Setting Goals That Stick


I am already working on 2019, are you? You should be! You should be setting goals right now for for yourself and the team you lead. Every great leaders I know has two primary characteristics: They are disciplined, and they have clear goals. Goals are like a magnet— they pull us onward and upward. The stronger they are, the more purposeful they are, the more focused they are, the stronger they pull. Everyone sets goals. They are called New year’s Resolutions! However, within a few weeks, those goals are often forgotten. Everyone sets goals, but few follow through on them. So how can we set goals that actually stick?

1. Consistently work ON it, not just IN it.

Take a morning or afternoon once a week, month, or quarter to evaluate and reflect. I like to take early Saturday mornings too work ON it, not just IN it and ask questions like:

  • Where do I/we need to go?

  • What do I/we need to be doing to get there?

  • How does my schedule and structure need to be adjusted?

These goals can and should be very comprehensive in nature. As i go, so goes the organization or team that I lead, so answer these questions applied to four primary areas:

  • Spiritual

  • Relational

  • Physical

  • Professional

2. Set “Scoreboard” goals for each area of your dream.

You need to be able to know if and when you are winning! What does winning look like? Make sure these goals are specific and measurable:

Bad goal: Write a book.

Good goal: Write a book proposal on (subject) by (date).

Bad goal: Lose weight.

Good Goal: Lose 10 lbs

Better Goal: Lose 10 lbs by Jan 1!

3. Set process oriented goals for each scoreboard goal.

Process Oriented Goals are all about HABITS. If we are committed to the process, the scoreboard will take care of itself. Success (or the lack thereof) will largely be due to our habits.

Scoreboard goal: Lose 10 lbs by Jan 1.

Process: Eliminate all cokes and desserts. Exercise for thirty minutes 4 times/week for the next sixty days (and I will probably lose 10 lbs)!

SCOREBOARD: Write a book proposal.

PROCESS: A good book should take 100+ hrs to put together, so I will calendar three hours every week to write, for one year. I will complete the outline and summary for one chapter by the end of each month.

4. Ask for accountability.

Accountability puts real teeth into the process. If we want to really be held accountable, ask for help from those closest to us. This is yet another reason why I believe so much in COACHING. We would love to speak with you about what this could look like for you!

5. Tweak, but don’t retreat.

If you were too aggressive or something fell through the cracks, that’s ok! Adjust. Tweak the goal. Focus on progress not perfection. Failure is an event not a person. The only way you fail is to quit. Don’t give up! It’s not how good you are.