Setting and Attaining your goals

Fail to plan; plan to fail.-unsure

Plans are nothing; planning is everything.-Eisenhower

Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.-Thoreau

I start the post today with a few quotes that set the tone for my discourse on planning.  As you can imagine, there will also be a baseball connection.  Stay tuned and see where I take this.

One more quote to consider:

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there-Lewis Carroll

All of us need to plan, whether we mean as an individual or as an organization.  Having a target or a goal can be the difference between reaching a goal, even a lofty goal and swimming in circles and seeming to be busy and successful.

Earlier in my life I had a number of goals.  One of my early goals was to attend college in a place that would require my parents to spend little or nothing on my tuition and fees.  That goal steered me toward a ROTC scholarship and an appointment at the United States Naval Academy.  While I attained both of these goals, the goal was ultimately not reached when chose to leave the Academy and attend a public university.  Another later goal was to graduate with a masters degree from Vanderbilt University.  I am happy to say I attained that goal in 1996.

That brings out another key point in goals, one of which I will highlight in my list of key considerations when setting goals.  This list is shown below:

  • Goals need to be written down-having them in your mind is fine, but our mind has ways of rationalizing, so write them down
  • Goals need to be measurable-either a quantitative or qualitative measure is fine, just be able to say whether you did or did not reach the goal (SMART goals)
  • Goals should have a time frame; the time frame may be short, such as hours or days, or it might be weeks, months or even years
  • Some goals may be multi-step processes; some of these will need to be sequential while some might be attainable in parallel
  • Goals should be flexible-our needs and wants change as life occurs and our goals need to have the flexibility to change with our lives
  • Some goals require assistance from others-never be afraid to ask for help in planning or attaining your goals
  • Reaching goals should be celebrated-the bigger the goal attained might mean the bigger the celebration
  • Missing a goal does not mean failure-you may have changed your interest or the goal may not be as essential as you first thought-hang in there when you miss the mark; we all miss the mark at some times
  • Those who never miss a goal don’t set very challenging goals-failure is normal and it can be motivational and life changing
  • Communicate your goals to others who are interested in helping and investing in your as a person-You will never know how much the inspiration of your peers and mentors might be in helping attain your goals
  • Reflect on your goals often-depending on the time frame, you might have intermediate steps at 25, 50 or 75 percent attainment to reflect
  • Enjoy the journey to your goal attainment!
  • Never underestimate the amount of hard work needed to reach your goals-if you don’t ever think about quitting, your goal is not high enough-perseverance is one of the key attributes that comes from goal setting

I could wax on eloquently about my own goal attainment, but now I will diverge to a group of young men who have set goals and attained them to a high degree.  That group of young men is the Vanderbilt Baseball team of 2014.  This group set out last August with a goal of reaching the college world series in Omaha, Nebraska.  They have gone through many steps in this process and overcome obstacles, dead ends, challenges and disappointments in attaining this goal.  While they have attained the first part of their goal, to reach the Omaha 8, their stretch goal is to win the National Championship in Baseball.

As an interested party and supporter of this group of talented young men, I will follow them and watch them play this weekend at TD Ameritrade park in Omaha.  While the outside eye may say that this is all about baseball, it is really about so much more.  Winning is important, but how you play the game is even more important, and the methods and strategies used by this group, led by Tim Corbin, has prepared this group not only for the goals at hand, but they are also being well prepared for an even bigger game, the game of life.

Anchor Down-Go Dores!

I’ll be there supporting and encouraging you as you reach and surpass your goals.

By reaching your goals, you have helped me reach one of mine, attending the college world series.

This makes us both winners in my book!