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  • Personal Brands: Stop Goals, Set Requirements

    You have already taught yourself how to fail. You set goals and you fail to reach them. You may even be a serial goal-setter. Maybe you set goals every January. Maybe even more often.  The more times you set them, the more chances to fail.

    You might be a goal-mover. You take all the goals you have on your calendar for one day, and just move them over to the next day. Maybe you do this daily. Maybe you’ve just learned to let goals expire, lingering on your calendar until enough days pass and you can’t see them anymore.

    Maybe you’re a goal-sabotager. You know exactly what you’ve resolved to do and you arrange your life so you couldn’t possibly reach those resolutions. You know, your goal is to lose 15 pounds so when you go grocery shopping, you slip in cookies or chips (in case someone drops by). Or worse, you ask for a letter of recommendation and then never follow-up (after all, you wouldn’t want to bother someone!).

    Failing to meet what you’ve called your “goals,” doesn’t mean you haven’t been successful. In fact, if you took as much time to take an inventory of your successes and by looking at that – learned what really matters to you, you’d probably be impressed. You probably are a success.

    But, why look at what you’re good at and what you’ve found compelling to accomplish, when you can pick away at your weaknesses? Sure, you may have loved StrengthFinders, but who would strive to be more of their authentic self – when you can drive yourself into a depression by being unfair, unrealistic and unkind.

    The biggest bullies we meet are ourselves. Hence, my sarcasm about all of our goal-setting antics. I am a recovering goal setter. I set goals for years – done it with professionals, gurus and experts – and I have given it up for success.

    I am largely successful because I no longer have goals.

    I have requirements instead.

    Requirements are like deadlines. They must be met. There’s nothing optional. Requirements aren’t shoulds. Requirements are fundamental to life.

    May I respectfully recommend you stop “shoulding” on yourself by setting goals that sound like something you should do? How about sitting with yourself and looking at what you have done.

    Make a success list no less than 100 items long.

    That means you count adopting a shelter dog, making a great meal for a sick friend, staying up all night getting that report done, looking up a “word of the day” to post on Facebook every day, keeping current on wars or being the first in your crowd to wear those ugly eyeglasses that are so popular.

    When you look at your life to see the road you have chosen, you have the best vision to plan the road ahead. You have done plenty of new things that have enlarged your vision up until now, so make sure you fill in a requirement for how much new you need. In fact, fill out a list of no less than 100 requirements for yourself.

    Let your first requirement be honoring the success you are.


    Nance Rosen is the author of Speak Up! & Succeed. She speaks to business audiences around the world and is a resource for press, including print, broadcast and online journalists and bloggers covering social media and careers. Read more at NanceRosenBlog. Twitter name: nancerosen


    Nance Rosen, MBA is author of Speak Up! & Succeed: How to get everything you want in meetings, presentations and conversations. She blogs at NanceRosenBlog.com. She is also on the faculty of the UCLA Business and Management continuing executive education program. Formerly, Nance was a marketing executive at the Coca-Cola Company, president of the Medical Marketing Association, first woman director of marketing in the Fortune 500 technology sector, host of International Business on public radio and NightCap on television, an entrepreneur and a general manager at Bozell Advertising and Public Relations (now Omnicom).

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    Posted in Career Development, Personal Branding, Success Strategies
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    One comment on “Personal Brands: Stop Goals, Set Requirements
    1. avatar

      I relate to this so much as I forge ahead in my new career as a coach for entrepreneurial couples. I have gone to seminars, made lists, made posters, written daily goals on post-its, rearranged the post-its, set alarms on my iPhone for deadlines, and I rarely believed I’d accomplished what I set out to do by the end of each day. You’re right. I bullied myself into believing I wasn’t as good as I thought I could be. I looked more at what I hadn’t done instead of what I had done. Thanks to you, here are my two new daily lists—-Today’s Successes and Tomorrow’s Insights. That way I recognize my successes for the day and use my setbacks to gain insights for a new day.

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