If you have no difficulty identifying, setting, and achieving goals,
skip this post. I don’t want to get in your way.
Pass it along to someone who can benefit from it.
As I listened to someone speak about a big project he wanted to launch, I was reminded of the need to set goals and act toward them. The person’s project (according to him) would make the world a better place. I heard about it often. Yet, there was little movement to the end result. A lot of talk. A modicum of action. A goal in the distance, life getting shorter.
Goals can be overwhelming, underwhelming, motivating, or a pointless academic exercise. Intricate formulas for writing goals can never outshine the more important ingredient of taking steps to reach the goal. Procrastination can come with self-congratulatory excuses of why the postponement of actions was necessary. Action requires discipline, resources, and a connection between the goal and one’s inner desire.
This strategy has seven steps. For some, the first step might be too far in the distance. OK, then start with the second, or third, or even the sixth. Begin where you can start to move with purpose toward a desired end. For others, the last might be too small and obscure. Tailor to your needs.
- 30 years. This is the (really) big picture. For some, much too abstract. For others, it can provide the needed spark.
- In 30 years, I want to be retired, healthy, and financially secure. You will need to clearly describe for yourself what these concepts mean and look like for you. What does life look like for you in this thirty-year goal? What do you not want it to look like?
- 30 months. A smaller picture. By time thirty months (that is, two-and-one-half years from now) passes, what will you have had to accomplish in order to move closer to your thirty-year goal?
- Staying with the example above, what will you need to do in this short-term to help set you up for that long-term goal? Do you need advisors, coaches, trainers, mentors, a budget, and/or wealth-development resources? Again, you need to clearly define and understand the concepts in such a goal.
- 30 weeks. In about seven or eight months, what specific steps will you have taken in order to make the thirty-month goal come into focus. Again, specific steps to get to your thirty-month objectives.
- 30 days. Staying with the above example, what do you need to do in the next month to help you with the thirty-week goal. Be specific and action-oriented.
- 30 hours. By tomorrow, what step do you need to take to move closer to the goal? Make a phone call? Have a meeting? Find a resource?
- 30 minutes. Is there something you can do every day for thirty minutes to help you move forward? Reading? A workout regimen? A night class? An online workshop? Meditate?
- 30 seconds. This is the smallest picture. Sometimes this might simply remind you to be and breathe when all seems overwhelming.
Let me leave you with two specific examples. One focuses on the 30 years, and the other on 30 seconds.
A few months ago, a friend told me she wanted to be retired by time she was 70 years old (in about 20 years). This required specific goals and actions about finances, family, fitness, and function. Specific plans had to be put in place within the next few years (the 30-month and 30-week steps figured prominently).
The second example is more personal and points to a potential challenge with a long-range focus (30-year and 30-month goals, for instance). I can get myself wound really tight looking into the future. I get so focused (obsessed?) that I end up walking right by the present. My dog, Roxie, has helped me with recognize this.
Roxie is always in the present. Whether sniffing pee-mail on our walks to the beach or laying in the backyard looking at the twerking squirrels on the fence tops. She is in the moment.
From time to time, I set 30-second goals to grab my attention. To keep me in the present. For instance, when walking to the beach, I’ll challenge myself to count the number of palm trees I pass in thirty seconds. I can tell you, for that thirty seconds I am focused on the present. And, a secondary benefit happens. As I am looking at the trees, I notice other things about my neighborhood that I pass daily but often miss because I am so focused on the what is far ahead. (BTW: I estimated more than 200 palm trees.)
Find the place that is best for you—the correct 30 for you—and refine your goal achieving journey.
Video Recommendation for the week.
I recorded this video in 2013. The message still resonates: While we need to have that big picture goal (say the 30-year goal), don’t drown in the big picture. Take it one step at a time.
Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.
Stay tuned for my new book to be released in early 2020:
Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.
Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story. In the meantime, check out her blog.
And you can still order:
- My latest book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
- Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.
You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®
Thank you for your example here, Steve. I see you have produced 50 (gasp!) podcasts. My first one will air next week. My slogan: YNTOTL “You’re never too old to learn!”
I look forward to seeing you at CRA very soon.
Best wishes with the podcast, Marian. Actually #50 will be recorded next weekend. I always learn from my guests.
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