The Problem with Setting Goals

Goals don’t always work!

Traditional wisdom tells us that the key to success is setting specific, measurable, and time-sensitive goals. You should know where you’re going and when you’ll get there. But there is a problem with setting goals.

When you set out to accomplish something, you attempt to plan for all the contingencies that come your way. You detail every move to make. You leave nothing out, or so you think. What happens when events occur that you didn’t foresee? When you’re blindsided by what may seem obvious now? When you’re caught unaware?

You’ll have a problem with setting goals if you don’t prepare for surprises.

There could be a major staff turnover that disrupts your sales target. A big competitor could move into town. Or a pandemic could interrupt your business model. Maybe a personal relationship sidelines your career plans. What if an injury halts your professional sports intentions? These are not remote possibilities – they are common occurrences!

If you believe everything you hear, you’d think flying by the seat of your pants is a bad thing. It’s irresponsible, right? It means that you’re making it up as you go along. Unless you want to give up when you face an obstacle, learn how to fly by the seat of your pants successfully. Think of your goals as moving targets or else you’ll have a problem setting goals. Here are the basics that a hang glider pilot uses to fly:

  • Be clear about why you’re doing what you’re doing. If you have to change direction, at least your primary reason will stay intact.
  • Don’t confine your planning to what you know or assume. Leave lots of room for surprises.
  • Prepare and train for more than you think you’ll need to know or do. It’ll come in handy.
  • Keep your eye open for both obstacles and opportunities. The sooner you see them, the better.
  • Have the courage to change course as the situation warrants.

Being prepared to fly by the seat of your pants means that you can take advantage of the unforeseen opportunities that come your way or circumnavigate obstacles – even if you didn’t plan for them.

Give your people wings and your business will fly. Christine provides LIFT. Contact her to find out more.