Goals & Strategies

coaching for clarity

When we use the terminology “goals” and “strategies” in our task oriented culture, we often collapse the meaning and use both words interchangeably, typically focusing on the “how-to’s” of strategies.  In reality, the goal is where you are going and the road is the “how-to” of getting you there.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as follows…
Goal:
2 : the end toward which effort is directed
Strategy:
2 a : a careful plan or method : a clever stratagem b : the art of devising or employing plans or stratagems toward a goal

Strategies represent a plan that will certainly work if only people will do them.  There is no end to strategies that could work.  The question is will they work for you?

A simple way to find your goal is to ask the question, “What am I wanting for myself?”  The answer to that question is the true goal.  It is that simple.

Goals and strategies are both important.  This is not a discussion meant to diminish the importance of strategies, but to raise the level of attention on goals to at least equal status.  There are two major dilemmas that occur when goals and strategies are collapsed as if they are the same thing.

First, is that in a society that focuses more on tasks and the how-to’s of strategy than on people, we find that most of us are weak in our understanding of internal motivation.  We often do not know the answer to the question, “What am I wanting?”, because we have never stopped to consider the question long enough to get the answer.

Secondly, if we rely on external motivators it is very easy to find another expert (or even a friend or family member) who disagrees with our current strategy and lets us off the hook emotionally.  We were never truly committed in the first place.  We were just in agreement that we would give the strategy a try because it probably would work if only we would do it.

Without an understanding of our goals, we have no understanding of our internal motivation to move forward.  This leaves us rudderless in a sea of mediocrity – as Lewis Carroll said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”  What if we started  2013 with wanting more than just surviving each day?  What if we took some time and actually followed the question, “What are you wanting for yourself?”, through to the end and discovered we can find our clarity about where we are going — and once we have clarity, the next steps become clear?

How would that change your life?  Your family and circle of influence?  The world?

Trusting you will develop an understanding of what you are wanting in 2013,
Elizabeth

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