As we approach the end of 2020 and all its turbulence, I’ve been reflecting on a piece of wisdommy entrepreneurial grandfather taughtme: “Don’t make a list of goals — know.”It took me years to fully grasp theinsightful gift he gave me. How cansomeone live without a list of goals? Themore I do consulting work with financial advisors, the more I understandwhat he meant.
We cannot always achieve all ourgoals, especially when we attach timeframes and expectations to them. Andworking harder is not the answer. Aswe’ve seen in 2020, there always willbe unpredictable outside forces thatinfluence our ability to complete a goal.
Even though goals can help us, theyaren’t always applicable to the presentsituation and what’s happening aroundus. At times, they often do not amplifythe best of ourselves or our businesses.If anything, they’re helping us compensate for what we aren’t doing well.
WHAT WE NEED TO OVERCOME
A lot of the time, these are the fouractivities that we’re not doing well:overcoming procrastination, keepingour focus, facing our fears and organizing (i.e., letting go of ) our thoughts.
I’ve found there are financial advisors who cannot operate without a listof goals. They’ve been conditioned tobelieve it’s the lack of a list of goalsthat’s the problem.
In other words, if there are no goalsthen there is no feeling of accomplishment, no box to check each dayand, thus, no progress being made.And it’s human nature to evaluateboth others and ourselves by somemeasure of progress.
What’s most important is overcomingthe four challenges I just described.
• For example, if you struggle withprocrastination, the problem is thatyou are choosing to put off whatyou know needs to get done now.Instead, tackle the issue by simplyrecognizing what needs to be doneand forego working off a list.
• The same goes for maintainingyour focus. What if your weak focusis simply a sign that you are notvery committed to knowing whatyou need to do in the first place?If you really knew, wouldn’t yoube maintaining your focus withoutneeding a list of goals to keep youmotivated?
• What about facing fears? The needfor a goal to help us alleviate ourfears is usually tied to feeling inadequate when compared to someoneelse. Wouldn’t it be better to knowyou can achieve anything by makingsmall progress each day and building on that achievement, knowingthat you can reach your aim?
• Finally, there’s the challenge ofmental organization and lettinggo of our thoughts. Does organizing 20 goals into a list helpyou know you can achieve thegoals? And even if writing downthe goals helps you move forward,does it amplify the best in you?
Our goals are only as good as ourimagination, and many times what weimagine is far less than what is possiblefor us to achieve.
As 2020 has illustrated, I don’talways know what’s going to happen,but I do know what I need to do when ithappens. And, all I really need to knowis that I will be ready for anything to
Growing Beyond Goals
Making lists of what to achieve can actually hamper what you attain.
We cannot alwaysachieve all our goals,especially when weattach timeframesand expectationsto them. As we’veseen in 2020, therewill always beunpredictableoutside forces thatinfluence our abilityto complete a goal.
THE FAST TRACK
By Angie Herbers