This morning my wife and I started our day off in one of our favorite coffee shops in the world, located in our hometown of Louisville, Ky. We are here visiting family for the holidays and we will stop there every morning while we are here. It not only has the best coffee and mochas on the planet, but it is also owned and operated by the best people.
As we are sitting there this morning we were doing something that I have done in the coffee shop for years before we were married. That is taking inventory of how I did with my current year goals, and start writing and planning what I would like to accomplish in the next year. This year was different, because when I was single, I just did it by myself. And now that I am married it is very important to do this activity with my wife as well. We still have our own individual goals, but we also set goals as a couple for our life.
The first thing my wife and I discussed, was the definition of a goal. This is par for the course, because even though we have a great marriage and we have been together for a couple of years, it can still be difficult for me to think as a couple versus as an individual. However, I continue to get better and better at this, and sitting down and doing this yearly ritual that I have always done by myself, with her, is a great example of my growth in this area.
Once we settled on a definition of a goal, meaning we agree to disagree. I think hers is the typical definition of a goal: an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envisions, plans and commits to achieve. I don’t disagree with that definition, I just add another piece to it. I add that a goal is something that you weren’t going to do otherwise. Meaning you had to do something different, ie. change a behavior, invest money or time. Cut out something or add something to achieve.
Some people say, I am going to show up to work everyday at least fifteen minutes early. Well, the chances are, you were going to do that anyway. What did you have to change? Or they say, I am going to go to the gym 100 times this year. Well, last year you went 100 times, what are you having to change? Once you hit a goal, I believe you have proven that you can hit it. Which means you did whatever was necessary to demonstrate the behaviors or invest the time and money, you cut out or added the necessary resources to accomplish the goal. So you must change the objective to have growth in that area.
So there we are setting our goals. We worked on this for about an hour or so, and we got about seven to ten very solid goals for 2018 written down. To some, that may seem like a lot. To others, you might be saying that seems like a little. I agree with both of you.
The reason I agree with both of you, because setting good goals is hard. A good goal is something that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time sensitive. Also, known as SMART goals. They also have to be worthwhile towards your life.
Setting goals is hard work. And as I have learned, it is even more difficult to do it with someone else and have to agree on what they are. This is why most people never set very specific and targeted goals. It is hard to sit down by yourself, and even harder with someone else, and lay out specifically what it is you would like to accomplish for the next year and your life.
This is why most people don’t usually accomplish much. They don’t do the hard work on the front end. Which is sit down, think about what it is you want out of your life, career, marriage, relationships, finances, church, God, health, etc. And then write out specifically what you want in those areas of your life to look and feel like a year from now or ten years from now. And that is why I believe this is the number one reason people don hit their goals. They never set them to begin with. You can’t achieve what you don’t know you want to achieve.
Before I became a very strategic and successful goal accomplisher. I did what most people do. I would say I want to grow in my career. I want to make more money. I want to have a partner in life. I want a better relationship with this person or that person. I would say all of this in my head, and in many cases, I would be successful in accomplishing those things, over time.
I got most of these things, but I didn’t get them in the amount of time that it should have. It took way more time than I even care to share. When I started to sit down and said I want to be a VP by this year. I want to make X amount of dollars by x date. When I said I want a wife that has these characteristics by this date.
Once I started setting goals this way, I have since achieved a lot more in my life, my career and in so many other areas of my life, that I would have never accomplished if I didn’t do the hard work on the front end and decide what it is I wanted to accomplish.
If you want to accomplish more this year than you did last year, do the hard work now and decide what it is you want to accomplish and then write it down. This is another blog for another day, but writing your goals down is one of the major contributors to the success of you accomplishing your goals as well.
If you need help to do this reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help you achieve everything you want to achieve in 2018.
To your success and your future.