What goal will you focus on this week?
What action do you need to take to reach the goal?
How will you maintain your consistency of action?
As I write this, Hurricane Arthur is chugging up the east coast toward the Carolinas. It passed by Atlantic Beach last night about 100 miles or so off our coast.
I saw lots of expectant surfers today on my sunrise beach walk. One sat on the sand and looked at the surf like a football player getting his game face on. “The waves don’t look as big as I thought they’d be,” I said as I passed him.
“Not a problem,” he said, “just as long as they’re consistent.”
Just as long as they’re consistent. Marvelous!
Isn’t that the way of it with teams, relationships, your exercise and your goals?
I have used the phrase of “huge outrageous goals.” Jim Collins writes about “big hairy audacious goals.” Goals that make us reach; that make us stretch; that push us to go just a little bit further. Powerful and important.
I kept thinking about the surfer’s word: “consistent.” And the importance of consistency with our goals—large and small. External consistency: between our goals. Internal consistency: within our goals.
- External consistency. Do your goals complement one another? Or do they work at cross purposes and frustrate you? Goals can be huge but if they negate your big picture then it really does not matter how big they are.
o Example. John is a student with big dreams for a large life once he gets his college degree. He has enrolled in six classes this term in order to get to the dream as quickly as possible. He also has a shorter term goal of owning a car so he does not have to rely on public transportation. In order to buy his car outright (he doesn’t want debt—another admirable goal) he is working thirty hours a week on the night shift at an air freight company. He is exhausted…starting to lose his passion and focus for school. His grades are slipping. Last week he was so worn down, he ended up calling in sick two nights in a row. And he missed classes. Two huge (and wonderful) goals that start to cancel one another out. They are not consistent with one another.
o Example. Sarah is a real go-getter. She always has great ideas. She sees herself as a “big picture” person; just loves coming up with new goals and projects. Her energy and creativity are attractive to perspective team members. Unfortunately, Sarah is short on follow-through. “Everything always looks so good to me. I don’t want to miss any opportunities,” she told a colleague recently. What she can’t do, in reality, is focus on her goals. As soon she starts examining a new goal or project, the current one takes a back seat. Her work becomes shoddy; and business relationships become strained. She has earned the reputation as some who thinks big—but acts little.
Video recommendation for the week:
How do you build sustainability on your way to your dreams?
- Internal consistency. Once you set a goal, do you move forward with consistent action? Are you dedicated to the end result—no excuses? Are you, as John Maxwell has said, intentional with your goals and growth? Or do you just bump along hoping that something magical will happen and transform your goals into reality?
o Example. Tony wants to lose thirty-five pounds by the end of the year. A very doable goal. He has set up a great plan; has visited a nutritionist; and knows what he needs to do for caloric intake (his diet) and caloric expenditure (his exercise). He had a great first two weeks. After that? He lost his focus and he is consistently inconsistent with what he eats and does in the gym.
o Example. Gertie decided to start a blog. “I want to add value and hopefully end up with a book out of it,” she told a friend. Gertie read advice and strategies for blogging. A long-time blogger told her to post regularly. Whether it was daily, twice a week, or once a week, she would need to be consistent to attract followers. Gertie decided to do a weekly blog. She was diligent for three weeks—and then she let “stuff” get in the way. Her next post was two weeks later. It is now 6 weeks since her last post.
Large ideas can certainly create enthusiasm. But absent consistent action, the big dreams have no legs. They are mere fantasies.
What goal will you focus on this week? What action do you need to take to reach the goal? How will you maintain your consistency toward your dream?
Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.
Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.
(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.