Yesterday I wrote about one of my big personal goals for 2013. It’s a little silly, but in my experience, some of the best goals often are.
So, it got me thinking – how come goals are so hard in the first place.
Beyond the inherent nature of goals being worth pursuing only if they are in fact hard, there is the fact that most of the time, the stuff you THINK you want isn’t in fact what you need.
Case in point, my epic 2010 quest to find a project management tool despite the fact that I outsourced only 15% of the work I took in and had no employees or partners at the time.
It was a huge waste of time and some money and it turned out the goal I should have been aiming for was not to LOOK important but to build a bigger business so that I WAS important.
Lesson learned.
For a goal to be worthwhile it needs to represent not just a physical endpoint, but an actual achievement that you can be proud of.
A great example from last year. I wanted to be more successful as a writer – not for my clients but for my readers. So, I started setting goals.
One very simple but very achievable goal that I ended up setting and meeting was to start recording videos of myself in lieu of some blog posts. I even created a couple video squeeze pages and two webinars.
It was not easy. The single biggest obstacle in my professional life is that I don’t like putting myself out there. But, that goal, even though it related mostly to getting a bigger audience, helped me conquer at least part of my discomfort in that sense.
I subsequently set other very small, achievable goals that represented things I knew were standing in my way.

  • Going to a local conference
  • Writing an eBook in my name
  • Publishing a short story on Kindle

Those particular goals (all met in 2013) are leading to other much bigger, long term goals like being a featured speaker at a conference, launching and SELLING an eBook in my name and publishing a novel on Kindle (or better, in print).
As a business owner or even just a writer, goal setting is one of the hardest things you will ever do. It takes tremendous investment of energy and time and it requires a laser tight focus that you can’t just grow overnight, but when you use it properly, it works.
So, instead of setting big, lofty goals (which are really just dreams), set smaller actionable goals that lead TOWARD those dreams.
Write a blog post this week.
Launch a small website next month.
Call a client on the phone.
These are simple things but when you assign them to “goal” status you can take pride in having accomplished them and when you succeed, build on that success in ways you never before thought possible.