on friendly terms.
Check out Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever. I highly recommend it (and I’m not getting paid to say that). Or find another goal setting process that works for you and do it.
It’s time for you and me to live intentionally. And that means setting challenging, realistic, and specific goals. Your life is uniquely designed so we need you to live it to the fullest. And in that process, you bring extraordinary joy into ordinary life.
What do you think about goal setting? Is goal a 4-letter word for you? Leave a comment below.
Together, let’s make 2016 our best year ever. We can do this!
Remember to capture the extraordinary in the ordinary each day.