Are you willing to do something different?

I have the fortunate opportunity to speak to a lot of people everyday about their personal goals and what they would like to accomplish in their career.   It is one of the coolest things about my job and it is definitely my passion.

When meeting with someone I always ask do you have clearly defined goals in all areas of your life personally as well as professionally.  And as you might guess, everyone says yes.  My follow-up question is what are they?  They blabber through a few of them, but you can tell they aren’t well-defined.  BTW:  I used to be the same way and in some areas of my life, I still might be, but I am deliberate about the big ones, which include career, passion, money, and future. You are crazy if you think there is such a thing called work life balance.  There must be a work life integration and find balance in managing that.  Your career should be your passion and if it is not, then find another career.

So back to goal setting.  Everyone says they goal set.  For example.  My goal today was to  cut the grass. Weren’t you going to do that anyway?  If the answer is yes.  Was it really a goal?  Meaning, if you didn’t cut it today, were you going to cut it tomorrow, the answer is probably yes.  So to me that isn’t a goal.  It is a something you were going to do anyway, it is just a matter of when.  I work with a lot of college graduates.  I like to ask them if graduating from college was a goal for them.  Sure enough they all say yes.  So my follow-up question is, so if something better came along would you have quit college.  The answer is usually no.  Not Graduating college wasn’t an option. So I ask, was it really goal?  No, it is not a goal, you were going to do it anyway.

I am suggesting you create goals that require you to do something that you wouldn’t do other wise.  I met with a person just yesterday.  They would like to make extra money. I said is that goal or a wish?  They said it was a goal. So I said “How much extra money?”, “When would you like to make this money?”, “What would you do with the extra money?”, and then lastly “What are you willing to do differently than you are doing right now to accomplish this goal?”.  SEE this is the magic question.  WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO DIFFERENTLY, to accomplish this goal.  If what you were doing was working to accomplish your goal (that is if you have a goal at all) you would already be making the extra money.  Since you’re not, your program isn’t working, so you must do something differently. A goal is something that requires you to stretch, to reach, to change, to try another way.

Today I woke up and I am going to work.  Guess what that is a crappy goal, I was going to do that anyway.  Create goals that make you stretch.  My mentor says:  Don’t set your goals too low. If you don’t need much, you won’t become much–Jim Rohn.

The point I am making is that A) Set some goals B) Set some goals that require you to do something you wouldn’t do otherwise.  If you make 45K a year and you want to make 55K a year, what are you willing to do differently to make that.  Maybe it will require some extra education, maybe not, maybe you are really good at X and you can do that on the side.  Maybe you deliver pizzas.  I don’t know, I don’t have all the answers I just have some suggestions.   The key here is set some goals that are worthwhile. 

Spend some time setting some goals today.  If you need some worksheets or some help please let me know.  I have a bank of resources that I can send you for free.  These forms changed my life, maybe they can change yours.

Brian Willett


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