Post-Olympic Self-Assessment on Scoring Goals and Getting Gold

AUGUST 23, 2016
McLarson MD

With the Olympics fresh on everyone's mind, goals and gold are at the forefront as people watched their country's best compete for the ultimate individual prize and athletic accomplishment.
While we enjoy seeing athletes try to make goals publicly and competitively, what about us? Do you have a goal? What happened to our goals we traditionally set back around New Year's Day? Or, were you like me for many years, and didn't even set a goal knowing full well you weren't going to "score" on it anyway?
In reality, goals are for more than just athletes. Organizations have goals to help achieve their missions. Deadlines are a time-related goal. But do you have personal and financial goals? Setting and then scoring goals is a sure way to win gold. In fact, data from the Harvard MBA program showed that the 3% of graduates with formal written goals earned 10 times as much as the combined 97% of those without.
While this sounds like a magic bullet, don't shoot yourself in the foot. According to goal theorists, setting, but then not achieving goals may not be good for you. So what are we to do? The best way to achieve your grand goal of, say, retiring at age 55, eating an entire airplane, or whatever you aspire to, is to formulate sub-goals that are smaller and doable – one bite at a time. (That is how Michel Lotito actually ate an airplane. I'd hate to be his gastroenterologist, or worse, his proctologist.)
Currently, I have a goal written on a piece of paper attached to my fridge, since like many Americans, I visit the fridge more than any other place in the house. That way, I am frequently given a little reminder to do that little thing to get closer to my bigger goal.
Feel free to comment below and give other practical ways you have remembered and achieved goals – your insight could be what gets someone on track to do greater things!
In the end, if you don't have time or motivation to sit down and distill your dreams into actual written goals, do you reasonably think you will actually achieve them and win your gold medal? A goal unwritten is only a daydream.

Copyright© MD Magazine 2006-2018 Intellisphere, LLC. All Rights Reserved.