Kicking Off 2012 with Goals in Life

We have all heard that the best way to go about setting goals and achieving them is with SMART goals. But if setting goals and achieving them were as simple as making them SMART, why aren’t more people achieving like crazy using this standard and often-repeated mantra?

1. Goals are a Messy Business. The process of setting goals and achieving them is a dirty one. Our plans fall apart, our self-confidence and pride get tested to the point of breaking, and more often than not, that glorious goal at the end of the rainbow starts to look a little less glorious once we’ve shed some blood, sweat and tears. Go into the journey of setting goals and achieving them knowing that things won’t go awesome 100% of the time.

2. Don’t Repeat Your Mistakes. Seems like a no-brainer, but you would be amazed at how many people fall back into their old way of doing things. It’s not our fault—we are creatures of comfort and habit, even if those habits are bad. If you failed at getting that promotion you want, try a new approach. If that fails, try again until you find what works. Finding the right way to setting goals and achieving them is often a trial-and-error process. Painful, but it’s much faster than doing the same thing over and over. Make sure you are PDCA’ing with a mentor on a monthly basis.

3. Stay Away from Absurd Goals. These often fall into the “all-or-nothing” category. An example: “I am going turbo 50 this month” . If you’re at turbo nothing it is always best to set a stretch goal but also a goal that is achievable.

4. Whether You Like it or Not, Stuff is Going to Happen. In the process of setting goals and achieving them we cannot plan for everything that happens.  Realize that things will not always go your way—it’s how you react when that first obstacle comes hurtling down at you that ultimately matters. Stay consistent and you will win.

5. Don’t Make Massive Changes Overnight. A frequently overlooked aspect to setting goals and achieving them is the fact that it takes time to mould ourselves into the person we want to be. Trying to change numerous bad habits in the blink of an eye is ambitious considering that it took years, possibly even decades to form those pesky habits to begin with.

6. Avoid Publicizing Your Goal Till You Absolutely Know It’s What You Want. Before declaring to all of your friends, family and neighbors that you are going to quit your job in the next two months make sure it is something you are absolutely going to follow through with. Try not to be one of those people who commonly talk about doing amazing things and never get around to doing them; instead, be that rare person who simply does them.

7. Don’t Wait. Ever. Putting off starting your goal, or the next step in your goal, makes sure that you will never get to it. Procrastination is a polite way of saying you are not going to do it. If your goal means this much to you, there shouldn’t be a single, solitary reason for not acting now. The only thing standing between you and setting goals and achieving them is action.

God Bless,

Jim Martin


About jimmartinlifeleadership

I'm an average guy living an unaverage life and looking to help others to do the same thing View all posts by jimmartinlifeleadership

6 responses to “Kicking Off 2012 with Goals in Life

  • Neal D. Ruffner

    Amen Jim!!! Looking forward to making 2012 a year to remember!!

    Great post. I especially relate to points 2 and 7. Its funny how we do just wait for things to happen in life… I know you and Dolores are out making things happen not just waiting, way to lead the charge!! You set a great example.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  • Karl Gohrmann

    Jim, Thanks for the Post… It hit me right where I needed it.


  • Clint Fix

    2012 is going to be an epic year! Your example of running the roads lately is inspiring. Your servant leadership sets the example for us all. Thank you!

  • Chris Brady

    Great article, Jim…with the hard truth that can help many out. I imagine that every reader can remember a time they violated each of your points in different areas of their life. Thanks for sharing!

  • gregjohnson on leadership


    Perfect time to lay out a plan to hit 2012 with new passion – Goals for the year.

    I too have made many mistakes in setting goals, missing goals, letting life get in the way, etc, etc, etc.

    I like best #7 “Don’t Wait Ever”, Putting off

  • Adam Henton

    Awesome info…ways to set goals and then how to go out and achieve them…..fires me up

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