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“Give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I will give you a man who will make history. Give me a man without a goal, and I will give you a stock clerk.” — J.C. Penny

I’ve wanted to lose weight for four years. I had big dreams of six pack abs and being so fit that someone would mistake me for an American Ninja. However, I had no plan, so while I was dreaming about pulling a “Chris Pratt,” the Oreos were building a condo on my thighs.

Dreams are great. Vision gives you motivation for the future. However, dreams are worthless without goal setting. So much energy is wasted in “wishing” for things instead of doing them. If you want to work smart, you need to set effective goals. And, as nonprofit leaders, you not only need to have goals for your agency, but also for yourself. If you want your agency to grow, you also need to grow as it’s leader!

In his book, EntreLeadership, Dave Ramsey outlines the five main parts of a healthy goal:

  1. Your goals must be specific.
  2. Your goals must be measurable.
  3. Your goals must have a time limit.
  4. Your goals must be your own.
  5. Your goals must be in writing.

A goal must be specific so you know where the finish line is. If it’s a fuzzy cloud of “I want to perform better,” you won’t know when you’ve reached that goal or if you’re making any measurable progress. That’s why your goal must also be measurable. This way, you can physically see if you’re on track for your target, or if you have to kick it up a notch.

Your goal also needs a time limit. Motivation has a time limit, and the further things drag on without success, the more your motivation dwindles. Time limits get your goals accomplished.

Your goals must also be your own. We aren’t motivated to accomplish someone else’s dream. You’re not going to get a new job because your spouse wants more money. When you’re passionate about it, it will get done.

Putting your goals into writing also makes the goal more real. Magic happens when you actually see a goal instead of it just floating around in your mind. Writing it down is the first step to making it real.

I would add that healthy goals celebrate progress. I joined a weight loss program in January, and I get a little reward for every five pounds I lose. That’s positive reinforcement for my brain! It gives me a target to work for, and the little celebrations positively reinforce the behavior.

So, are you itching to write down a goal TODAY to strive for? Don’t waste any more energy hoping for something. To have a vibrant nonprofit, you need to be a vibrant leader. Don’t just hope for vibrancy, plan for it.

Ready to make a killer goal and then actually attain it? Dickerson, Bakker & Associates are equipped to coach you through your leadership goals and help you GROW FORWARD. Contact us today!

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