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Moving Targets Are Not Good Goals

Defined Goals

One day a farmer, wishing to teach his son the “art” of planting a field, sent him out it plant with a few words of advice.

“Son,” he said, “to make the rows nice and straight you need to fix your eye on something and follow it!”

That night as the farmer went out to inspect his son’s work he saw rows going every which way. Asking his son why he didn’t follow towards something, he replied, “I did, but the darn cow kept moving!”

As you begin the process of refining your goals for 2012, remember that real goals need to be defined and measurable. Having a fuzzy, uncertain, something-out-there kind of goal isn’t likely to move you toward excellence. Lifestyle design is all about knowing exactly where you want to go and making definite steps to get there.

Keep your eye on the prize. And make sure the “prize” is something you will recognize when it’s in your hands.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Barry January 2, 2012, 10:14 am

    When I was a kid my dad tried to teach me to learn tennis. He loved tennis. He would always say, “Barry, keep your eye on the ball! Keep your eye on the ball!”

    It took a long time for that advice to sink in. It sounded obvious, but I found that when I really focused on the ball and made SURE I didn’t look down court, that I almost never missed the ball. It didn’t always go exactly where I wanted it to, but I could almost always hit it.

    That advice is just what you’re talking about. Keep your eye on the prize.

    And I was a champion tennis player in high school. 🙂

  • Jason Fonceca January 6, 2012, 11:46 am

    Short, sweet, and very enlightening. I love this picture, post/story.

    There’s also a hidden lesson in there:

    When directing someone, aim for as much clarity and as little assumption as possible, or they may get it very wrong. 😀
    Jason Fonceca recently posted…Ryze Success Steps – Kinetic TypographyMy Profile

  • DiNaRa January 7, 2012, 4:28 am

    Absolutely right as when you know what exactly you want, you get it or work in that direction so much.

  • Larry J March 20, 2012, 11:29 pm

    Alison,
    Goal setting is great to keep one focused on getting a job done, achieve a new milestone, or even losing weight. A needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, and to be accomplished by a specific date. I agree with you that you do not want the goal to be a moving target. It should well defined. Once the goal is set one then needs to put together a set actions that will help achieve the goal.
    Larry
    Larry J recently posted…Lose Weight by Burning More Calories Than You ConsumeMy Profile

  • Marissa March 25, 2012, 4:44 am

    I agree. Goals have to well defined and specific. That way you’ll really know if you have achieved it. The was a funny story by the way. I have sons and I have to be very specific with them when I let them do errands for me. 🙂

  • Leon March 27, 2012, 9:48 pm

    I think its very important to have a very focused goal that you zoomed in and work towards with blind faith….And I think the “blind faith” part is what most people have trouble with. They give up too easily when they don’t get the results….but sometimes these people are sooo close, and just need to hang in there to see the results!
    Leon recently posted…Your guide to dance partner searchMy Profile

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