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Mayes Wilson & Associates

How to set goals that excite you

Sara Wilson, CPCC, ACC |

I no longer write New Year Resolutions; I write goals year-round that include one or two BHAGS (big hairy audacious goals).

I recently discovered I am most motivated by challenges that are beyond my comfort zone; I have a competitive gene. That means the goal may not be reasonable in others’ estimations, but if I set my mind to the goal, well . . . let’s just say I’m persistent.

In January 2021 I set a goal to complete in the St. Croix US Virgin Islands Reef Race–an open water swim in the Caribbean. This was definitely beyond my fitness and swimming capacity when I announced the goal. I had also never competed in an ocean open water swim.

What goals do you have for 2022?

The accomplishment, its level of challenge or stretch only needs to matter to you. If you haven’t yet set your goal or are still thinking about it, here are a few things to think about.

Identify YOUR why.

Connect your WHY to your personal values. Ask yourself “why?” and keep asking it 5 – 7 times to find your real “why”.

What CHOICES will you MAKE?

To achieve a goal you’ll need to chose to say YES to some things and NO to other things. (More on this in next week’s post.)

WHO will you bring along with you?

The “who” may have various roles–an accountability partner, an advisor/coach, the person who always cheers you on and believes in you.

What does SUCCESS look like?

This will be personal and different for everyone. There’s no right answer, so make sure you define what “success’ means to you.

What are YOU reaching toward?

My open water swim in the St. Croix US Virgin Islands was challenging, scary, and exhilarating. To prepare, I needed to train and improve my technique so I joined a swim group and hired a coach. I had the support of friends who cheered me on and “knew I could do it.” I said “No” to some things and “Yes” to a lot of time training.

My success was starting and finishing the race. I swam through lots of waves, hundreds of yards where I could not see any race buoy marker, and I made it to shore! Goal accomplished: I finished the swim. And a total surprise: I placed third in my age division and took home a bottle of Cruzan Rum.

As we move swiftly into a new year, I encourage you to make time to set a goal that excites you. Life is too short not to have the excitement of something to reach towards, whatever that looks like to you.

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