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More Important Than Goals – (Activity)

More Important Than Goals – (Activity)

“Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has left you” unknown


Some day I will climb this mountain. ©Shawn Stratton

Have you have ever had the same goal month after month, year after year? I know, there are a few that I have. Hit a sales target, achieve a promotion, lose weight, get more sleep, go on an epic vacation, run an ultramarathon etc. Why is this? If it is an important goal, why are you not achieving it?

To experience growth and move forward in life your goals need to be evolving. Even if you have the same massive or BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) goal every year, i.e. win the championship, become #1 in your field, etc., your actions need to change because with our evolving world “what got you there this year won’t get you there next year”. In the rare case that you are successful and things to stay the same, there is a good chance you will end up bored, burnt out and not growing as a person.

I found myself in this situation the last few years I was leading expeditions. I had been successful with running life impacting adventures and educational expeditions. I had honed a formula over the years that worked well. But this lack of evolving goals in my job eventually led me to complacency and burnout.  

Sea of Cortez, Baja MX ©Shawn Stratton

Contrary to popular belief, the key to goal achievement is not writing it down or telling someone, although it can help. The key really is taking action. Furthermore, it’s about making a commitment to sacrifice.

I am interested in your goals but I am more interested in what you are willing to sacrifice to make the comment needed to achieve your goal. If you are not willing or ready to make the sacrifice need to achieve the goal, be honest with yourself and acknowledge this particular goal really isn’t as important as the others you have.


Here is a goal setting activity to do with your team. It may not be too popular at first but can be effective.

  • Have the group write down three important goals for them to achieve in the next 6 months. It could be personal or professional, depending on the context of your group.
  • After giving them enough time to think about and document their goals ask them if they had ever had any of these goals before.
  • Next, ask them to tear up the paper they just wrote their goals on and throw it into the recycling bin you pass around. This typically causes some anger and confusion but it will help make a point.
  • Tell your team that if their goals are truly important, they will certainly remember them. What I am interested in is your commitment to achieving those goals. I want to know what you are committed to doing and sacrificing in the next 6 months to achieve your goal.
  • Have them write down all the things they are willing to commit to achieving all the goals they wrote down. This is the paper that needs to be posted in a visible place they will see often.

This activity allows people to gain a clear perspective on how badly they actually want to achieve their goal.

Action: Take yourself and your team through this activity in the next 4 weeks. Don’t wait until January where most goals are set and forgotten about.

Goal Achievement = Commitment + Sacrifice

Until next time… Embrace the Adventure


Shawn Stratton is an international leadership and team building consultant, professional speaker, bestselling author, and Ironman competitor.

Click here to learn more about how Shawn can help your organization.

© 2017 Shawn Stratton. All rights reserved