Love them or loathe them 'goals' will be here to stay for the foreseeable future.
But I wonder about goals, their use and interpretation.
Lets think about somewhere where goals really matter; football. Now, I'm not a football fan. I occasionally watch a bit of American football and I even went to watch the Patriots play Miami Dolphins when I was in Boston a few years ago. I enjoyed it as a one-off, even if it was bitingly cold. (And what is it about nuclear-level-hot, hot chocolate at sports matches?) But UK football has little interest for me.
The interesting thing about goals in football and sports in general, is that not every attempt at the goal will be successful. Players dedicate their entire lives practising and honing their skills to get the ball through the posts to hear the famous words; "GOAL"!
It makes me wonder, is practising setting and reaching goals the key to more success in the long run? Is accepting, no matter how hard we try, some attempts just bounce off the goal post, despite an almost perfect lead-in?
I thought about this as I reflect on 2023 and look forward to 2024. Starting now - I don't need to wait until January - I've set myself three six-month goals. These goals permit daily practise, can be tracked and are all perfectly achievable with showing up consistently to meet them. They are:
- Lose 12kg
- Write 24,000 words for my PhD
- Make £1,200 from my writing
In football goals can be counted. The more goals you get the better your career will be and the more money you'll make. So I've made sure these goals are mega-metric heavy which is a first for me. I can literally count the kilos, words and pounds.
I've also made sure to include monthly rewards. As footballers get better, so too do the opportunities offered to them. Rewards of more sponsorships, more playing opportunities and more money. They are the regular match fixtures we win.
It's also worth remembering sometimes we lose those matches and sometimes we miss the goal that particular time. But the next day we still turn up to practise.
What I will have achieved by the end of six months, of being a healthier weight, of writing about 30% of my thesis and proving to myself my writing can provide me with a small extra income, will be the equivalent of winning the World Cup.
However if I lose the World Cup final - perhaps I only make it to 11kg - I need to ensure a healthy dose of perspective. It's why we always want to remember the community football club where we started and the long lost friends who kicked a ball around with us every day after school.
As such we also need to remember the rest of the team. Not everyone gets the same opportunity to shoot for the goal as often as you do. So as you strive for success, remember the people around you who provide you with the environment to get those goals, because even though it might seem like it, you aren't doing it alone.
As a reader of my newsletter, you are part of my team, and I thank you for that.