Make no little plans

“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir mens’ blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die but, long after we are gone, will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. ~ Daniel Burnham

Maybe you’ve made goals in the past.

In some years, those goals were very motivating, helping you to set clear priorities, focus your energies, and accomplish more than you could have without them.

In other years, you put hours into creating them, only to find after pulling them out halfway through the year that you didn’t even remember making them.

This year, let’s make goals that mean something now and will mean even more when you accomplish them.

Scrap the “shoulds.”

I see a lot of goals like; “Lose weight” or “Learn a foreign language.” If you asked ChatGPT to write your goals for the year, these are the goals you would get. They are the kind of things that educated people think they should have as goals. They are the definition of Daniel Burnham’s “small plans.”

Why do you want to lose weight? Why is this the year you’re going to do it? What are you going to do differently? If this is the year – let’s do it. Write it down and make it happen. I had a client lose over 80 pounds this year because that was the thing he needed to do!

But don’t create a goal because it might be a good idea for you to do it someday; that’s weak sauce.

What’s hunting you?

Instead, look deeper.

What are the deepest desires of your heart?

When you think about it, does your heart burn within you?

Now you are onto something!

When we set our direction based on our deepest desires, we aren’t going to forget about it after three months. It’s not going to be irrelevant halfway through the year. It’s not something we’re going to check off a list when we complete it; it’s something we’re going to throw a party to celebrate and look back at as a turning point in our lives!

Those are the goals I want to hear about! Those are the goals that will last.

We don’t always have access to these deepest desires. They are too painful to live with and too precious to treat casually. Writing them down risks deep disappointment if we fail to realize them.

So we cover them up, hide them in the attic of our minds, and don’t let them out.

But those deepest desires don’t want to stay hidden away. When they are ready, they make themselves known.

“If you don’t hunt it down and kill it, it will hunt you down and kill you.” ~ Flannery O’Connor

What’s been lurking off in the shadows that you’ve been ignoring? What is something you know you need to look at, but is too threatening or scary to address fully? What do you need to make that a reality this year?

Let’s talk about making those goals happen! Hit reply, and let’s set up a time to talk.

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