Happy New Year and welcome to 2017!  This is the time of year when so many people make a list of “resolutions” for the New Year, only to have them broken and long forgotten by February in most cases.  I no longer make New Years Resolutions, but I do set goals each year.  As I contemplated my goals for 2017, I wanted to make certain that they were appropriate – not to say there are “right” goals and “wrong” goals, but rather, will pursuing them help me grow and evolve as a person?

set-a-goal-so-bigI really like this quote:  “Set a goal so big you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can.”

So, when I look at my personal and professional goals, I place each one in one of three buckets:

Level 3 goals are things I already KNOW how to do – I’ve either already done them before or they are so close to what I’ve done before that I know exactly what I need to do to achieve them.  For example, let’s say I lost 5 pounds last year and decide I want to lose another 5 pounds this year.  That’s a Level 3 goal, and they are fine, but there is absolutely no growth in achieving them so they are boring.

Level 2 goals are things I THINK I can do.  I’ve never actually done them before, but they are well within the bounds of logic and I can make a plan to achieve them.  For example, if I increased my company’s gross revenue last year by 10% and I set a goal of increasing gross revenue this year by 15%, that is a Level 2 goal.  I know that if I can decrease my costs by “x” and increase my sales by “y” I can achieve that goal.  Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Level 2 goals.  In fact, it’s nice to have a few Level 2 goals in your bucket to give you some solid “wins” during the year.  However, there is no inspiration in pursuing a Level 2 goal, so as soon as you hit an obstacle and the going gets tough, there is no real motivation to press on through the problem.  It’s just easier and more comfortable to drift back to the safety of Level 3 where we are absolutely sure of things.

Then there are Level 1 goals.  These are UNREALOGICAL FANTASIES.  They make absolutely no sense to pursue except that I want them and want them badly.  Ironman was a Level 1 goal for Angie.  Moving to Florida was a Level 1 goal for both of us.  They are huge and scary and fraught with obstacles and I have absolutely no idea “how” I will ever achieve them, but I know if I just keep going as far as I can see that I’ll be able to see how to go farther when I get there.  Level 1 goals allow us – no, the demand for us – to grow and evolve as a person.  They are where we want to play!

So, as I look to 2017 with anticipation, I have a couple of Level 1 goals in my bucket that are scaring the heck out of me at the moment.  But I’ll just keep moving toward them and going as far as I can see and eventually, I’ll get there!

What are your big, scary Level 1 goals for 2017?  Leave them in the comment section below so we can cheer for each other!

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