It’s Not a Goal Until it’s Written!
by Joy Linn Mackey

Remember, what you get by reaching your destination isn’t nearly as important as what you become by reaching your goals -what you will become is the winner you were born to be! ~Zig Ziglar

My First Encounter with Goals
I have always been fascinated with goals. I think it is because when I was in middle school each student was required to set achievement goals every quarter. We also had a goal chart at our desk which would remind us of how much we had accomplished. When we reached a goal we were able to place a shimmering star on our chart. And boy did we love to see those stars increase. The more stars we saw on our chart the more motivated we were to reach our goal.

Goals vs. Wants
I think goals are important. But don’t just take my word for it, many research studies confirm that setting goals increases motivation and achievement. You may be wondering, “What exactly is a goal?” A goal is an aim or desired result. It’s something that you want enough that you make an effort to reach it. A goal is more than a want. You can “want” something, like better grades, but not work toward getting it. If you are not working to get it, it is not a goal.

How Goals Can Help You
There are many ways to use goal setting in your life! Here are a few examples:
You can use goals to help you stay motivated
You can use goals to improve your academic performance
You can use goals to help you improve your character
You can use goals to increase your self-confidence
You can use goals to increase pride and satisfaction in your athletic performance

NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith talked about the importance of goals in his Hall of Fame Speech. He said, “I wrote down my goals and how I was going to achieve them because Dwight Thomas used to tell us, ‘It’s only a dream until you write it down, and then it becomes a goal’. By the time I was 20, I wrote, I want to play in the Super Bowl, be the MVP, become the all-time leading rusher, and finish college, because I promised my mother I would. Over the course of my career, all of those things came to pass, and I know that writing down my goals was an essential strategy.”

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