In our house we use all sorts of words and phrases to describe people or situations. One of my favorites is how we describe folks who just don’t seem to be too concerned about life, school or work. When a person like this comes up, one of us will say “ain’t they got no goals?” (yes, I know it’s horrible grammar but I’m a redneck from Alabama, what did you expect).
The reason we say this is a co-worker of mine told me that one day when he was a teenager and still in bed at noon, his dad walked in his room and said “ain’t you got no goals?”
Recently one of the guys I work with talked about how the Army had taught him the importance of setting and achieving goals. He said before he learned this skill his life was absolute chaos. He was newly married with a child and because his financial skills were so poor he was on food stamps. He also was not being promoted on schedule.
One day a sergeant sat him down and taught him about setting goals and he decided that was what he needed to do. So he wrote out a series of goals from financial to career and started doing the things necessary to reach the goals
After reaching his first set of goals, he did the step that some guys miss, he set new goals and started on them. He understood that life is more like a marathon than a sprint. Too many guys reach the first set of goals and think they’re done.
Every guy needs to develop and write down life goals that cover financial, relationships, careers, faith, health and self improvement.
If you’re not sure how to set goals, here’s an acronym that will help.
S-Specific. Dreams are general but goals are detailed.
M-Measurable. If you can’t measure it, then you’ll never know if you accomplished it.
A-Achievable. Don’t set yourself up for failure and discouragement by trying to do something you can’t.
R-Relevant. Make sure you’re not investing time and energy to reach a goal that won’t add value to your life.
T-Time-Boxed. Guys need deadlines.
I’ll give you a personal example. One of my goals is to weigh 200 lbs by my 49 birthday, which is September 30, 2013. Here’s how it looks using the SMART template.
- Specific- I didn’t say I want to lose weight, I said my goal is to weigh 200 lbs.
- Measurable- There aren’t many goals more measurable than weight.
- Achievable- I did the math and my goal requires me to lose 1.5 pounds per month, which is very doable.
- Relevant- I want to get my weight under control while I still can so I’m set up for the next season of life.
- Time-boxed. Mine is very simple, September 30, 2013.
Now, tell me what goals you’re working on.