Goals Won’t Get You Where You Want to Go

I stopped setting goals. I suggest you stop, too. Before you and Zig Ziglar hurl rotten vegetables my way in protest, let me explain. Although I’ve stopped setting goals, I haven’t become a low-life couch potato whose primary function is taking up space and collecting dust. Quite the contrary.

Rather than setting goals, I make plans.

Goals are an idea, a dream, like owning a Ferrari when you make minimum wage. Nice to think of, but no way it’s going to happen yet. A plan is a detailed course of action to take you from point A to point B. A plan is the high-octane fuel that you need to set out on a thrilling ride.

Am I splitting semantic hairs? Perhaps, but let’s look at setting the goal to write a book versus crafting a plan to write a book. You have a message you want to share with the world. You want to build your reputation, make some money or change the world.

You set the goal. You’re going to do it. You create a vision of the success you will enjoy, the lives you will touch, and all the other glories of becoming a published author. You tell a few close friends and put it on your vision board. You may even get specific with your goal and set a date. ”By June 2013, I’m going to publish my first book.”

You may sit down at your computer and write a few paragraphs. But without a specific plan, obstacles like writer’s block, overwhelm and frustration will dampen your desire to write a book. Your sparkling goal will likely fizzle and sputter like a wet firecracker.

So how do you overcome the book writing roadblocks to share your message with the world?  Take your goal and give it gas: make a plan.

The best way to get a specific plan that will serve as a roadmap for your journey is to start with an outline. And you only need 60 minutes to do it.

Are you ready to ditch your goals and gear up to get results with a plan?

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5 Responses to “Goals Won’t Get You Where You Want to Go”

  1. Kelly March 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    I love this post and TOTALLY agree with it! I always fell short of my goals so I stopped setting them. It felt better to get nothing done than to continuously fail at what I wanted to do. When I looked back on great things I’d accomplished, I realized that I hadn’t let anything divert my focus and I always had a detailed plan. Although uncomfortable at first, I set out to create a game plan for my life and it works BEAUTIFULLY as long as I stick with my plan. So, I made a plan of how to stick with my plan. LOL 

    • Anonymous March 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      Great point, Kelly. Continuous failure is enough to de-motivate even the highly motivated. Without a clearcut path to achieve your goal, it’s so easy to wander around and get a lot of nothing done. Glad to hear you have a system for creating game plans that get results! Kudos!

  2. Sergiu Simmel March 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    Yes, we must create plans … that fulfill goals. One without the other makes no sense. A plan without a goal is like having a genial basketball game plan but forgetting about shooting into the hoop. A goal without a plan is like laser-looking at the hoop without knowing how to get close enough to shoot the ball into it.

    So don’t stop setting goals: just set them up together with a plan–two peas in a pod! Direction and Trajectory! Or, in aviation terms, Destination Airport and Flight Plan. Both are key. Cannot operate an airliner without both, can we?


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