Goal Setting photo from ShutterstockWhy do you do anything that you do?

This question came up the other day in a conversation about business and career planning. On the surface it seems quite obvious and the answer is something we all should intrinsically just know. Or so it seems. However, as we dug into it, the answers weren’t all obvious and often not what we expected. Initially I thought the question was being asked rhetorically, but an answer was expected. They wanted us to really think about it. So we did. We decided that setting and achieving goals is very personal. That if the goals weren’t personally committed to they were less likely to be accomplished.

Standing Out in your career starts with Standing Up for who you are. Personally committing to the goals you set and accomplish is a critical step in this process.

Whether you are a newly minted college graduate, a new hire, an entrepreneur or working for any size company the need to set and accomplish goals set the stage for how your career will progress, how others will perceive you and ultimately will define your reputation. When done right – which means consistently, over and over again, your reputation will precede you. What that happens… you know you’ve done something right.

Which leads to the ultimate question:

Why do you do anything that you do?

The typical reasons for agreeing to do something goes well beyond the old line of “It’s my job” and really comes down to a few more fundamental reasons, including money, fame, altruism, the “experience” of doing it.

Ultimately goals need to be personal. You are either into them… or not. People WILL notice.

Whether you are an individual contributor, a manger or even the leader of thousands of people setting and accomplishing goals defines you.

Reality check

If you agree to set goals and take on the efforts to accomplish them make sure you are truly committed. Make them Personal. Your best work depends on it. When it comes to setting goals – Take Risks. Be Bold. Be Brave. Then work like a fiend to accomplish them.

Always do what you are afraid to do. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you find yourself working somewhere that does NOT value goal setting, and specifically your goals, go someplace that does. You don’t get tomorrow over.

What about goals you don’t set?

Goals that have not been set by you do exist, but you have to agree to do them. Unless you volunteered or were conscripted into service, you do have a choice. It may not always seem like you do, but you do. If you really feel strongly about something… you can always leave.

Commitment and personalization

When being asked to commit to goals seek to include your perspective, to include things that you know you will need to insure success and to make them personal. Whether it’s related to the final deliverables, the timeline for delivery or any other factor that relates to the ultimate success of accomplishing each goal… you need to seek to make them personal to insure you will be committed to achieving them.

Which leads back to the ultimate question…

Why do you do anything that you do?