It was Arnold H. Glasgow who said, “In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are”—
Little Johnny loved what we in America call soccer, and what the rest of the world calls football. Every time little Johnny kicked a ball, he announced that he had scored a goal. That is because there were never any goal posts.
We know better. Goals have to be futuristic, specific, identifiable, measurable, time-sensitive and rewarding. These are some of the Posts that define the direction in which we must kick, and how hard we kick.
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For many people, there is a very lucrative temptation not to set goals, or just as bad, to set extremely easily attainable goals, because of the fear of setting a goal and failing to score. As attractive as this option may seem, it reduces us to little more than drifters on the tide of time, going wherever and whenever the wind blows. True, it may cause us to forego the agony of defeat which lasts for a moment. But it also denies us the exhilaration of the thrill of victory, which will last us a life-time.
We increase our chances of attaining our goals when they can be incremented into long, medium, short and imminent targets. We are all familiar with the New Year’s Resolutions syndrome. Those can hardly, if ever be called goals. In most instances, they are nothing more than wishful thinking that evaporates by the end of the first week in January.
You must have a vested interest in the attainment of your goal. You must stand to lose something if your goal is not attained. Neither your “want”, nor your “wish”, nor your “like”, but only your desire must fuel the pursuit of your goals. Anything less will result in your being marooned in the morass of mediocrity.
Make your goals bigger than you are today. It is better to aim and miss a big goal than to have no goal and score. Regardless of the outcome, keep on kicking, directionally, purposefully, and more and more skillfully. “E” for effort will soon transcend into “E” for excellence.