Goal-Setting and You

All too often, we set lofty goals, knowing what we want at the end of the line, but we stash them away without a plan of action. Like finding mementos saved for scrapbooks, abandoned crafts and unframed photos in a long-untouched box, reflecting on dormant objectives is nostalgic yet regretful. Admittedly guilty of identifying but shrugging off goals in the past, I found New Leader's Council's advertised goal follow-through and peer-critique process very appealing. It's so easy to announce that I want to improve my Spanish or consider getting more involved in a local nonprofit. The tricky part is to keep to task and advance toward the mission...Right?

So day one of the 2012 New Leader's Council fellowship, I sat down bright-eyed and confident. This workshop would leave me goal-laden and path-directed. With an assigned group to check each other's progress to boot? Goal gold.

The full weekend's activities amounted to far more than I had anticipated. While setting targets used to be spontaneous, this time I weighed a complex formula of my history, passions, needs, expectations, limitations, relationships and more. Carrying out the goals seemed far less daunting considering the intense introspection that had just stumped me half of the weekend. What do I really want for myself? In practice, the hurdles fade away the closer my goal reflects my identity and the bettter my group constructively supports me.

It was haphazardly establishing goals in the past that kept me from achieving them. Without thinking a goal through, realizing its implications for who I am and want to be, I couldn't conceive of the first steps in the path to it. Fortunately I emerged from the weekend with an objective and direction, peers to keep me in line and mini tasks along the way. Equally valuable however, was my new awareness of how to establish goals with staying power in the future - ones that I couldn't stash away only to remember unfulfilled.




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Alex Southard
Small Business Engagement Specialist, City of San Diego Economic Development Department

Alex Southard serves as the Small Business Engagement Specialist in the Economic Development Department at the City of San Diego. Driven by...