Most of us have seen the criteria for effective goal-setting. You know, goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic—all with a targeted time frame for getting there.
To be honest, I can’t say I’ve experienced many of those! I mean …
- I didn’t set out to marry the perfect woman for me, but it happened.
- I didn’t set out to have 7 great kids—responsible, kind, non-entitled, hardworking—but have been blessed with them anyway.
- I didn’t set out to “make it” as a keynote speaker, but I guess I have.
- I didn’t set out to be debt-free, but we’ve been blessed. Much credit goes to Larry Burkett and Rob Blue, whose teachings we employed 25 years ago. (Yes, all of you debt haters, before Dave Ramsey!
- Karen and I didn’t set out to write a parenting book, but—phew!—we got it done.
- And, I admit, I didn’t plan to lose 43 pounds since April 11, 2012—but they’re gone.
And I’m delighted to be sooooo much less of the man I was back then!
Here is how I described my journey in November 2012 and then again in 2013:
Personally, when it comes to setting and reaching a goal, I don’t believe much in the whole “seeing the future” thing. As we wrote in Outstanding!, over two decades of “vision casting” in our organizations has left us with employees whining cynically, “Why don’t they share the vision?” Instead, it’d be better for people at all levels to be asking accountable questions (QBQs) like, “How can I be my best today?” and “What can I do right now to contribute?”
Honestly, if you think you know someone who can see tomorrow, please have them email me as I’d like to know what I’ll be doing!
Good things are obtained one step at a time. The step that counts most is the first one—whether we “begin with the end in mind” or not.
And that’s what happened in April 2012. After trying on four pairs of dress slacks that didn’t fit, I walked around the block.
One thousand miles later, that walk around the block was my most important walk ever. Now, down 43 pounds and walking three miles each day, eating less (no fad & fancy diets here), and going to bed a little hungry each night, I have reached a goal.
One that I didn’t even know I had—but that doesn’t make it any less satisfying.
Want to achieve a goal, possibly one you’re a bit cloudy on and uncertain about? Would you like to change your life in some way?
Then here’s the absolute secret to goal-setting:
Initiate. Act. Risk. Start!!!
When, you ask?
Waiting for clarity and crystal-clear certainty—which is really just procrastination—is the worst thing one can do. As we say in the QBQ! book:
Procrastination is the “Friend of Failure.”
And when it comes to achieving goals, who needs a friend like that?! That would be almost as bad as having friends like this!
Do you have an action in mind you’ll now engage in? A risk to take? A step to make?
We’d love to hear about it here. So comment away!
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