This is the time of year when we think about and talk about goals.
I wrote down six goals for 2013 around this time last year. I accomplished half of them. That’s 50% (I just did the math in my head).
Some people might look at that and think that I failed. But I can’t believe how successful I feel. I made great progress this year and I am grateful for all of the work I put in. Even on those goals that I didn’t accomplish.
Here are some of the lessons I learned during the year while attempting to achieve my six goals. They’re not in any particular order. I hope you find them helpful as you reflect on what you accomplished in 2013 and for what you hope to achieve in 2014.
1. My six goals stretched me to try new things.
I didn’t know if I could accomplish all of them. But I began the journey and I learned so much about myself and what I had to offer along the way. I learned how to use new software. I reached out to people I had never met. I became more intentional. My goals for 2013 weren’t based on what I currently had on hand (time, talents, and resources). I knew I would have to grow and create the type of environment that would be necessary to achieve them.
2. My best accomplishments occurred with the help of others.
I initially thought I could accomplish most of my goals on my own. But I found that I needed the assistance of others to do anything of significance. This one insight is going to be my theme for 2014 (Greater Than One). I want to find ways to get more people involved in my mission to transform student leaders into lifelong leaders. I am purposely writing my goals for 2014 in a way that I know I won’t be able to accomplish them on my own.
3. My goals started me on a journey that brought me to a different destination.
One of the reasons I didn’t achieve a few of my goals is because things changed in the middle of the journey toward achieving them. I started off with a certain goal in mind, but it changed because of circumstance, resources, and priorities. Yet, through the process of working toward each goal I achieved something different. But I would never have moved in this new direction if I hadn’t put the work in to accomplish my initial goal.
This is one of my best lessons from 2013: You may not end up at the place you set out for but you have to set out in order to end up somewhere. I set out with a plan and a purpose. Along the way, I had to learn to be willing, teachable, flexible, and tenacious enough to see a different opportunity when it presented itself.
I talked to a lot of entrepreneurs this year. Each one of them told me that their business isn’t what they initially imagined it would be. But it wasn’t until they were on the journey that they discovered they either had to or wanted to become something different than their original intent. They found their opportunity in the midst of the journey toward another opportunity.
Leave me a comment: What’s your best lesson from 2013? What do you want in 2014?