Confession: I am a goal-oriented person. I want to be a high achiever and I know that pursuit requires me to work my way down a very specific path with a defined destination. I set goals two months ahead of the coming year and review them often. I track my progress. I keep a progress journal. For the past two years, I have kept a scheduled weekly call with my peak performance partner. I listen to audio books in the car to fuel my growth. I try very hard to apply the principles I learn – and when I fail, I dust myself off and try again.
Earlier this morning I attended a live webcast with John C. Maxwell and, as expected, John had many nuggets of wisdom. One of which is his “Rule of 5,” which John illustrates by describing the process of finding a tree that you want to chop down (goal), and every day you take five swings at the tree with your axe (essential tool). By taking those 5 swings every day, the tree will eventually fall. The “Rule of 5” says that if you do the right 5 essential things every day, you will be able to knock down your tree.
Sounds easy, right?
We all know that if we’re serious about achieving the goals we set for ourselves, those goals should follow Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (SMART) method. Where I think a lot of people fall short is they fail to define what they need to do and who they need to become in order to reach their goals. The end result? They not only fail to reach their goals, they give up on even setting goals.
If you want to go, you have grow
Here’s the thing – John said this morning that too many people fall short of the goals they set for themselves because they aren’t growing. As he describes, those people reach for goals, which is external, without doing what is necessary to reach growth, which is is internal. Quite frankly, you can’t reach an external goal until you grow on the insider. The bigger you become on the inside, the bigger your goals can become on the outside!
What I’ve realized this morning is that when I consider my habits, I am really a growth-oriented person.
My mission for the next few weeks is to define my 5 essential things. I know I can do a lot of things every day that help me take steps toward what I want, but I need to find the RIGHT 5 things that will bring me the momentum and focus I need to GROW toward achieving my GOALS. I’m also going to order John Maxwell’s The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth to help me through this process.