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Growth Versus Goals

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Stop for a moment to think about your lifelong dreams and goals. Focus on something that you wish to achieve in your lifetime. Are you actively working towards this accomplishment?

If you are like me, we always have to weigh short-term needs and goals, with longer-term growth. It is not easy. Spending fifteen minutes a day on that long-term goal can pay high dividends. It is a matter of thinking about your goals versus your growth. Growing continuously over a long period of time leads to the ability to accomplish great lifetime achievements.

However, it can be a struggle to bypass short-term gratification for the longer-term goal realization. I find it useful to think about goals in various timeframes, for example, one-year, three-year, and ten-year goals. Once these are defined, then ask yourself two questions. One, how must I grow in order to achieve these goals? And two, how can I allocate some of my time daily or weekly to this growth, and these goals?

If we don’t utilize today to make tomorrow great, then we lose the opportunity to attain something that may be very important to us. As John Maxwell has said, “The great men and women of history were not great because of what they earned and owned, but rather for what they gave their lives to accomplish.” So what can we do to truly begin the work that it takes to meet and surpass your goals? Jack Klemeyer had some pretty great advice on this very topic in a recent AccelaWork article that looked into how to map your goals and success.

waiting productively

© Flickr user alant79

You don’t meander along and decide at every crossroad whether you’re going to turn left or right -– hoping you eventually reach where you want to go. That would be inefficient and you might never get there! But too often, business people work exactly like this. They don’t set clear, specific goals, and worse they don’t plan out their path to meet those goals.

When you set goals for your business, you determine the direction your business will go in the next year, three to five years, ten years or longer. Your goals may define:

  • How much profit you want to make each year.
  • How your business will grow in terms of your product offerings, sales territory, physical size, number of employees, etc.
  • How you will market your business.
  • When and what your exit strategy will be.

Maybe your problem doesn’t lie in figuring out how to map your goals. Maybe you already have a plan in place and are working diligently at learning and growing so you can meet your goals but, for some reason, you find yourself distracted. I know how hard it can be to become distracted when completing tasks, especially if you’re working off of a to-do list. As I’ve stated before, maybe it’s time to make some cuts to that to-do list!

The lesson learned for me is to not accept responsibility until I am ready to take action. Instead I keep a list of all the things I need to do, but not yet ready to start. Then I focus my priority on three to five areas that need my attention. This system makes me more effective. I accomplish more within a shorter period of time. As I complete one item, I add another from my list. Too simple? It is easy to manage on a daily basis. Aren’t the best systems simple?

Simple systems truly are your best friend! Use this simplicity when working on your long-term goals by dedicating short bursts of time to that goal. You will be surprised at how much you accomplish!

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Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown is an executive coach who is passionate about personal development. He works to make a difference in people's lives by empowering them with skills and knowledge that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in. Mark has been coached, mentored, and certified by John Maxwell and his team. This coaching certification allows Mark to successfully coach and train individuals, groups, organizations, and companies.
Mark S. Brown


Executive and Business Coach at New Roads Leadership. A founding partner of the John Maxwell Team. We coach for your personal success!
Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown

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