COLUMN: Got Goals?

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While waiting at a traffic light, I could not help but notice the excitement in the little boy. He was standing across the street next to what I believed to be his father. Holding his father’s hand in his left and a bunch of crumpled up dollar bills in his right, the excitement in his demeanor continued to build. It was at that point all three of us turned our heads to the encroaching familiar sound of the famous ice cream truck known as Mr. Ding-A-Ling.

In my summer childhood days, it was a welcoming acoustic that beckoned us to take a break from playing in the sun to enjoy a wonderful, mouthwatering ice cream treat. It was now the boy’s turn to experience this warm-hearted childhood memory and create one of his own. I was so happy for him.

While still waiting at the red light, I glanced over to the boy who went from excitement to sadness in a matter of seconds. Shifting my focus to the ice cream truck, for some unknown reason, it made a turn down another street and did not pass where they were waiting. How sad! The ice cream truck was within grasp, yet, too far for a little boy and his father to run after.

As my traffic light turned green, I could not let this little boy go home without his long-awaited treat and experience. Fortunately, the good-hearted driver drove slow enough for me to pull up to the side, roll down my window, and kindly inform him that there was a little kid in the corner that was waiting for him. The driver, so apologetic and with a smile, mentioned he would return to them.

Little did this father and son realize the valuable lessons on goals they taught me that day emphasizing not to give up but keep trying. To define goals is to have an aim, target, or objective. What do you desire to accomplish? What would you like to achieve? How do you deal with obstacles that stand in the way of your goals? Having goals inspires a sense of purpose and meaning. But to achieve them requires planning and pursuit.

The following is a bit of encouragement when setting GOALS:

G – Generate goals. Goals are outcome focused and align with values. What are those values? When one knows where they are and where they want to go, this will assist in creating powerful aims in life and knowing how to achieve them. Make your goals SMART - Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time-Bound. (Visit my website to download a sheet titled “Understanding Our Goals.”)

O – Overcome obstacles. The journey to reaching goals may be paved with unforeseen obstacles and challenges. These will test a person’s will and desire. When confronting obstacles, this is a suitable time to tap into resources, strengths, skills, and values that will assist in overcoming some of the negativity, self-doubt, discouragement, and those naysayers whom will obstruct a person’s growth.

A – Attitude adjustment. The journey towards goals may not go as planned. The ice cream truck may have passed by thus a choice must be made: Stand there and pout or do not give up and go after it. Will you adjust your way of thinking and feeling to align with your determination and desire to reach your goal? What attitude adjustments are needed to keep moving forward when the path is challenging?

L – Learn and lead. It is not about the destination but the journey that matters the most. Learning from experiences and growing towards one’s potential while exemplifying attributes that others can follow should be on the personal growth agenda. Are you growing and becoming a better person? What valuable lessons am I learning in the process?

S – Strive and succeed. It is never too late to set new or rekindle long forgotten goals. Effort, determination, and perseverance are some of the keys needed to unlock a world of possibilities. Do not give up. Keep moving forward. Step by step, effort by effort, struggle by struggle, your progress towards success will be rewarded.

Creating and reaching goals will try one’s patience, strengths, sincerity, and determination. The most important lesson I have found with goals is not to give up. Whether chasing your own dreams or assisting others, we are all in this journey together. The father and son had a goal [as should we all] of savoring a delicious cold treat on that scorching summer day. As I drove away, looking in my rearview mirror, the sad little boy’s countenance changed once again to a smile when he saw the ice cream truck head his way. His goal was about to be achieved. Out of all the delicious treats Mr. Ding-A-Ling had to offer; hopefully, he ordered a delicious Nutty-Buddy Drumstick -- as I did that day.

Diana Jaworski, F.O.C.U.S. Coaching Services, is a certified coach, teacher, trainer and speaker with Maxwell Leadership Certified Team. Learn more about personal growth by visiting her website at www.dianajaworski.com.

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