I encourage people to establish annual goals in advance. Sometimes when I ask how they are doing with those goals, they tell me that they are not doing very well, and they are pretty hard on themselves. When I dig down to learn more, I discover that the person has not failed to achieve the goal, but rather the goal is no longer relevant. Something has changed in the environment or situation that has caused that goal to no longer be important in the big scheme of things. Instead of acknowledging that change, the person instead feels like they are failing.
If that sounds familiar, I’d suggest you change your thinking. If you are faced with a goal that is no longer relevant, why not replace that goal with a more relevant goal? Just make sure you are not confusing the urgent with the important, and that the goal still moves you toward your long term vision. (For more on urgency and importance, I’d suggest that you read author Steven Covey.)
Just as most companies no longer utilize 10 year strategic plans because the world is changing too quickly, our goals can also change during the year. Make sure your goals are fluid and relevant…and still a stretch to achieve!