Will Your Goals Create the Future You Desire?

I recently read a statement on the power of not only writing down goals but sharing them with others. Kristin Armstrong, a professional road bicycle racer and two-time Olympic gold medalist stated, “If we write our dreams and goals down, we dramatically increase our odds of realization. If we share them with others, they become potent and alive.”

Like everyone else, Great Leaders look at the approaching new year with anticipation; questioning what it might hold in store. Unlike many, Great Leaders take actions designed to make the coming year one that will deliver the outcomes that they desire. They do this by setting goals; personal, professional, and organizational goals.

  • They write their goals down. They articulate precisely what it is, what it will look like, what it will feel like when they reach the goal. They make the goal very specific and measurable empowering them to see precisely where they stand when measuring progress toward the goal.
  • They share those goals with others; friends, family, team members. They identify an “accountability partner” who will regularly talk with them and help them identify those parts of each goal that have been attained, which are within reach, and those that require greater efforts. These accountability partners may be a single individual or a small group of like minded people. These accountability partners serve, essentially, as a board of directors that supports and encourages the Great Leader in the pursuit of each goal.
  • Great Leaders believe that the goal is attainable and instill that belief in others. They know that they can reach the goal. They believe in themselves and their teams, knowing that, as W. Clement Stone wrote, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” This belief focuses the brain on the goal with the intensity of a laser. Without this belief, there can be no focus.Great Leaders make their goals measurable. Vague goals that offer mere generalities aren’t really goals. They are wishes that have little chance of becoming realities. On the other hand, measurable, quantifiable, goals must by their nature be very specific … I will make 10 additional sales calls each week … I will write 500 words each day in my book manuscript … I will walk 3 miles every day and eat 100 fewer calories every day so that I can lose 3 pounds per week. Whatever the goal, the more specific it is and the more specifically planned it is, the greater the probability that it will be reached.
  • Great Leaders challenge themselves and those around them. Sure, it feels good to set minimal goals that require no real effort to attain, but that is a surefire way to ensure that there is no growth. Growth comes from having the courage to dream … to dream big … to set goals that truly inspire going the extra mile to make things happen. Great Leaders know that it is not possible to reach heights never before achieved if they are not reaching for the moon and the stars.
  • Finally, Great Leaders recognize the importance of giving themselves a “due date”, the date by which the goal must be accomplished. Without these deadlines, goals remain only dreams. They cannot become realities without specific deadlines. Great Leaders hold themselves accountable for reaching a goal by a specific deadline. They commit themselves to doing whatever is needed to meet the deadline.

As the sun sets on 2013, we can pause and reflect on the goals that we have previously set for ourselves. We take pride in those that have been attained. We re-examine those that were not and decide if they are still applicable to our long-term plans; and, if they are still worthy of our efforts, we refine them and develop plans to reach them in 2014. We set new goals, dream new dreams, create the future that we desire.

You control your destiny. Dream it … visualize it becoming a reality … make a plan … work your plan. The future is in your hands. Make 2014 your best year yet!

Tom Hoisington is a speaker, trainer, and author whose goal is to provide leaders and potential leaders with tools that empower them to build teams that are creative and cost effective along with a clearer understanding of how personality types interact within those teams. He can be contacted at tom.hoisington@eagleoneresources.com

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