Are your goals for 2011 compelling?

Are your goals for 2011 compelling?


Image by angietorres via Flickr

As we are wrapping up 2010, a lot of us are wanting to write down our goals for 2011.


How about you?

Are you inspired to sit for 30 minutes… or for a full day… with the intention of writing down your list of things you want to accomplish in this next year?

I know I am.

But as I started to do this for myself this year, I was struck with a question.

That question was… “How do I make my list of goals… compelling?”

That may seem like a silly question for some of you.

You might be saying, “We’re talking about our BIG goals and dreams… how can they NOT be compelling?”

And maybe yours already are.

But as I work with groups and as I coach people one-on-one… and even admittedly… when I list out my own goals… the first draft doesn’t tend to be that compelling.

And if the goals aren’t compelling… then they don’t tend to be the kind of thing that inspires us to new levels of achievement, creativity and freaky-cool breakthrough.


I mean, if our goals aren’t compelling then our list tends to go back in our journal or it gets stuck in a pile… only to be found in December of next year. And sadly, our year-end goal setting session is just wasted time.


Let me give you some examples of solid goals that fall short of being compelling…

Maybe you’re in sales, and you write down, “This year, I want to finish at 110% of my goal.”

That’s good. It’s clear. It’s concise. But it’s not compelling.

Or how about for the person that is the tech-freelancer. You might write down a goal of “This year, I want to create a plugin for WordPress that 1,000 people download.”

Again… good. It’s big. It’s cool. But is it compelling? Hmmmm.

How about for my friends that are in pharmaceutical sales. These people are some of my favorites because I was in this world for over 10 years. If this is your gig, nothing feels like it’s in your control right now. And you might be saying, “I want to hit 100% by the end of the year and I want to hit my top 20 targets each week.”

Good. It’s somewhat within your control. But it’s not compelling.

How about this?

Let’s put a compelling twist on it.

Let’s think about the people who might be impacted by our goals for 2011. And… let’s think about the way we want to get there.

Maybe… if your the sales person, you could say that “I want to finish the year at 110% of goal and I want to find some new customers that are in desperate need of my/our solutions/products/services so I can bless their socks off as I serve them.”

This compelling goal might help you to look for new customers who NEED you!

Or for the tech genius… how about “I want to create a WordPress plugin that 1,000 people will download in 2011. And one of the ways that I’m going to get there is to learn one new thing (big or small) that’s freaking cool EVERY day.”

This compelling goal might help you to be more creative and find new ways to do the magic that you do!

Or for my friends in the pharma world… what if your battle cry became, “I’m going to finish out this next year at over 100% and one of the ways that I’m going to get there is that I’m going to help 3 nurses in desperate need of a smile… to smile… daily.”

There are a lot of things that are outside of your control right now, but this is one thing that can be within your control, and it might even help you to remember that we’re all in this together… even on the days where that’s not so obvious.

Yeah… clear… concise… AND… compelling.

So to wrap this up, here are 3 ways to make your list of goals for 2011 more compelling

  • Think of the people that you could impact and link your goal to their experience
  • Think of fun and engaging steps that can help you to get to your goal
  • Think of things that are within your control and link your goal to them

That’s it!

How about it?

Can you think of other ways to make your goals and dreams more compelling? Click on comments and join in the discussion!

And stay tuned… I’m going to post a few of my own goals and dreams for 2011 in the days to come. Partly, because I want to show that I’m walking the walk… and partly because I want to ask for your help in achieving them!

Thanks and keep dreaming BIG!


  • Jimi Coplen
    Posted at 16:05h, 28 December Reply

    Great read Mitch! And, great links! I’m not just going to read, I’m going to implement!

  • Pingback:Chris Norman » Starting Fresh
    Posted at 16:34h, 31 December Reply

    […] great friend of mine Doug Less sent me a blog by Mitch Matthews (view the blog), the post was about making compelling changes for the New Year and not unobtainable goals. Listed […]

  • N. Ross Noble
    Posted at 06:01h, 20 January Reply

    Mitch. I like this message. It seems that a compelling vision for life as a Christian is necessary. It crosses cultural, ethnic, vocational, religous, philosophical and socioeconomic barriers, not easily breached otherwise. People may disagree with Jesus as Lord, but not with people wrecklessly loving people. This is a compelling vision. Thanks for the good word.

  • mitchamatthews
    Posted at 06:40h, 20 January Reply

    Nate – Thanks for checking in and thanks for the feedback and insight! You’re awesome. So… what’s one of YOUR compelling goals for 2011?

  • Ricky
    Posted at 01:31h, 10 February Reply

    Stellar work there evyneore. I’ll keep on reading.

  • StephenSob
    Posted at 14:18h, 02 October Reply

    it’s my very first time visiting your site and I’m very fascinated. Thanks for sharing and keep up 😉

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