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A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish

Julie Entwistle, MBA, BHSc (OT), BSc (Health / Gerontology)

What if I told you that there was one easy way to achieve the goals you have set for yourself?  Could it be that simple?  People are complicated creatures, true.  But if you have taken the time to set goals, are you measuring these and achieving them?  Are you working on your goals every day?

Here is the secret sauce…with every fork in the road, and there are tons of them, ask yourself: which decision aligns with my goals?

Let’s take health as an example.  Your goal is to lose weight, be more active, or be less breathless at the top of the stairs.  So you get to work and the first decision is: should I take the elevator or the stairs?  Then it is lunch and you have the option to work at your desk, or go out for a short walk.  Or you don’t bring a lunch and need to decide if you should buy pop or water.  The salad or burger.  With each of these examples one decision aligns with your goals and one does not. Yet if you continuously choose the option that aligns with your goals, results will follow.  This is true even if you make a small decision in the right direction – like taking the stairs for one flight then catching the elevator for the rest of the ride.  Or instead of ordering the salad, you just choose to not order the fries.

Using my life as an example, I have five key goal areas:  health, family, career, finances and personal growth.  Every evening I have the option of bringing my computer home to continue working into the night.  To do so may align with a financial goal of earning a suitable income, and a career goal to run a successful business, but it negates two other important goals of health (working means I will not exercise), and family (working means I won’t be spending time with my children).  So, I have a conundrum.  But in these cases the reality is that my day at work has already been spent on my career and financial goals, while my other goals have taken a backburner to work time.  So, considering this, aligning my evening time with two different goals helps me to make the important decision to leave the computer at the office, minus the guilt that comes from leaving some work unfinished.

Yes, achieving goals takes discipline, but it is far easier to make small consistent choices, then to make a drastic change that might not be sustainable.  So, on the path to awesomeness that involves you setting goals and blowing these out of the water, just ask yourself daily, as you need to make decisions around your behavior and time, “which option here will help me to achieve my goal(s)?”  Then, as you align your decisions with your top priorities, results will follow.

I wish you the best of luck achieving the goals you set for yourself in the new year ahead!  

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