Characteristics of Good Goals

So much has been written about the importance of goals; how to create them; how to monitor them; how to accomplish them; and on and on and on! When I decided to write this, I went online to see what is out there. I found so many ideas and viewpoints in the images connected to goals.

It seems that it all starts with a dream to accomplish something or have something or get rid of something... or something. Then you need to get busy doing it. And you can't have success without a goal so you better make one and set a deadline. Now that you that know you need to have a goal, you can start by being S.M.A.R.T. about it.

So I looked and found how to create S.M.A.R.T. Goals. I found it interesting how many different versions existed for what each of those letters means.

S Specific - they all seem to agree that the goal should be specific
M Measurable... Motivational - these were the two ideas on this one
A Achievable... Accountable... Action-Oriented... Attainable... Assignable - A lot of different ideas on this one
R Realistic... Relevant... Responsible... Recorded - Again many different ideas
T Time-bound... Time-based... Touchable - Most of these focus on the need to tie it to some time frame

I've noticed that many times people are successful in creating S.M.A.R.T. goals, but the goals still do not get reached. We all know how that goes. But what is going on and what is there to do about it?

I found some answers. You need a PLAN. How do you get anywhere with out a plan? Then you absolutely must have DISCIPLINE. Without discipline you might just stop executing the plan. Ultimately the goal must be to GET SHIT DONE! Now we are in real trouble because our dream has turned into SHIT! ???WHAT??? It is okay though because we all know the real answer comes from the pinnacle of success... NIKE... We need to JUST DO IT! Everything will work out!

And then there are a few more ideas on getting yourself there. We are told that we will want to GIVE UP and urged to not do so. Earlier, we were encouraged to write it down and now we are told to TELL THE WORLD. Another image not shown here says, "People who wrote down their goals were 42‰ more likely to acheive them than the ones who didn't. Telling a friend increases this rate to 78‰." I think that means we need to write them down AND tell the world. Then we encounter the people who will say to us SHOW ME, DON´T TELL ME. And finally, we are reminded that it is COMMITMENT that bonds us to our goals like glue.


In looking at what causes people to have trouble with goals, I noticed that goals often are not what I would call "GOOD GOALS". They are often not self-determined, especially in the workplace. People are constantly being given goals to achieve by others. This often creates resistance which is not good.

Another problem I hear often is the tendency to procrastinate. Procrastination originates in the fact that people feel obligated to do something they do not want to do. Since they do not really want to do it, they don't! Obligation is a big issue which is why so many images I found are about trying to force ourselves through discipline or commitment to make ourselves just do it.

I pondered what makes the difference between a "BAD" goal and a "GOOD" goal. I decided that a "BAD" goal was one that we didn't want to do for some reason, or it was just so hard. I noticed that anyone who was pursuing their goals with ease and excitement must have a "GOOD" goal. So what are the characteristics of a "GOOD" goal?


Ultimately, a goal is an INTENTION to achieve an outcome. If your INTENTION is not clear, it will be difficult to move forward. A "GOOD" goal will help clarify your INTENTION. If it not clear, then your goal needs to be modified.


The way to create results is through INTENTION and then putting ATTENTION on what is needed to accomplish the outcome. The third component to success is EFFORT or ACTION. Here again, your ATTENTION must be focused on what needs to be done. The goal should make you feel focused.


An OBLIGATION is something that you feel that you should do or must do and do not really have a choice. OBLIGATION leads to burden. Way too many times, goals become obligations, and we bog down under the burden and resistence to do what leads to achieving the goal. A "GOOD" goal eliminates the sense of OBLIGATION. Unfortunately, we often start with a goal out of desire and later it becomes an OBLIGATION instead of what we want to do. As soon as it becomes an OBLIGATION, it is no longer a "GOOD" goal. When this happens, the goal needs to be revisited and revised in some way such that it removes OBLIGATION.


Here is the telling detail. "GOOD" goals generate energy and excitement. The motivation to achieve becomes the driving force. No one has to make us do it. Dedication and commitment become intertwined components with the desire to do it. They don't have to be generated because they are already part of the inherent excitement and energy. With a "GOOD" goal, you would never want to give up or feel glued to anything or need a bridge between the goal and its accomplishment.

Look at your goals. Do they have these characteristics? If so, then they are "GOOD GOALS". If not, then you may want to revise or abandon them if you can.

In preparation for writing this, I accumulated a bunch of images in my Pinterest account. You are welcome to view them here: Bill´s Pinterest Goals Board

  Hopefully, you will not need this book as a reference!