A Goal without a Plan is a Wish
We’ve all heard these words from the great French adventurer, Antoine de Saint-Exupery; “A goal without a plan is just a wish,” and that’s certainly true. And it’s usually about this time of year, after establishing some pretty lofty personal and professional goals that we begin to drift back to where we were before we established those lofty goals. So is it any wonder that we find ourselves in the same place again at the end of the year? No.
One can take on a few different perspectives concerning this topic of ‘goal implementation,’ but I prefer to look more at the ‘why’ we don’t fulfill these goals above all else. You see, goals are great, they motivate and inspire us to be more and become more, but if we don’t act, and act consistently, we will not achieve our goals. In our Champion’s Marketing 1 textbook, we offer a fundamental formula for success: Activity + Consistency = Results. Success rarely lies far beyond mastering the fundamentals, and goals are fundamental, but they are useless unless we take action, and do so consistently.
Most of us however struggle with the ‘consistency’ piece of this, and I happen to believe that if we can begin to understand the difference between a goal and a priority, we’d be well on our way. The late Stephen R. Covey stated very eloquently that, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” We claim certain activities to be a ‘priority,’ then we let all the other stuff get in the way. We establish goals in advance of achieving those goals, but here’s the difference; appropriately implemented, we establish ‘priorities,’ NOT in advance, but in arrears, because a PRIORITY IS NOT A PRIORITY UNLESS YOU DO IT. It is through our actions, our stealthily consistent, and relentless actions that we come closest to fulfilling our priorities, thereby achieving our goals.
Nobel Laureate, Rabindranth Tagore was correct, “You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” Those lofty goals will forever remain lofty until we implement them, and do so within the framework of a persevering spirit. And here’s the mystery of it all; when we learn the difference between a goal and a priority, when we have come to accept that a goal is something we’d like to do, but a priority is something WE WILL do; we develop a momentum and velocity that will keep us on track, and we will get it done.
Our actions determine our priorities, and when our goals are a priority, we achieve them. Activity + Consistency = Results, and no matter what we do, so long as we do something, we get a result. But that’s just good enough for us is it? So, for those who desire even more; Priorities + Perseverance = Success !
Those goals you came up with for 2015, they are real, and they are achievable, but only if you make your goals a PRIORITY!
– Randy Smith