Do you set goals? Or do you go off half-cocked and what happens happens? I know many folks of both persuasions and I’ve seen success and failure in both groups. While some folks do better intensely focused on a goal, others throw it all up in the air and work with what hits the ground. It’s been the fight of my life, setting goals or not setting goals
A Little Background
I was never a goal setter. I’m not even sure why. I was an expert at tossing it all up in the air and working with what came down. I did pretty well. . . most of the time. And it seemed like every time I DID set a goal, I didn’t make it. So I stopped even trying.
And then I met a wonderful woman who became my mentor for 13 years in a business that I was pretty successful in. She was a BIG goal-setter. She really tried with me. I’m more than a bit of a hard case. She explained, cajoled, taught and begged me to set a goal and follow through. So I did. And I blew every last one of them, thus proving my point that my balls in the air method was better for me. She never bought it. She has now passed from this earth and she kept trying to focus me until the day she left us. She didn’t succeed.
Failure and Settling Become the Norm
I tried a succession of things, not setting goals except for wanting to succeed. Did I? Mildly. But it wasn’t the type of success I wanted. I would get into trainings and they would tell me to *identify my strengths.* I was like, “Hmmm, procrastination, no concentration, a mind that constantly yells SQUIRREL. . . you mean like that?” No, that’s not what they meant. I could not focus on a goal and, therefore, I didn’t make much. I didn’t entirely fail, but I was far from successful. So I settled for what I got and called it a day.
And then I found something I desperately needed for my own health. I was NOT going to make a business out of it. Nope, no way. I was happy with things just the way they were. But I wasn’t satisfied. There IS a difference.
And Then Things Changed
One day I sat up and said, “Hey, why not? I can do this.” But still no goal. Toss it up in the air and see what falls out. As you can expect, the answer to that is not much. But I was getting my name out there. And all the while, there was this voice whispering in the back of my mind, “You need a goal to meet, woman!” The other voice argued back, “NO!!! No goal. I’m going to fail!!!” And then I heard a third and wiser voice that said, “You can’t even fail if you don’t try.”
So Now There is a Goal
I dragged myself kicking and screaming towards a goal. I set one. Still didn’t work. Why? Not specific enough. I figured it I made it broad enough, it would give me some wiggle room. You don’t need wiggle room. You need a goal to reach for. A specific goal.
So Now There is a Specific Goal
Okay, okay, I did it. Did I want to? Hell, no!!! But. . . I couldn’t avoid those meddling voices in my head any longer. The one voice said, “Set a goal and you will fail once more!” The other one yelled in retaliation, “Don’t set a goal and you will fail once more!” Since I had more experience with not setting a goal, I decided I owed it to myself to try the other one. So now, would you believe, I have TWO goals? One short-term and one long-term. They are both specific, the short-term more so than the long-term goal. But they are both workable and they need a sense of focus that I hope and pray I can still pull out at my age.
Work towards that short-term goal. What happens if I don’t make it? I refocus and try again. One thing my goal-oriented mentor of long ago taught me that DID get through my thick skull is that it’s okay to modify a goal. I intend to keep that in mind.
How About You?
So which one are YOU? Are you setting goals or not setting goals? If you’re a goal-setter, please leave me a comment and tell me what works for you. This old dog intends to learn new tricks. But maybe I should have said old cat. Watch this guy. He knows how to set that goal and SCORE!!! 🙂