The Power Of Goals

Image: mack2happy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This year has been a crazy year in my house.

I started to blog, my wife quit her job, and we have taken on new responsibilities at our church.

To say this year has been hectic would be an understatement.

I can not wait to see what the new year brings.

Yet I already know some of the things that it will bring. That is because I have set specific goals for my life this year.

Here are a few of my goals for the new year:

  • Blog at least three times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday
  • Write a non-fiction book
  • Run a 10K with the possibility of a 15K
  • Participate in a mud run
  • Ice climb
  • Walk with my wife daily
  • Complete 4 books with my wife
  • Read 24 books

As you can see, my goals contain a mixture of personal development, physical development, and family time. All three areas are important in my life.

Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.
— Brian Tracy, Eat that Frog

When you set goals for yourself, you are helping map out your year. You have direction. You have a roadmap for success.

You can look at your goals and see what you have accomplished. I can tell you it feels good to see the goals on your list checked completed.

Image: Rawich / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last year, I implemented SMART goals. TopAchievement laid out SMART goals as:

  • Specific
    Make sure your goals are specific. If you can not clearly define your goal, it is not specific.Lose weight is not specific. Set an amount you want to lose. “I want to lose 15 pounds” is a specific goal.
  • Measurable
    You want to be able to measure your goals. If you can not measure a goal, you will not know if you are making progress.One of my goals this year is to blog three times a week. That is measurable. I can track whether or not I am meeting the goal.
  • Attainable
    The goals you set should be tough for you. Yet they need to be attainable. Goals that are unattainable will discourage you. Goals that are attainable will encourage you.
  • Realistic
    Are you willing to work towards the goal? If so, you are on the track to having a realistic goal.Make sure the goal is something that is tough and will take work. But make it is something that motivates you to move towards completing the goal.
  • Timely
    Set a time limit on your goals. Placing a time constraint makes the goal more urgent and real.Having your goal bound by a time limit also allows you to measure it with more accuracy. You are able to see how you are progressing towards your goal and whether or not you need to step up your game.

Let me encourage you with my results from last year’s goals.

  • I lost 45 pounds
  • I started blogging
  • I exercise three times a week for at least 20 minutes
  • Replaced the front door on our house

There were also goals I did not accomplish last year. However that is okay. Progress was made. My life moved forward towards the goals that were important to me.

I was able to measure what I completed. That is what matters.

Have you established your goals for this year? If not, please take time today to establish goals and write them out.

I know it can be hard to do. It was one of the hardest tasks I completed last year. However there are great resources available to you.

Dan Miller has a great set of resources at 48days.net and I recommend his material highly. Dan’s resources are available at 48days.net.

I believe creating goals is one of the most important things you will do. Taking the time to write out your goals will forever change your life.

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.
— Yogi Berra

Question: Have you created goals for yourself before? How has it affected your life? Please share your experience in the comment section below.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Just wanted to congratulate you on position as Community Leader at Michael Hyatt’s blog. I look forward to connecting with you there.

    • Hi Kelly. Thank you for stopping by and your comment. It is a great honor to have been selected for the Community Leader position by Michael.

      • How do you respond by commenting for his site? Do you just go to it, or do you have a special way of commenting?

    • Yes…congratulations Joe!

  • Nice post! I believe that having goals set is extremely important for a successful leader! I have post post coming out January 2nd about accomplishing goals!

  • I like Yogi’s quote 🙂 It’s very true. Yes, I’ve created goals- and if it weren’t for that, I’d still be the meandering 20 year old that I used to be (not a good thing!).

  • Hey Joe nice post and congrats on landing the Hyatt gig. I’ve been a goal setter for 30 years and it is amazing what just writing down a goal will accomplish.

    How did you lose 45 lbs? That’s one goal I have for 2012.

    • Thanks Rob. I was pleasantly surprised and honored to be picked as one of the community leaders.

      As for how I lost 45 pounds. It happened by accident. I planned to lose 10-15 pounds but once I met that goal, I decided to carry on. I did it by tracking what I was eating through Loseit.com(look for an upcoming post regarding their site), made myself start exercising(situps, pushups, weight lifting, etc), and getting up EARLY and doing lots and lots of running.

      I wish you well on the weight loss. Just put your mind to it and create a schedule. You’ll knock off those pounds before you know it.

  • Hey Joe… great post here. Thanks for sharing and being so transparent.

    Also, congrats on acquiring the Community Leader role with Michael Hyatt. 🙂 You’ll do a great job, I’m sure. You’re there enough anyway. 😉

    • Thanks Charlie! I try to be as open and transparent as possible. I feel it’s one of the best ways to pass on knowledge.

  • Great stuff Joe! Proud of how you sought out goals and then implemented them! Inspiring man!

    • Thanks Nick! I can’t wait to see what the new year and new goals will bring. It is exciting!

  • I’m with you Joe on blogging three days a week!

    • I hope you can keep it up Kimanzi! I’ve been enjoying what you write.

  • Anonymous

    One aspect of goal setting I think many people fail to do is to write out their goals. Having your goals in writing and somewhere you can see them on a daily basis is so important. Great points here.

    • You’re right Dan. Writing out your goals is very important. Otherwise you may dismiss or forget about them.

  • Excellent post! I’ve incorporated my gaols in with my Life Plan. I’ve taken my Life Plan cetegories, and created action steps out of them. These I break down further into smaller steps, and implement as quarterly goals. It really helps to track my progress!

    • Great job Jeff! That sounds like a great system to create goals.

  • I’ve had a funny relationship with goals. I tend to bounce back and forth between my goals being a wish list and a mere todo list.

    Goals I’ve set for this year include:
    – attract regular readers to my blog (been blogging 7 years, 950 posts, and no regular readers, or topic, or schedule)
    – Begin to supplement my income by writing
    – Read 60 books (in past years, I’ve set the goal for 100, but ended up between 36 and 48)
    – Write and self-publish a non-fiction book

    I should also get my Life Plan done. I’ve read Michael Hyatt’s free book twice, but for some reason it’s just not “clicking” with me as far as getting something on paper.

    • Eric, if you’re looking to attract regular readers I would suggest going for a regular schedule. It does two things:

      1. Creates an expectation for your readers. They will get used to your posts being published on a certain day and get excited for the new posts.

      2. Creates a schedule for you to follow. Knowing that you have to have a new post out on a specific day makes you have to write.

      I’m in the same boat as you with the Life Plan. I’ve started it multiple times but have not been able to finish getting it on paper. I had started a group before to walk through writing the Life Plan but the group fell through. Maybe I should try it again?

      • I pointed Michael Hyatt’s Lifeplan book out to a friend, and he’s in the same boat. For some reason, none of us can crank it out.

        It’s occured to me that for whatever reason, Mike’s templates just don’t click with our minds. I keep meaning to approach it from an engineering standpoint. Define the requirements a lifeplan system should meet, then put something together that satisfies the requirements and works with my mind. I haven’t done it yet though. I’ve tried to do it in Evernote and on a mind map. I’ve been using a system called Trello lately to track projects at work (www.trello.com). Since it’s designed to be a “list of lists”, I had an idea over the weekend to see if a lifeplan could work on it.

        • Yeah, I don’t know what it is but it’s been hard to get into the Plan.

          Trello looks pretty interesting. I signed up for it and will be checking it out. Thanks for sharing the link.

          • No problem. Probably half the systems I use, I picked up out of blog comments.

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