Setting Goals and Achieving Them Intentionally Prepare Yourself for Success
Sometimes we perceive goal-setting as an elementary tool, something we learned as teens or in college. But the truth is, successful people set goals and are intentional to achieve them. Successful companies, and even nations, set goals and work tirelessly to reach their targets.
Rather than setting goals, our tendency as leaders is to react, to pontificate and philosophize. We read fancy business books and listen to gurus who wear expensive watches. They teach us all kinds of techniques that we aim to put into practice. But success in any area of life is simply about setting goals and achieving them. The concept applies in our family life, spiritual life, and business life. We must not neglect the foundational work of actually creating them.
A recent statement by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, has caught my attention. This is not a political commentary on what Jared said or his political affiliation, but on a life lesson this successful young man has learned and applied.
After testifying before the Senate, Mr. Kushner gave a statement. He’s not been in the spotlight since his father-in-law ran for president. Even though he played a key role in the president’s campaign, Kushner said that he has tried to avoid the limelight. Rather, he has made it a point to simply set goals and try to achieve them.
China has experienced a rapid financial incline for the past few decades. What have they done to accomplish this rise? They set five-year goals and met them. While some may dismiss the concept of goal-setting as a simplistic practice, I want to challenge you (and myself) to ask the hard questions about our goals.
What are your goals for the next: week, month, quarter, six months, or year? What are your long-term goals at three years, ten years, or twenty years? Have you set goals for each of the most important areas of your life? The most important areas of my life that I set short-term and long-term goals for are: faith, marriage, family, fitness, joy, success, friends, finance, growth, and giving.
You may not want to come up with goals for each of the increments I recommend, but even if you set weekly, monthly and yearly goals for all of your priority areas of life, you can easily see how much time goal-setting can require. Hours, maybe days.
In many instances, we may not even be sure what our goal is. It may take weeks or months to figure out. When this is the case, we often put off goal-setting, and instead go on working. Working keeps us busy and puts food on the table. Without setting goals and reaching them, we won’t go anywhere except where our urgent tasks take us.
Here are some principles to remember when it comes to setting goals:
- Most people don’t make time to intentionally set their goals. Be one of the few.
- Make a list of priorities in your life and set goals in each category, but start with the most important.
- Make the goals measurable so you will know when you achieve them. Set a timetable for when it must be reached.
- Don’t make your goals like a “to do” list, only tending to the urgent. Rather, set lofty goals, giving attention to the difficult steps that move you forward.
It is perplexing to me to observe that when a country is successful, other countries don’t duplicate its values, efforts, and methods for success. Consider China for example. Regardless of their politics, their rapid ascension has been remarkable. Why don’t other developing countries make five-year goals and try to achieve them? I believe it stems from the same reason individuals don’t learn from other successful individuals. We are consumed with our own woes, distracted, and undisciplined to set thoughtful goals and commit ourselves to achieve them.
Regardless of how you feel about Jared Kushner’s politics, I hope we can do better than read and study him. Let’s learn from him.
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