The Quest for Goal Setting

Sandra Cleveland |

If you Google Goal Setting on any given day, you will find about 800,000,000 results.  An Amazon search for Goal Setting books stops at 6,000, and a search for Goal Setting journals gives you another 2,000 results.

Goal Setting is currently a popular topic for businesses and individuals. The best practices and hacks on how to achieve more goals is our modern-day quest – seeking something important that involves a journey.  You can picture yourself as a pixel character in a video game or a knight in armor on a horse as you pursue your goals. 

Think about the 3 steps of Achieving Goals:

  1. Planning - clarifying your goal and defining the steps to take
  2. Executing – acting in pursuit of the goal and       
  3. Evaluation – is the desired result achieved?

These steps occur very quickly in a video game and you get immediate feedback on how well you planned and executed.  

In real life, you do not get that immediate feedback on your efforts.  An important question to ask to help plan and prioritize action is, “What is the most important goal I should be working on right now?”  This applies to work teams, community organizations, families, and individuals, not to mention government organizations, health, and medical industries, and really every group that supports the quality of life we desire.  An excellent example of prioritization is the many medical resources that are devoted to developing and distributing a COVID vaccine at this time.

In the context of financial planning, an advisor may prioritize goals that are prudent, and time tested, like establishing an emergency fund or updating your will.  The likelihood of a goal being achieved depends on not just the importance of the goal itself, but on what the client feels is important and wishes to prioritize.  The importance of the goal to the client makes them far more likely to follow-through to achieve their goals.

The knight’s quest in a video game is easier to prioritize than real life goals based on the immediate feedback the game provides.  If you are uncertain about what goals to devote your best efforts to that will fulfill your life goals, seek feedback from professionals who can provide guidance to make success easier for you. 

-Sandra Cleveland