Goal Setting: What is the Reward?

In my last blog, I said that long-term planning is a learned skill that includes three primary components: goal setting, succession planning and contingency planning. Today, I will cover goal setting. It is a very big topic, so if there is an aspect that you'd like to discuss in future blogs, let me know. 


Goal setting asks three questions:

  1. Where are we?
  2. Where do we want to be?
  3. How do we plan to get there?

Of these three questions, the first is the most difficult to answer and, also, the most ignored. It is difficult, and often painful, to be honest about where we really are now.
The main reason people or companies never reach their goals is they never answer question two, or they answer it and forget it. I post my goals where I can constantly see them. Not only does it remind me of the destination, other people see them and ask about my progress. Their interest and support keeps me focused on the goal(s).
Since there is limited space in this blog, most of the discussion will focus on question three. A plan must be measureable within a specific timeframe. If a goal is to be accomplished “someday,” it will never be accomplished. “Someday” has to be specific. Most importantly, though, there must be a tangible reward for achieving the goal.
The reward is often excluded from the goal-setting process. The primary reason people/companies forget the answer to question two is because a specific reward was not included in the goal-setting process. Some questions you might ask yourself: When I attain this goal, what will it mean to me? How are am I/we going to feel? Will we have a larger market share? Will we be more profitable so we can then buy a new needed piece of machinery? Will I, if it’s a personal goal, be healthier or happier, or have lower blood pressure?
“Motivation” and “emotion” have the same Latin root word. Motus means moved. We are personally moved through emotion. We are not moved through logic. People set New Year’s resolutions logically. Most forget them. Those that follow through always have an emotional attachment to the resolution. They have a reward that means something to them. These people stay focused on the prize, not the price.
Here is the formula to put it all together. The formula must be in this order. If the order is changed, the plan will fail and the goal will not be attained.

  1. Reward: When I attain this goal, what will it mean to me/us? How will I feel?
  2. Goal: Where do I/we want to be?
  3. Plan: How do I/we plan to get there?
  4. Effort: What is my/our schedule for following the plan to hit the goal and get the reward?

The author is president, Evans Glass Co., and chairman of the board for the National Glass Association. Write him at bevans@evansglasscompany.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.


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