“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”—Lewis Carroll
As a coach, I often see people who have good intentions, a lot of options, and numerous ideas, but they seem to be stuck in one place. There are so many good things out there to do, but they have a hard time making choices. In a coaching relationship, they have the opportunity to identify their values, clarify their needs, discover options, and then set goals for themselves.
Yes, I know that most people don’t like goals. I think that one reason that we don’t like goals is that when we set them, there is an expectation that we will have to move out of neutral into drive and get down to work.
In The Experience: The 5 Principles of Disney Service and Relationship Excellence, authors Bruce Loeffler and Brian T. Church share this story:
“In 1953, a group of researchers interviewed the graduating class of the Harvard School of Business. They found that only 3 percent had long-range, written, specific goals; 10 percent had “generic goals”; and the remaining 87 percent had no goals, other than to graduate from the business school. The researchers stayed in contact with the graduates, and in 1978, 25 years later, they interviewed them again—and the results were nothing short of phenomenal. The 3 percent who had had long-range, written, specific goals had a net worth greater than the other 97 percent combined. That is an incredible statistic, since many of the 97 percent were successful in their own right.”
The moral of this story is not that if you have “long-range, written, specific goals” you will make more money in life. The point for me is that if you have a clear idea of where you want to go, you will know how to focus your resources in a specific direction and achieve more. We will wander less and travel further.
What are your goals? If you don’t have any, start thinking about some.