What Is A Goal?

We often hear this term applied to a variety of things throughout life. A goal may be applied to games where one strives to score on another team, or it is the desire of a nation to eliminate poverty or to reduce fiscal or financial debt. Each of these examples are indeed within the meaning of the word but how does this term apply to one's life on a personal or professional level?

Most dictionaries define the term "goal" as: a point marking an end; the object of effort; or ambition; a destination.

And, here is how I define it: "A specific measureable achievement that is accomplished through defined and targeted actions."

The major key in this definition is that your goal is where or what you want to have in the future and it is different than where you are currently. The other eal and important component is that you must define clearly what actions you will take where each actioin has a target date for completion.

Let's take a quick look at a small company or business. In this case, let's talk about a restaurant. Now, it is simply not a matter of opening a restaurant and expect that people will come. You need to first know what kind of food you will serve, what kind of atmosphere, where it will be located, and where you want your business to end up in terms of how much money you want to make. In order to be successful, the owner will want to, indeed will have to, make a detailed plan or goal, and within this goal must be defined all those points listed above.

No one can expect that they will reach a financial position without careful planning and execution. Each detail and action must reinforce the ultimate achievement of the goal.

Here is a simple exercise if you think I am wrong. Go and visit a successful restaurant, one that has been in business for several years, and one that is known for quality food, a great atmosphere, and superb customer service. Ask to speak to the owner for a few minutes and ask him or her how they became so well known and successful. I believe you will find an owner who set a goal, had a detailed action plan, and stuck to the plan with very little deviation.

The same analogy applies to professional athletes no matter what sport. An athlete does not become a professional or skilled amatuer just be simply declaring that they are an athlete ready for competition. I know this may seem a bit simplistic but the message should be clear.

An athlete knows exactly what he or she wants to achieve; each athlete has a specific goal, a specific plan and specific actions that each must take, and these actions repeated over and over again (training) is what ultimately brings them to each athlete's goal.

Here is the real meat of this discussion. You can set a detailed course of action for your life, or you can just let life deal you a hand without any input or direction. The future for you is not one that is not influenced if you do not have a set goal or goals. It will simply be a future that is set by circumstances or by someone else's desires or intentions. Which kind of future do you want?

The decision to have what you want in the future is not dependant on someone else. It is not a future that relies on what some people call good luck. But, it is a future that you hold in your own hands where everything you do is your responsibility. If you want or desire a different kind of life than you have now, or if you are just starting out on a path in life as a teenager, it is really up to you to grasp and get what you want.

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