Small Business Development Center

Goals Gone Wild

Goals Gone Wild

Happy new year!

First week of 2018 = down.

How are those resolutions doing so far?

Maybe it’s basic, but I love New Year’s resolutions. I love the thought of reflecting on life thus far, deciding what goals to set and strategies to employ to create my best life. So much positive energy. So many possibilities. So many things to accomplish!

This WILL be the year!

dear self - quote


It’s like an epic closet purge and remodel that spans every aspect of my life!   


image of closet makeover


Also epic: the amount of goals that don’t gain the momentum or “completed” success I anticipated; a.k.a. not accomplished in a month, six months, or even one year.


Seriously, I keep an electronic checklist and I’ve rolled over the meaningful ones since 2015.  


At least I’m consistent?

if you can't stop thinking about it, down't stop working for it


And determined?



Let’s focus on “the meaningful ones.”

In 2018, as you reflect on your own health, wealth, relationships, businesses or (if you’re like me) everything else in your power to improve or change, it may be worth deeper assessment and greater foresight.


A business and personnel management professor introduced me to an article entitled, Goals Gone Wild: The Systematic Side Effects of Over-Prescribing Goal Setting. By the title, it’s discernable that the authors address the downfalls to our goal-crazy society;


“The effort to meet short-term targets occurred at the expense of long-term growth. Some companies are learning from these mistakes; Coca Cola announced in 2002 that is would cease issuing quarterly earnings guidance and provide more information about progress on meeting long-term objectives (p. 8).”


Furthermore, the authors remark that extreme goal setting can “lead people to perceive their goals as ceilings rather than floors for performance (p. 8).”


So if the goal is meaningful, is there a “completed” success?


progress not perfection



There is certainly progress towards a goal and the potential to exceed the limits of a stated goal.


Rome was not built in a day


There is improvement, which means opportunity for more celebrations of little victories along the way!


Goals Gone Wild authors state, “The goal of setting the right goals is itself a challenging affair (p. 14).”


I encourage you to approach this year and your goals with less hurriedness, more appreciation for each step (even the steps back… because learning) and to maintain curiosity for the evolution and expansion of the possibilities. 


As the leader in your business, pass this insight and energy along to your colleagues for sustained organizational motivation.


In the meantime, for some immediate gratification… clean your closet and give yourself a high-five!


you got this

Authored by: Haley Halverson