You and I set goals, as do many people.
Much thought and agonising goes into the activity of setting goals.
Goals are classified in to ‘SMART’ and not SMART, A, B and C goals and so on.
We talk about being specific, we talk about goals being achievable – or ‘stretch’.
We set goals we know we can ‘do’ without really thinking too much about them because we already know what to do and how to do it.
We set goals we don’t have the first idea of what we need to make happen for them to be achieved.
We write them down, we read them out aloud, we get accountability partners to keep us on track.
We set targets (or not), we ‘miss’ them, we reset them, we change the nature of our goals . . .
And so it goes on.
And on . . .
Why do we devote so much effort to doing this? What is the purpose for setting and having goals?
Because the ‘goal’ isn’t what we really want.
We don’t receive inspiration and set our intention for a ‘goal’.
What we’re looking for is a result!
Everything is created twice – the thought and then the thing.
Of course, many things are only created once, never getting past the form of thought.
That’s where goals come in.
Goals are part of the process of getting from thought in the mind to thing in reality.
When we’re inspired to create something and set an intention to do it it’s not the end of the story. The ‘thing’ won’t manifest all by itself out of the blue (even though sometimes it seems like that) you or I have to do something.
We discover the actions we need to take and how to take them.
We create a plan with a series of goals we need to achieve on our journey towards the ‘thing’ we have thought of – the result we desire
A former colleague of mine, Philip Collings, Head of Systems at Railtrack, once described goals as a series of ‘gates’ we need to pass through, and in effect, they are.
Goals are an essential part of the process as long as we see them in this way.
In sport, teams score goals, as many as possible, but it’s only at the end of the game when the goals add up to the result. Even if only one goal is scored it’s still not the result until the final whistle blows.
The goals lead to the result, they aren’t in themselves the result.
And remember it is the result we want. You and I can ‘score’ or achieve as many goals as we like but if they don’t give us the result we want what’s the point.
Maybe they were the wrong goals, not aligned with or relevant to the result we are looking for.
Maybe we need to ‘re-think’ the whole ‘Goal setting’ thing.
Start with the inspiration and intention. The intention is always to create a result (the ‘thing’ we ‘thought’ of in the first place).
Certainly the ‘goal’ is to achieve that result, to make it come true, to turn it into reality and so on, but we must be really clear the ‘goal’ we have set and are so attached to is not the result.
And when we pass through the gates along the way, when we achieve the goals we’ve set, we have to ask “is this leading me to the result I seek?”
If so, carry on, if not we’re off track and must adjust our direction.
The ‘Holy Grail’ we’re seeking isn’t our ‘big goal’ or ‘dream’ or ‘big vision’ – it’s the result we get when we reach it.
The result is tied to the inspiration we received and the intention we set in the first place. Goals are part of the outcome, the process we go through to fulfil the intention and when you and I are ‘setting goals’ we need to keep the intention and the result clearly in mind.
It will help us set the ‘right’ goals to receive the result.
Set your ‘Results’ before you set your goals.