Principals of Goal Achievement

Do you remember the movie City Slickers with Jack Palance and Billy Crystal? There’s a scene where Jack challenges Billy to focus on the ONE thing that matters the most, and leave the rest alone. Billy then asks “So what’s the ONE thing?” and Jack replies “That’s what you gotta figure out.” 

I recently asked my Thursday Morning Coffee “band of brothers” to answer a simple question: “What is the one thing that, if it happened in 2013, would make you feel like the year was very successful.”  Now, I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions but I do like goals – no matter when you set them.

I was pleased to see that almost all of these friends provided a very tangible, measurable goal.  However, some of them struggled to narrow it down to just one thing.  So I pushed them a little because I know that there is power in focus – just like using a magnifying glass to burn paper.  I took what answers they could share and left it at that for now. After all, these guys are friends, not staff, so I need to do this in stages so I am allowed to return to the group. 

Meeting 1:  What is the “one thing”?  Make sure it is measurable and specific.

Meeting 2:  What are the three most important activities that you need to perform to accomplish your goal?

Meeting 3:  When do you need to begin and/or complete each of the activities? (By this point, they will know what I’m doing and some of them may find reasons not to attend anymore.)

Meeting 4:  What could go wrong with your ability to complete the activities? (Almost no one asks this question so, of course, they don’t think of the following corollary question.)  What actions will you take to reduce the likelihood that those “wrong things” will happen?

Future Meetings will include a variety of questions including: How are you doing with your goal?  Did you start doing the activity you mentioned before?  Are you on track for completing the activities? What obstacles are you encountering?  What will you do to overcome the obstacle?

If you look over the above list, you’ll notice three critical principals of attaining goals –

  • Focus
  • Overcoming Obstacles
  • Accountability

Consider the people that you lead or mentor.  Consider those in your life whose enjoyment of life matters to you.  What can you do to help them feel successful this year as they accomplish that “one thing” that will make 2013 a success for them?  It can be informal, like my example above, or it can be formal and structured.  Whatever you do, I encourage you to invest in someone’s success this year.  Of course, there are more details for achieving goals but this article should give you a good start.  Let me know how it goes!

If you need help defining what the ONE thing should be this year, just call us and let’s talk it over (800) 386 – 5611.




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