Thursday, June 11, 2009

Your List of Goals is NOT a To-Do List

What is the Difference between Goals and Actions (To-Do List)?

Simply stated Goals are the purpose toward which we direct our attention.

Actions (the things you have on a To-Do List) are the things you do to achieve your purpose (or goals).

Goals are what you desire to have or create, actions (your to-do list) are what you are going to do to create your goals.

- The essence of Goals is the answer to the question, "Why?"

- The essence of Actions is the answer to the questions, "What?" and"How?"

Would You Rather Vacation In Fargo or Cancun?

Truth is, all too often we live in a world of actions - and tell ourselves that we have goals. That's tantamount to deciding to deciding on going on vacation via a plane, without ever knowing where you want to go. Sure the plane might be the right choice, but then again, it might not.

Imagine if you decided to go on a vacation and just went to the airport and got on the first plane that had an open seat. Sure, you could end up in Cancun, where you would praise yourself for not wasting your time deciding where to go. But you could just as easily end up in Fargo, North Dakota (where you would blame the plane, not your lack of selecting a destination first).

Don't get me wrong, I love North Dakota, but it's NOT where I want to Vacation.

The airplane represents what we are going to do, but the Cancun and Fargo represent our goal. If we don't first choose our destination, we have little chance of really getting there.

In all honesty, as silly as this may sound for planning a vacation - it's just as silly for living your life.

STOP Picking WHAT and HOW First - Instead Pick WHY - The WHAT and HOW Can Follow

Everyday we ask ourselves the question, "What do I need to get done today?" (what is the mode of transportation?). But how many people really ask themselves "why they need to get those things done?" (where do I want to go?).

Unfortunately, in today's fast paced world this becomes a bigger and bigger problem. Each day, we pile on more actions that need to be done - but very rarely do we actually slow down long enough to figure out why they are doing them - or even if there are better ways of doing them.

I believe that when you establish Goals and face them everyday, your Goals drive your Actions - and this leads to you achieving the life you want to create. But, if you haven't defined your goals, you end up taking Actions with no real intent, then you will end up getting whatever LIFE decides to give to you.

The first key to creating the life you want - is first deciding what it is you want.

If you want to change your life, stop focusing on changing your actions (your to-do list). Instead, start by defining your goals. Only then will you be able to figure out which actions need to be done, which ones don't and, of course, which new ones need to be added to the list.

Finally, here are some 5 easy steps to Making Your Goals Drive Your Actions:

- Start simple - make a small list of short term goals (1 week to 1 month).

- Figure out what you need to make those goals happen - make your to-do list.

- Everyday, before you start working on your to-do list, review and concentrate on your goals - empower yourself with purpose.

- Periodically review your goals and make sure that your actions (your to-do list) are actually leading you toward your goals . . . or not

- Make changes as you need to make to your to-do list to stay on track with your goals - but don't change your goals.

Good luck. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

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