July is the time everyone seems to be setting goals. Summer book lists. Mid-year work assessments. Thoughts about the upcoming school year. How and when do we set goals, and are there times when we should avoid them?
We are kicking off our new fiscal year and spending a big part of Wednesday's board meeting on the goals for our club for the next two years. This involves allocating our Giving Budget to various causes and projects, which is very clear and measurable. It also involves more broad goals, such as our thoughts on advertising, on membership recruitment, and on our relationship with our district and with Rotary International.
Clear, concise, statistical, measurable goals certainly serve a purpose. But sometimes fuzzy goals are equally, and I would argue, more important. I set a goal seven months ago to complete the Lake Placid Ironman race, coming up on July 23. It wasn't to win, or get a personal best time, but just to finish. To get there, though, I consciously decided NOT set set any milestone or training goals. I knew that my schedule would not allow me to stick to any plan I could set, and missing the goals would be more detrimental than helpful. What I did do was commit to swimming, biking or running every opportunity I got. I don't have any fancy measuring devices. I don't wear a watch. Rarely did I know how far I went or how long I was out on a ride or run. When I was done with that day's workouts, though, I knew I had done everything I could do with the time I had that day.
Long-range, measurable goals are incredibly valuable. But sometimes the goal of accomplishing everything you can from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep is equally invaluable. One is more measurable than the other, but both are provide structure and focus. I'm sure they will help us progress over the next two years.
Yours in Rotary,