"In my experience as a senior executive in the competitive and fast-paced sporting goods industry, I have seen my share of good leaders.


Don’t Let Your Goals Sit on the Shelf! Working Towards Achieving Your Goals

Reaching goals

At some point during our lifetimes, we will all set goals or have wishes that we fail to achieve due to inaction. But this does not have to be a habit that we reinforce; in fact, we can enjoy more success in our careers and personal lives if we actively work to circumvent this pattern.

Dreams vs. Goals

One of the reasons you might be letting your goals sit on a shelf rather than working at them constantly is that your goals are actually dreams. Though these two words may evoke the same definition from you, they are actually surprisingly different. A dream focuses on the results and rewards: what you want, where you want to be, what you hope to achieve. A goal, on the other hand, clearly outlines all the work you have to do in order to earn those results: and people who set goals are not afraid of hard work. A dream, like a wish or a hope, may be a grand idea, but it’s clearly unattainable or unrealistic if you cannot transform it into a SMART goal.

But even a goal that is well-crafted using the SMART acronym can fail. Why? Because the SMART acronym only helps to set an ambitious but achievable, time-bound target – that plan of action must be implemented to see that goal through.

Where Your Goal Rests

Did you know that where you physically place your written-down goal correlates to its prevalence in your attention? If your goal is written in a binder, which you promptly store in a desk drawer or cabinet, it will fall victim to the “out of sight, out of mind” dictum. When you only examine your goal sporadically, people tend to lose focus on its importance, miss deadlines, and the goal itself may even become dated. To keep your goal at the top of your attention, position it as a visual reminder, whether it is pinned to a corkboard or left tidily on the corner of your desk – you will be more motivated to act on it. Making small progress on it daily can work more effectively than tackling giant portions of it semi-annually.

The Fabric of Your Organization

Finally, ensure you and your team are actively and efficiently working towards your goals by changing the very fabric of your organization. From the start, your goal should be an objective that the entire team supports and strives for. All team members need to understand the goal, their role in accomplishing it, and its importance and relevance. From this, the goal becomes not something relegated to a quarterly meeting, but part of the weekly – if not daily – context of the job. Your goal should be continually monitored, updated and evaluated in order for it to remain current, on track, and a priority.

Set yourself up for success by ditching your dreams and drafting a goal that is not only SMART, but also remains at the forefront of your attention physically and mentally. If this objective is important to you and your organization, then every team member from frontline employees to upper management needs to understand the nature of the goal, its deadline, and how they can play a part in its success. Remember that goals are not stagnant: they require constant work, monitoring, and updating to keep pace with our rapidly changing world.

<< Back

Julie Nimmons

Julie Nimmons

Julie uses her 30 years’ experience to help CEOs, executives and business owners in her Vistage Group find success in their businesses and personal lives. With positive leadership, a firm sense of prioritization and the commitment to lifelong learning, Julie’s creates a constructive workspace for Group members where honesty, innovation and cooperation can flourish.