The Value of Interim Goals

Good business leaders know, and will readily attest to, the power of setting goals.  Employees are often well versed in the mission, purpose, and goals of their company.  But how many people set intermediate goals?  As I’ve learned recently, not many; not nearly enough of us.

In this day and age of thinking big and visualization, we often get more discouraged than our “old-school” counterparts.  Why is that?

While it’s true that the universe will yield to you anything that you want, however big it might be, as humans, we can’t usually go from thinking small to thinking big all at once.  (It happens every once in a while and is usually referred to as a life-changing moment.)

Most of our desires are things that are very tangible – to lose 30 pounds, make more money, have more free time, etc.  While I do teach to visualize the ultimate result, I often forget to teach students to picture in their minds the little steps along the way – the 5 pounds, the 10% raise, the better offer/stepping stone position, the job closer to home with less of a commute – you get the picture.  (Oops – sorry about the pun!)

Why is that important?  Because we need a way to quantify our journey.  It is how we turn around the thought of, “Look at how much more I’ve got to lose,” into, “but look at how much weight I’ve lost from where I started.”

It’s the same concept as, “Wow, we’re making good time,” when you’re on a trip.  You have a destination, you know how many miles you’re going to travel, and you usually want to be at your destination by a certain time.  If you’re ahead of schedule, you say, “we’re making good time.”  If you’re behind schedule, you say, “Oh, well, we’ve made several stops and I’m glad we made them.  I’ve enjoyed this trip more because of those extra stops.”

How often do you take that attitude on your way to more money?  On your way to losing weight?  Or any of your other goals for that matter?

Setting interim goals will help.  Five pounds in seven days, just to see if you can do it.  If you don’t, oh, well, you’ll have a better idea of how to set your goals.  You’ll know more about your body and what it can handle.  You’ll know more about yourself (your mind) as a result as well.

Enjoy the journey, and as always,

Live joyfully!

Posted under Motivation

This post was written by Debra Moorhead, Motivation, Education, Inspiration on March 30, 2009

1 Comment so far

  1. Scot Herrick April 2, 2009 6:02 pm

    A couple of insights. One, often daily goals are necessary to continue to move something forward. Given the number of distractions and the ease at which we can lose focus, having a goal for the day will give you 365 accomplishments for the year.

    Second, there are good reasons for many result oriented goals (like lose 30-pounds by June 1st) to have smaller activity based goals. Instead of focusing on losing the weight, focus on doing the exercise needed to do to help with the weight loss.

    Good article!

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