What to Do with Old Goals?
Listing Your Desired Goals – Part 2
I want to caution you from falling prey to an unanticipated trap that so often occurs when setting goals. More often than not, a person who sets goals normally thinks that there must always be a new goal or new set of goals. In other words, we don’t repeat old goals when setting new ones. This is a mistake. Your goals (keep in mind our definition) should build upon your old ones.
Allow me to say that differently. When Pamela and I coach others, it is from the idea that your life is the business that God has given you. That being the case when setting goals, you must think of how your goals will impact the purpose for your business, the purpose for your life. For example, our goals must be weighed against how we can take others to the next level using every goal we set. Therefore, the overall purpose for our life (which is a goal) is carried over into each specific area in which we set goals. How can we use our career to take others to the next level? When we decide to publish a new book, how does that goal contribute to the overall purpose that our lives serve? This is how one should approach every goal that is set. Here are three questions you should ask when bringing a goal from last year into this year.
- What goals am I overlooking?
Don’t neglect any goals. All the goals you set, if they truly are your desires to accomplish, are important. Think of what you accomplished last year and see if there is anything you need to continue with this year. There is a phrase that stands out in my mind that reads this way. “We ought to give the more to attention to the things we have heard [things we desire to put to action], lest at any time we should let them slip.”  In other words, when we take our eyes off the goals and behaviors we’ve already established, it is easy for them to slip away or regress.
- What desired behaviors would I like transferred from last year to this year?
Some goals are used to drive behaviors or lifestyle changes. These goals might take more than a year and might even last a lifetime. Therefore, you must bring them over into your updated list of goals. Keep in mind that the desired outcomes should progress and the timeframe to accomplish them should be updated. We will get more into that later.
In fact, a large portion of your goals should be behavior-based. To accomplish the things that are worthwhile will require a shift in behavior. John Maxwell often says that everything worthwhile is uphill.” That means that downhill behavior will not get the job done. You will need to change your behaviors and that requires goals that build upon other goals.
- How do I determine the value of old goals?
Each year you need to get comfortable with asking yourself questions. While this sounds simple, it is not. It is not normal behavior for a person to assess or evaluate oneself. This is why we are in the business of helping others go to the next level because it takes effort to get around being normal. Ask yourself questions like these when looking to bring over goals from one year to the next:
- Is this something I should be doing?
- Is there more I can do with this?
- Have I accomplished all I need to accomplish with this?
- Should I have done less with this, or should I be doing less with this?
- Is this goal and process still relevant?
The key here is to ensure you continue doing something that has value and a return or to stop doing something that has no more value or produces a less than desirable return.
I failed to mention this earlier but write your responses down and date it. You will need to review this detail when you review your goals again. Treat your old and renewed goals no differently than brand new goals you wish to set. Don’t allow the old to stand in the way of the new. At the same time, don’t allow the new goals to keep you from making progress in areas you previously targeted. See this exercise not as a mundane task, but as a tool that gets you closer to the life you dreamt of having. This is your doorway to achieving greatness, will you walk through the door?
Question: What is one goal you set last year that you would like to continue this year?