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The Importance of Goal Setting

Written by: Craig Twombly
Published: December 2009

When an airplane takes off, it is said the plane is only on course 5% of the time. The other 95% is spent correcting its course and fighting wind, turbulence and everything else in the way. The same can be said for our own careers and resolutions. The day to day demands sometimes set us back or all together hinder our efforts in the goals we set. If our work demands long weeks to get it done, it makes it difficult to make it to the gym or to go to a networking meeting. However, when we make attainable and measureable goals a priority, (like after several weeks of working out and eating healthy), we begin to have some successes. 

As another New Year approaches, I am beginning to think about New Year’s resolutions.  Every year people flock to gyms and start the New Year’s resolution to lose weight or to get healthy. After several months and the day to day rigors of life, we often forget or stop the effort to reach our goals. During a recent workshop, we spent time discussing goals for the New Year. Here are some questions to ask yourself and try to make good decisions around:

  • Is it measurable?  If the goal is to get in shape, how will you know when you are there? And what is “are there”? Is it two weeks or two months; Is it 10 lbs or 20 lbs? When setting a goal, it must have a specific measurement. This will help you to stay committed and to measure the process or accomplishment.
  • Is it written down? When your goal is written down, you can continue to look back and see it. Whether it is on your bathroom mirror or in a Planner, it will be there for you to view at any time.
  • Have you set yourself up to fail? If it can’t be done, then it should not be a goal. (One of my goals will be to lose some weight. I cannot lose 20 lbs by the end of January, so I will not make it my goal. I think I can handle 5 lbs though.)
  • How long will you take to achieve your goal? Having a timeline will give it finality. As we discussed in the workshop, often times we wait until the last possible minute to complete a task. If there is a timeline to a goal, it will keep folks on track and focused to the end.
  • Do you have a tendency to get discouraged? If a goal is not met, try again. Sometimes we will not reach our goals, but might get close and that’s okay…small wins are accomplishments too.

When writing goals, try to have both personal and business goals. Both areas are very important to our   work and life balance, and with a little direction, can be attained.

If you have any thoughts or would like to discuss this topic, please feel free to contact me.

Craig Twombly

Craig Twombly

Craig is the primary facilitator at Priority Learning, he is responsible for conducting an array of leadership series offered and consulting assignments from communications to team development in organizations ranging from the service industries to finance, manufacturing and more. Having extensive experience at balancing the business needs with the wants and desires of people are Craig's strongest assets.