How to Make Goals Come to Life
Set a goal to run five times a week for a year. Or commit to run a marathon in six months. Running a marathon is a reason. A goal comes to life when you give it a reason.
We run in circles when goals don’t pull us forward.
Goals are affliction apart from reasons.
Reasons are magnets. Running a marathon is a magnet. Going to the gym is a goal. Living to reach a goal is good. Living for a reason is richer.
Reasons before goals:
Don’t set an arbitrary goal. Arbitrary goals, even good ones, add weight to life. Set a goal after you choose something meaningful to accomplish.
Cutting costs by 7% is a random goal. Choosing not to lay off people during lean times is motivation to cut costs.
What’s the point of hitting targets when the only reason to hit targets is hitting targets?
- Fuel energy.
- Explain pursuit.
- Strengthen cohesion.
- Enable sacrifice.
How to make goals come to life:
Imagine a year like none other. Joy exceeded expectation. Your hands are raised in victory. Imagine you arrive at the end of the year dancing with ecstasy. Let yourself sink into feelings of jubilation, victory, and pride.
Now imagine you’re surrounded by people who love you. Their hands are raised. They’re chanting like you won the World Cup. Who are those people? Make a list of names.
What did you do that made them wildly excited for you? What are they saying you accomplished?
What goals come to mind when you choose to live for a celebration?
What gives life to a goal?
I love this – what a great post for this reflective season.
Thanks Travis. We all start thinking about family and the New Year. I love it.
Thanks so much for that rather profound insight, Dan!
…especially as the season for New Year’s resolutions is close at hand.
Make sure the reason is the right one. Probably the most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. Which of these reasons is most likely to work: to fit into that perfect dress, to be healthier, or to avoid knee surgery? The answer may be different for everyone, of course. But in general, a reason that resonates with you (versus what you think should resonate) is more motivating.
I love this line: What’s the point of hitting targets when the only reason to hit targets is hitting targets?. It’s so true! You really have to give life to a goal. I am having a meeting with a group of companies on Thursday. We are in the setting goals for 2023 phase. I am going to use your guidance on how to bring goals to life! Thank you Dan
I love this post. New Year’s resolutions around the corner (never truly bought in) and I am instead thinking of your line, “What goals come to mind when you choose to live for a celebration?” With that, the reason must come from me… hitting others’ targets is not going to lead to celebration.
This post hits close to home, literally. Seven years ago, I made a commitment to myself to get into better shape by eating right and getting back into running. I made a goal to run 30 minutes a day, six days a week. I live on a street that is a large loop. So I do run in circles- three of them in that duration. A retired track coach who lives on my street has encouraged me to run a 5K marathon. I didn’t take him seriously because the goal of my running was for health, but you now got me thinking that I could make running a marathon a secondary goal.
If a goal is not important enough all year long, what makes one think it will be important enough just because it’s January 1st . . . again! Many years ago I made a New Year’s resolution never to make another New Year’s resolution and it stuck! If it’s not important enough to evoke change on July 1st, it probably won’t be on January 1st either.
Happy New Year to all.