Goal setting

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jeurney Meekins
  • 49th Aircraft Maintenance Squardron

The graveyard is filled with unrealized dreams and "what-ifs". We set lofty goals and life gets in the way. Or does it? Do goals have to be lofty? Does one have to have the perfect storm where the stars align in order to make their dreams come true?


Not so. Some people would insist that dreams happen one deliberate step at a time. A common trait of the world's most successful people is that they have failed (many times), but they got up and chose to try again. Sometimes, one lucky break is enough. More often, it takes hundreds of times to "make it". This resiliency and perseverance does not always come with the dramatic brush strokes of "grit and determination" and "struggle". It may look like a story where the tortoise wins the race. But, we want it to be the "happy accident" where everything just clicks. Consider that success may simply look like not "putting up with one's own crap".


As a commander, I have noticed that a common issue among people with disciplinary problems is a lack of personal accountability:  late to work, lack of integrity, failure to _______.  I tell first-line supervisors that if they hold their people accountable, it teaches them boundaries, consequences, personal responsibility and ultimately, helps them to mature. Good or bad, own it.  I believe that if we can just teach our people personal accountability, they won't have disciplinary issues and they will be happy, productive contributors, if they CHOOSE to "do" and to "be".


Ultimately, success comes down to choices and help. At some point, we look around and notice that we've had a lot of help in reaching our goals. That deliberate step that led to success may be that someone chooses to help you. There may be a point where you hit a "brick wall" and can't get past it even with the full arsenal of your own effort and resources. But to be successful, that godsend, that "help," has to meet with your potential commitment and follow-through.


Goal setting starts with a committed mindset:  You.  Must.  Follow-Through. Do your homework. Identify and map out your milestones to get from "A" to "Z".  Next, get there, one step at a time. Ensure that you seek out and position the necessary resources for each milestone.  Be prepared to go back to the drawing board and to start again with a more reasonable, manageable and realistic plan. Above all, be committed to walk it out.  You WILL get to the "other side" if you choose to "course-correct" and to "keep moving forward".


If you are a person who has trouble remaining motivated, focused or staying on top of your plan, you may consider recruiting a coach and/or accountability partner. Please do not waste their time; be committed. After all, it is your plan. Remember, your success benefits you. Now, if you are a person who consistently sabotages your success, be honest with yourself about why you do it and when you're doing it. You may need to seek a professional to help you work through it and recondition your behaviors. Consider that this is an investment in "you".


I hope that this article encourages you to not "put up with your own crap". CHOOSE to do the work to make your goals successful. You can set a goal for right now, big or small. And remember to acknowledge, honor and celebrate the people who lift you up and help you to fill in the path along the way.