Just having a goal is the best way to ensure that you will lose. Even if you are obsessed with achieving it, a goal can be a grand distraction.

You will kid yourself that you have something meaningful to work towards. Ambition to accomplish the extraordinary won’t get you any more traction than a “vision board” papered with inspiring images (…it’s a dirty little “secret” that we love to believe, but isn’t true.)

It’s the stuff of losers.

Ben Bergeron, coach to CrossFit world champions, calls it like this:

We’ve been told that high achievers are those who are out there enthusiastically setting goals….In reality, it’s the opposite. People tend to focus disproportionately on results, while neglecting the day-to-day things that will get them there.

Setting goals can be helpful. Clarity of direction is a good first step. The trouble is we often stop there. Most don’t implement the “next steps.”

For example, consider an annual sales quota: Here’s where my sales are today, and here’s where I need them to be on December 31st. A very clear target.

The challenge is even if I hit my quota on November 30th, a month early, I just spent eleven months as a loser. Everyday that I don’t hit my goal, I lose.

Scott Adams (How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big) observes that with goals you are always in a perpetual state of losing, if you ever win at all. He points out that you can win every day if you follow your system to hit your goal.

Ask this question to determine whether your goal is a pipedream: “What’s your daily process to achieve your goal?” Edwards Deming said,

“If you can’t describe what you do as a process, you don’t know what you are doing.”

So here’s the litmus test: Can you describe the daily system that tracks to your goal? If you can’t, you don’t have a system, you have an ambition (that you refer to as a goal).

Legendary NCAA football coach, Nick Saban, famously said, “It’s ‘the process’ that makes Alabama work.” His advice:

Don’t think about winning the SEC Championship. Don’t think about the national championship. Think about what you needed to do in this drill, on this play, in this moment. That’s the process: Let’s think about what we can do today, the task at hand.

His goal is not winning. It’s on the “process”. The system that has won his program a whole bucket full of National Titles.

Call to Craftsmanship: What systems are most critical to your goals?

-Craig   www.kraftworx.com

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