I have not always been a quote-lover or quote memorizer, but one particular quote has stuck with me and guided me throughout my professional and personal life. The funny thing is, I don’t even recall who said it. The quote is this: “Life is about making progressive, positive, changes until perfect,” and I added this phrase to the end… “and enjoy the climb!” To me this involves setting goals to help me become my best self, and having fun with it! In particular, I set annual goals in the following areas–Physical, Intellectual, Social, and Spiritual. These goals are then broken down into bite size chunks (monthly goals). Most of us have heard of the acronym “S.M.A.R.T.” goals, which stand for Specific, Measurable, Aligned, Reachable and Time-bound. I also added an “S” to the end, which stands for Stretch. S.M.A.R.T. goals should also be a bit of a stretch to obtain and cause us to get out of our comfort zone a bit.
Now, how do I achieve my annual and monthly goals? Well, the answer is I don’t always achieve them, which leads me to another of the handful of quotes that have stayed with me: “Goals are stars to steer us by, not sticks to beat us with.” If we don’t always reach our goal, we need to step back and appreciate the progress we made, and the fun and rewarding times we experienced in the process, and not beat ourselves up in the process. But, of course, we don’t set goals to not achieve them.
My personal recipe for increasing my chances of achieving my goal is to (1) share the goal(s) with another person, (2) make setting goals a team effort. Let me illustrate. For the past 17-18 years our family sets goals each month. We each set a personal goal in one of the four areas above, and we set one or two family goals…ones we work on together. If we all reach our goals we get to go out to dinner at the end of the month to celebrate our accomplishments (and set new goals). We take turns deciding where we go for dinner. If we do not reach our goals, but give a valiant effort we do something smaller, say go for ice cream or a milkshake. By making our goals public and working on them as a team we drastically increase our chances of achieving our goals…and we enjoy the climb!
This week’s Monday Mo was presented by Shane Campbell, our favorite human resources consultant.