For decades goal setting has been
an established component in attempting to enhance ones personal and
professional life, as well as a catalyst for human motivation. It has also
provided guidance for organizational strategy and individual achievement. With
many approaches the process of goal setting has become unnecessarily complex
and over analyzed for individuals and organizations to utilize on a daily basis.
Allow me to simplify this individual
process for you. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a goal as, “the
object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” First, what does in mean to have a goal, and second,
do you have any goals in your life?
To have a goal means you have direction for the path your future will take. To determine if you do, or do not, have any direction for your life here is a practical, undemanding, yet powerful question. When you woke up this morning did you have something to look forward to? If you did, then you have goals and direction. If you have more than one goal, which ones are more important than the others, and can you rank them? If you are able to execute that task successfully, then you have just established and prioritized your goals, and you are on a path of personal accomplishment.
Having something to look forward to everyday provides the energy to contribute positively to yourself and those around you. It also validates that you as a human being matter, and that you have a purpose for existing. Without a sense of purpose the excuse door opens resulting in a loss of motivation, discouragement, frustration and even depression. How could I possibly be motivated if I have nothing I want to accomplish? Look at the number of individuals who emotionally and physically deteriorate when, in their own minds, they feel there is nothing to look forward to; and believe they no longer have purpose. My 84-year-old mother still surrounds herself with people and daily tasks to maintain a personal sense that she still matters. Whether it is her desire to play a round of golf, yes at 84, or take on the role of club historian, or continue to volunteer for the hospital, provides her with a sense of value to herself and pride that she is still contributing to others and the community. Although my mother no longer works, by volunteering to causes she believes in, and participating in activities she enjoys, provides her a catalyst to live life to its’ fullest. This continued desire to feel purposeful also stimulates for her fresh memories of happier times, people she has loved, and appreciation for the many blessings in her life. The ability for all of us to feel we are contributing in some way to the world around us can make a substantial difference in our daily emotional and physical well being.
Everyday I personally make a
point to recognize, acknowledge and work towards the areas of my life that I
look forward to. For example,
these goals might include my next column, speaking engagement, workout, school
board meeting, lunch with friends, vacation, visiting my children, or searching
for something new to experience to broaden my mind, or challenge my body. There
is so much life can offer, if one has the confidence and sense of purpose to
take a chance on their future and discover their full potential.
Returning to those fundamental core values that reflect who you are will provide you the fortitude to manage those goals, and provide you with an outlook on life that is optimistic and full of possibilities. Understand, to have something to look forward is our responsibility to create ourselves, or in conjunction with others in our lives. However, how we coordinate our efforts to accomplish those goals rests individually on each of us. At this moment my goal for all of you is to wake up tomorrow morning having something to look forward to. Enjoy the day, because you matter, have a purpose, and have the potential to positively impact those around you everyday.