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Goals: Start Small. Reach, Change, Abandon, Fail, Succeed, Repeat

  • Posted: April 14th, 2014

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    By: Sideline Sage

    Inspirational writers and speakers LOVE sports analogies to motivate grown-ups into action. So we can almost guarantee that the late athlete-turned-author, Bill Copeland, wasn’t referring to playing children when he spoke of the “trouble” with running “up and down the field” of life without “scoring. ”

    In the realm of adulthood, “running” without “scoring” may lead to an inability to earn a paycheck or be in a relationship. In the realm of childhood, it may just describe a kid who doesn’t know how to play soccer yet.

    Sports analogies aside, Copeland’s point, and mine, too, is that goals are a huge part of being a successful, engaged human being.

    We make, reach, break, abandon and change goals on a daily basis.

    Our first big life goals are made FOR us by parents; they involve sleeping through the night, saying “MA-MA” and peeing in a plastic potty. Around age four, we create our own goals, like writing our names in upper and lowercase, making a friend or riding a bike without training wheels.

    Another example of small kid goal: “If I eat five more green beans, I can have dessert.” By the way, I do this all the time as an adult! I just threw something away in the waste paper basket by my desk and told myself, “If I make this in, I’ll go have two Girl Scout cookies.” The fact that the eating of the cookies impedes my bigger goal of looking better in shorts this summer then leads me to set a goal of going to the Y to work out for at least 30 minutes in the next day.

    We are so seldom able to make and stick to big goals, there are myriad books, lectures, tips and techniques to pound into out heads the easiest formula to follow. (The most ridiculous one I found outlined a 24-step process for doing so. Yeah, 24.)

    According to an article in Forbes magazine, the “IT” strategy for achieving big goals is lots of tiny goals. (Like the green beans and the garbage toss.)

    A. Review all of the goals you’ve set in the past, but did not accomplish. (All of them?! Just this week or my whole life?!)
    B. Identify ONE goal from that list that you’d still like to accomplish
    C. Boil it down to a smaller goal – one that you can accomplish in 3-7 days.
    D. Take action and complete it.
    E. Pick another small goal.
    F. Get it done.
    G. Do this until you’ve got 3-5 completed goals under your belt.
    H. Go after your big goal.

    Listen, we all have big goals for our children, and if your own goals align with the Skyhawks goals, then we invite you to let them run down the field with us. We’ll teach them how to make a goal.

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