Three Types of Goals: How to Make Sure They’re Still Meaningful

I’ve been speaking with a lot of business owners lately about goals.  We’ve come through a kind of a crazy timeframe.  And what I’m finding is that the goals that some people have set for themselves, they’re questioning them.

They’re disconnected from their goals.

I bet they’re not as meaningful as they were when they once set them.

So if that’s you, stick around – I’m going to share with you some ideas around how to get reconnected with goals that really mean something to you.

 If you ever find yourself questioning your goals, why does that happen?  Well, you’re excited to achieve the goal that you laid out for yourself when you set it.

But depending on how long ago that was, you may have evolved quite a lot as a person over time and as a business owner so the goal that you set may no longer be relevant for you.

Let’s put some context around this.  There’s three kinds of goals: 

  • There’s away-from goals, situations that you want to change and get out of.
  • There’s toward goals, something you want to go and achieve or create.
  • And then legacy goals.  Something that’s going to outlast you.

As an example, an away-from goal could be getting out of a toxic relationship, changing a toxic work environment, getting out of financial stress, getting out of working too many hours kind of stress.

It’s something that is frustrating for you, it’s painful, and you want to change it.  You want to get away from the pain.

What we need to do after we’re out of the pain is we want to set a towards goal, something that’s going to continue drawing us forward.

And maybe that could be a bank balance.  If you’re getting out of financial strain, you want to have a cushion for a sunny day in the bank or a specific cash flow, et cetera, or it could be a revenue target for your business.  These are the things that we’re working towards.

And again, the legacy goals could be things like philanthropy or multi-generational wealth that you want to be able to share with future generations, things like that. 

So why do we get stuck?

Well, sometimes we’ve got an away-from goal and we’ve gotten away from it.  But maybe not far enough.  We haven’t set ourselves a towards goal to work towards.  But even when we set a towards goals, sometimes we can still get stuck with this.

And I’ll give you an example of one that I had.  Years ago, about 10 years ago, I wanted to buy Ducati motorcycle, a 996.

I love motorcycles.  And it was about a 24 or $25,000 motorcycle at the time.  I couldn’t afford it when I set the goal.

And I set that goal because I wanted to be able to get this bike.  Cool bike, I’m not getting into the details but if you know Ducatis, you know they’re super-cool.

And as I got closer to being able to afford it, the desire for the bike started to wane.  I didn’t want it as much.

And what I realized is the goal wasn’t about the motorcycle.  It was about financial security.

I had that as a focal point to be able to achieve that, to achieve the ownership but really what I wanted was a specific cashflow, money in the bank and that financial stability that I didn’t have when I set the goal.

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