To The Goal Setting Nay-Sayers, Explain This…

by Brad Isaac on January 9, 2007

I have a tough job. People like to argue with it.

Sometimes when I meet someone for the first time the subject of what we do for a living comes up. When I tell them what I do, they’ll start an argument about it.

“I’ve tried goal setting, it never did anything for me.”

“Those quacks say you can just set a goal for a million dollars and it will come true. Everyone knows that doesn’t work.”

“What’s the point? I’ve tried New Years resolutions and they never come true.”

This is an easy argument for me to win, because Goal setting does work and will prove it in one of these typical conversations…

Brad: “Hey, I see you have a car out there. Did you inherit it?”

Nay-Sayer: “No, I bought it.”

Brad: “So, Did you just rip a check out of your checkbook and hand it to someone and say “Bring me a car.” ?

Nay-Sayer: “No Brad, I wanted a BMW. So I saved up some money and went up to the dealer and bought it at 5% financing on the balance.”Brad: “Ok, so why did you choose a BMW? Did someone command you to go buy it? Did they pick out the green color? Did they insist you get the improved stereo? Did they demand you get the 5 series?”

By now, they are starting to pick up that I am setting up a trap.

Nay-Sayer: “Is there a point to this? I’ve wanted a BMW 5 series for years – it’s my dream car. Finally, I got to the point where I could afford one, so I went up and got the color I wanted with the enhancements I wanted.

Brad: “So you admit goal setting does work….”

Nay-Sayer: “That’s not goal setting.”

Brad: “Of course it is. Goal setting is working toward a dream and achieving it. You formed a picture of that car in your mind, you unconsciously worked a series of steps, and then you eventually obtained it.”

The act of not setting goals is virtually impossible.

Frankly, a person who doesn’t set goals is either in a coma or dead.

Think about it. Nearly everything you own, all of your surroundings are a result of a picture in your mind before you built, made or bought it. Some readers got what you wanted more efficiently by first acknowledging that it works but also taking advantage of it by using the system to get more.

So does goal setting work? Of course it does. There are only varying degrees of efficiency with it.

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cloudrider January 10, 2007 at 1:11 am

Yes, thanks Brad, goal-setting definitely works – I recommend reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen as well as “Think Rich, Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill. When you set your goal, you start working towards a plan to achieve that goal. It focuses your mind on coming up with a plan and the rest is hard work to achieve that goal. The results certainly don’t come for free, but it does work.

Brad Isaac January 11, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Hi Cloudrider, did you mean to say “Think and Grow Rich”

It focuses your mind on coming up with a plan and the rest is hard work to achieve that goal. The results certainly don’t come for free, but it does work.

I get some people who argue that it shouldn’t be work at all. As humans, we have to work at something, otherwise we statistically are unhappy and die young. So you might as well work at your own goals..

Matt January 11, 2007 at 12:53 pm

Brad, I feel that we continue to encourage the “do it in your head” mentality by not teaching goal setting to the youth. It ought to be some type of required class. I can tell you with my own experience that I can make something happen by sheer will at times. But that still only happens as you describe in this posting. I want it bad enough and find a way to make it happen. I just didn’t put it on paper and plan it out. Imagine how effective I could have been all these years by just getting in that good habit. Then it wouldn’t feel like work to do goal setting. It would just be natural, kinda like cooking dinner. Hmmmm……

Brad Isaac January 12, 2007 at 11:21 am

“Then it wouldn’t feel like work to do goal setting. “

Matt, I know you know this, but the Fact is, it is work. :) The late Earl Nightingale used to say people need to think I am paraphrasing, but he’d say “Thinking is the hardest job in the world and people will do almost anything they can to avoid it, even resort to crime to avoid it.

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