Goals: Start the Year Right

Goals: Start the Year Right

By Cliff Park, MBA

It’s that time of year when think back on all that we accomplished and consider things we would still like to achieve.  This time of reflection helps us to recognize the many successes from the previous year and sometimes causes us to wonder what more we could have done.  Somewhere in that thinking we stumble across the ever so subtle feeling that we need to set a goal, make a resolution, or just get something done.  It is at that moment most of us feel a slight bit of excitement about the prospect of accomplishing this goal.  Many of us also feel an equal amount of anxiety about whether or not we will actually follow through.  It’s like that feeling a parent gets when they see their child first learning to drive . . .  only to realize their car will never be the same.  Such pride in their posterity such fear for their Ford.

Goal, the very word creates a sense of triumph, while the phrase “set a goal” can strike terror in the hearts of even the strongest of souls.  Indeed, the history of it all is what makes setting goals such a challenging experience.  We quickly heap upon ourselves a pile of unmet goals from years gone by, while forgetting the many positive things we have accomplished over those same years.

What if this year were just a little different?  What if this year you actually started by making a list of things you accomplished rather than a list of things you didn’t?  What if the focus changed just a bit?  I am certain the entire process would yield a far better result.   So this year as you set out to make a goal that motivates, make it with the positive in mind.  Remember to make it “SMART” Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound. Remember to Write It Down. Remember to Make A Plan. And Remember to JUST DO IT.

In parting I would suggest that the greatest goals, those that seem to bring the most sustainable and lasting results, are usually the smallest goals.  Those little things that over the course of the year bring about the most amazing results.  Remember the words of Van Gogh, “Great things are not done by  . . .  a series of small things brought together.” A poet once penned an epic quote that states the same in a very powerful way. Some suggest this quote may refer to the death of Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth Field:

For Want of a Nail

 For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

 For want of a shoe the horse was lost.

 For want of a horse the rider was lost.

 For want of a rider the message was lost.

 For want of a message the battle was lost.

 For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

 And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

May your goals for the year be positive, may they motivate tremendous change no matter how small, and may they held you really “nail” it in 2017!

Look for tips on this and other ways to strengthen your connection with your kids. Check out 30 Days to a Stronger Child! Available now in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.

Cliff Park sits on the Educate and Empower Kids Board and serves as a CEO for NSI and its affiliated companies and is blessed to work with magnificent caregivers who change people’s lives for the better.  In 2003 he had the opportunity to testify before congress in support of rural healthcare and is proud to be part of such a noble and uplifting profession.