Lloyd Conant, one of the founders of Nightingale—Conant, the largest producer of audio programs on success in the world, came to the conclusion that “success is goals and all else is commentary.” People with clearly written goals simply accomplish vastly more that those without them could ever imagine.
Let me ask you a question. If the evidence is conclusive, why is it then in every instance and in every study only about three percent of adult Americans have a clearly written plan (goal) for their lives? I would suggest it’s because, for most people, goals do not represent the opportunity to achieve, but rather the obligation to venture beyond one’s comfort zone.
A goal is a planned conflict with your own status quo. In simplest terms, reaching a meaningful goal means doing something new and leaving the familiar terrain of your personal comfort zone. Probably one of the main reasons people do not set goals is because they must be willing to forsake old patterns and push toward new behaviors.
It has been said, “Fully 95 percent of everything you do is determined by your habits, good or bad.” What is a habit? It is an automatic, trained response – a predictable ritual. Therefore, your first and greatest goal in life should be to form good habits that will automatically enhance the quality of your life, as well as broaden the scope of your achievements.
Remember, “Goal setting is a planned conflict with your own status quo.” It’s not what you necessarily need to do that keeps you from reaching what you want, but rather what you need to stop doing. In essence, goal setting is the realization that if you want a new result, you must be willing to become a new person. And that takes work.
As the saying goes, “Getting in means getting out.” You cannot take on something new without consciously deciding to discontinue something old. Effective goal setting requires the courage to stop doing the things that you know are destructive to your life and career. Like the early explorers, you, too, have new worlds to explore and conquer.
So what’s stopping you?
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