Focus on Strategies, Not Goals

How many of you have set personal or professional goals, only to never see them come to fruition?

*raises hand*

I have set many goals in my life. Sometimes I was serious about them. Sometimes I wasn’t.

Goals are simply your desired outcome. Its saying, in the end, I want to be at xx point.

The problem is, most goals aren’t specific enough to obtain. When you don’t know exactly where you are going, it is hard to get there.

Goals are not short term quick fixes either, which is how many of us view goals. Goals are about changing yourself, or the organization, for the long term. It is what you want to become or what you want to achieve. This takes time.

strategies goals

Photo by Felipe Furtado on Unsplash

One way that I see goals fail is when there is no strategy to achieve the goals established. A strategy is simply a plan, or action steps, to help you achieve your goal.

The Weight Loss Example

A common goal made is to lose weight. Say you want to lose 15 lbs. You write down your goal, but you don’t change anything. Or you might change the way you eat for a week or two and kind of work out, but when you don’t see the quick fix results, you quit.

If you want to lose 15 lbs, you need to purchase healthy foods, decide to meal plan, decide what exercises you are going to do, and when you are going to do it. You are creating a strategy to achieve your goal. You might not hit the 15 lbs but you are moving in the right direction to achieve that goal.

This goes for everything in life.

Leadership development.

Increasing staff productivity.

Launching a new product.

Increasing revenue.

Increasing employee engagement.

You have to look at the data, at the numbers, see where you are, where you want to be, and you have to establish a strategic plan to get there.

And if you don’t, you are never going to achieve those goals.

Don’t let the term strategic plan scare you off. In its most simplest term, it is coming up with action steps that align with your goals. It is ensuring the steps you are taking are helping you move in the direction you want to go.

Leadership Exercise

  1. Think about a time that you set a goal and write down what the goal was.
  2. Did you achieve that goal?
  3. If you did, think about the strategy you put in place.
  4. If you didn’t reach the goal, think about the things you did or didn’t do, that may have been to your demise in reaching that goal.

The next time you establish a goal, think about the exercise above. Decide if the goal is truly something you want to achieve, and then establish a strategy to achieve those goals.

Anything worth achieving takes time and effort. It isn’t a flip of a switch. Click To Tweet

Anything worth achieving takes time and effort. It isn’t a flip of a switch.



Stephanie German is a leadership coach and consultant, author, and adjunct professor. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and loves giving back to her community in a variety of ways. When she’s not coaching clients or writing about leadership, Stephanie is usually headed to the mountains or the beach with her family, drinking savory wine, or working on the latest project with her husband. Stephanie’s greatest desires are to raise up the next generation of leaders while raising her own children to be strong, independent, and brave. She lives in Fresno, California with her husband Blake and her three spunky daughters, Cara, Kinsey, and Peyton. She is the best-selling author of So Your Boss Can’t Lead?

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