Goals: To Be, or To Do?

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
 — Tony Robbins

As we are in the beginning of a new year, and thank the Lord in heaven for that, now is a good time to leave 2020 in the dust and forge ahead to 2021 with a purpose.  A goal setting exercise is a great way to get your mind around what your priorities are right now.  I admit that I have skipped out on setting yearly goals at least a couple times in previous years, but I can look back and remember feeling lost, unorganized and unproductive until I sat down and thought about it — what do I actually want to accomplish this year?  The beginning of the year is a good consistent time to think about this, but it doesn’t have to be confined to a certain time of year — any time you feel like you’ve accomplished your main goal and need to select a new target, or anytime you feel like you’re wandering through your job, your training in the gym, or your life without a compass to guide you — sitting down for some self-reflection and an eye for the future is a good idea that can create some positive momentum again.

One wrinkle of goal setting that recently helped me gain some clarity on what I want to DO this year was thinking about what I want to BE.  Goals can be defined as “being” goals if they define who we want to become, or certain qualities that we want to take on.  “Doing” goals can help further drill-down into those higher level “being” goals.  For example, a goal that might get me fired up about my physical training is to “be a better runner.”  That’s something that I can put up on my office whiteboard and get me motivated to train when I don’t really want to.  But it’s relatively ambiguous, so I might define some specific “doing” goals to flesh it out.  “I want to finish a marathon in under 3 hours by the end of this year” fits the specificity bill, and gives me a visual to work toward in my mental training as well.  Even within that marathon completion goal, I might create “doing” goals that define how I will keep myself on track, like “I will complete one long run and one sprint workout each week.”

In addition to creating a “being” goal first and then zeroing in with “doing” goals, I would encourage you to not select too many targets to go after at one time!  We’ve all been there and it’s a recipe for burnout.  Think about what you really want to accomplish this year — who you really want to BE — and try to distill it down to just a few things.

Happy New Year again to everyone, and to all your friends and family.  Let’s make this a great, focused, purpose-driven year.


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