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"If You Don't Know Where You're Going, Any Road Will Get You There." --The Cheshire Cat, Alice In Wonderland
By Jack Donohue   Printer Friendly Version

In the U.S. Army, we had a saying: "You can't hit a target you can't see. In real life, how many times do we try to hit targets that DON'T EVEN EXIST???

Do we accept people that don't set goals? Who don't know where they are going? Of course we do. We have no choice. Wouldn't life be easier if we didn't have to?

How tough is life without clear goals? Try this: walk into the airport, drop $300.00 on the ticket counter, and say, "Give me a ticket." The obvious question is, "Where to?" Try this response: "I'm late, don't bother me with details, just give me the ticket." This behaviour doesn't upset the ticket agent; who talks very nicely to you, until two men in white coats show up and take you away for observation.

How do we go about setting goals for ourselves and our businesses? It is not an easy process, but it's the same for both. First, we must decide where we want to be (THE GOAL). Does it have to be realistic? Not really (but that's the topic of another article). Once we have a clear idea of our goal(s), we have to determine where we are now (THE PRESENT). This requires hard work, research, and self-examination. This is the hardest part of goal setting, and the most important. Finally, we build a path backwards from the GOAL to the PRESENT, using visualization.

Are there problems with goals and goal setting? You bet there are! There are problems you will plan for, and other problems you never dreamed existed that appear out of nowhere. But if you set goals that are truly important to you, you will remain committed and persevere. Imagine the airline pilot, leaving Ottawa (present) for Toronto (goal). The path is to fly southwest from Ottawa to Toronto. If a storm appears over Oshawa, does the pilot say, "Oh well, trouble ahead, better go back." Not likely. They go over the problem, around the problem, whatever, but they get through. AND SO CAN YOU!

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