It’s been said that a goal not written down is nothing more than a wish.
As you read those words, check-in with yourself – what came up? Did you roll your eyes and call bullshit? Did you scoff and rebel against those words? Did you simply read them with curiosity and want to learn more? Did they resonate and completely land with you?
It may not come as a surprise to you that when I first heard that saying I scoffed, rolled my eyes, and called bullshit. Even so – it was too late! The seed was planted and I couldn’t get it out of my head.
For many years I rebelled against New Year’s resolutions. Mostly because I didn’t feel like I had anything to resolve. Once that new saying about goals sprouted in my mind and grew – I realized that I was right, I didn’t have anything to resolve. Yet – I had plenty that I wanted to achieve.
At the start of 2021 (and for the first time that I can remember), I decided to write annual goals. I went into 2021 with specific things that I wanted to accomplish as an Entrepreneur, and also as the man I wanted to be.
What happens when you write down your goals?
Well wuddya know – when I wrote down my goals there was greater focus, attention, and I even achieved some of those goals. Was it because I tacked it to my cork board to the left of my desk and looked at it regularly? Was it because of some spiritual phenomena which I put out into the universe – and the universe delivered? Something else?
Who knows?! I’ve come to answer ‘yes – all of the above’. All I know is that by the simple act of writing out those goals, the ones that were sticky enough, stuck! And once they stuck, I watched as my actions and behaviors rallied around those goals.
On the flip side, there were some goals that didn’t make the cut. For some of the things I wrote down, I came to realize (usually within the first 3 months of the year, but sometimes even within a matter of days or weeks) that what was apparently important to me when I wrote them down, simply wasn’t important any longer.
Writing down your goals
What do you think about writing down your goals? Do you have a habit of doing that? If you don’t write goals – why not? What holds you back from setting some goals for yourself and then being curious as to whether you achieve them?
My challenge is that you engage in this exercise with me – the exercise of setting mid-year goals. And I’m not talking about some corporate-y nonsense that you’re obligated to do. In corporate jargon. That you have little to no connection to. I’m talking about real stuff! The kind of stuff that can redirect your life on a trajectory that you actually want – and maybe even need – in order to be the person you’ve always wanted to become.
Examples of Mid-Year Goals
Examples are always a great way to start to give you some real-life insight into what’s possible. Here’s a window into some of my own 2023 goals and how they’re working out so far.
First off, at the beginning of this year I was SO motivated to call friends and family on a weekly basis that I historically don’t speak to regularly. In fact, I even started an iPhone Notes page to keep track. Guess how long that lasted? Exactly 1 month! I made it through January before I stopped tracking and let life unfold. The adherence to that goal clearly wasn’t sticky enough. Done and done!
Another goal was to achieve YoY growth for my 5th year in business. Aaaannnndddd, I can say with almost 100% certainty that is NOT going to happen this year. Bummer! BUT – it’s a sticky goal and I still strive towards it. It’s just that realistically, based upon revenues from the 1st half of the year, I’d need some substantial wins in order to crest that peak again.
For some meatier stuff that’s still in the running…I set a goal to find 3 new referral partners this year. And so far – I’m pretty damn close! I’ve actually uncovered four new referral avenues, and closed biz with one. I’m optimistic two more will close before the end of the year. Wish me luck!
One last goal for ya – I’m developing an online, self-paced course to teach people my approach to job search. I dragged my feet last year (yup – it was a 2022 goal as well that was not achieved) and this year, I’m trending positively. If all goes to plan, in a blog around New Year, the program will be live and I’ll be celebrating this great accomplishment!
Achieving Your Mid Year Goals
Moving on to why I wanted to write about this – if you’re sometimes reluctant like I am to new ideas, maybe you’d benefit from a swift kick in the butt! In the past 3 years since I’ve been writing my goals, I’ve achieved many of them – and then some! I can’t scientifically explain it, but my anecdotal proof is that by simply writing my goals out, I have an increased chance of achieving them.
And I want that for you too. I mean – who doesn’t want to achieve and succeed? If doing this little exercise turns out to be transformative – what do you have to lose?!
The power of setting goals and writing them down cannot be underestimated. It may sound cliché, but it’s true: a goal not written down is just a wish. I’ll admit, I used to scoff at that idea, but once the seed was planted in my mind, I couldn’t shake it off.
The goals that truly resonated stuck with me throughout the year. I watched as my actions and behaviors aligned with those goals, bringing me closer to realizing them. So truly, what do you have to lose? Take a leap, my friend, and let’s make the rest of this year count.