Friday, August 8, 2008

What exactly is a goal?

We've talked about setting goals, and pursuing them hard.
Yet, we have not defined what a goal is, and that may be a good addition to the discussion.
Today's blog is about goals.

What exactly is a goal?
Is it financial, personal, emotional?
Is it defined towards your career, or your personal situation - or both?

My definition of a goal is:

A premeditated/intended outcome, that requires action and fulfills needs

If we break it down:

1) Pre-meditated/intended: You have to know what your goal is, before you can pursue it. It has to be defined prior to taking action. Or reversed, any action without a goal, doesn't necessary fulfill your needs in the long run, so by default that would be energy wasted. Think about your desires, dreams and wishes and visualize what you'd like to achieve. Ask yourself why you'd want to achieve that goal. Once you have determined your desire is worth pursuing, it is so much easier to do what it takes.

2) Outcome: The outcome can be visualized, rationalized, felt, seen, maybe even held or driven ;-). It can be a specific role within your job, a dream house, a job title, being a good parent, anything - but it has to be something you really want to come out as a result of your actions.

3) Requires action: We all dream, everyone has dreams.
The one distinguishing factor between the people attaining them or not is whether they are prepared to act on them, and do what it takes. It requires following the guideline, and not allowing yourself to be sidestepped or distracted. It requires saying 'no' to other temptations, not eating french fries, not buying something if you need the money for something else, not drinking that extra beer, or going out late. It may require putting in more energy, leaving earlier from home, or coming home later from work (depending on the goal) - I'm sure you can think of many more. The bottom line is: he who is not prepared to do, will not get.

4) Fulfills needs: You decide whether the needs you want to fulfill are personal, social, emotional, financial, directed towards your career, or a complete mix. The trick is to plan your actions so that the desired outcome is both attainable and attained. That is why it is so important to understand why you want to attain that specific goal - it tells your character, but it also sets your determination - which in turn is needed to find your inner strength and motivation to put in the energy when acting. Determine what needs your dreams would fulfill (and why) - if you want a wholistic goal, and you set a target on financial matters, you may end up being disappointed. But the reverse may be true also.

Everyone has dreams that can be viewed as goals. Sometimes the dream is too far out from attainable reality that it needs to have an 'intermediate' goal (a milestone). It keeps you motivated. Imagine a goal that is ten years out - you wouldn't want to be waiting for ten years to find some successes in your actions, would you? We have to have some fun doing it, and have to celebrate our successes getting there.

Share your dreams, set your actions, make yourself accountable for your actions, and go get 'em!
Good luck - and have some fun!

No comments: