Picture this: You and a couple of your best friends decide to take a spontaneous road trip. Between you, you’ve got enough clothes jammed into the back of a rented convertible to last two weeks. You’re prepared with snacks, killer playlists, an iPhone to google the next stop and a credit card for anything needed along the way. Since the three of you just decided to take this trip yesterday afternoon, little planning has been completed.. including deciding on the destination.
This trip could go one of two ways…
Hit the open road, top-down, playlist filling the open air with the hottest music and a few throwback hits. You take turns driving, navigating and controlling the music. You stay in the cutesiest B&Bs along the way, find a couple of adorable vintage finds that will serve as a reminder of the trip for years to come. There’s a cozy little cottage country town that has a beautiful view, mouth-watering food, and endless vineyards perfect for a girls getaway.
A few glorious days are spent re-energizing, journaling and re-connecting with your besties before you’re back on the road home again which is just as calming as the way there. You’re welcomed home with a nice warm bubble bath, a glass of wine and the sweet peace that comes with sleeping in your own bed for the first time in two weeks.
Hit the open road, top-down, playlist filling the open air with the hottest music and a few throwback hits. You take turns driving, navigating and controlling the music. Turns out there are in fact speed limits even on the open road though, and your lead foot friend gets pulled over right around the two-hour mark of the trip. After a slightly embarrassing admission of guilt and a small lecture about the impracticality of taking a trip with no plan, the officer writes her a ticket for her driving infractions and leaves her questioning her ability to be an adult. You haven’t seen anywhere to stop in hours, and you’re bordering on the edge of full-on hangry when you spot a cute little B&B and diner that doesn’t look so bad. You inhale a less than desirable meal and are hardly satisfied when the three of you decide to make the walk next door to the B&B and grab a room. A good nights sleep and a fresh start in the morning will surely help!
They have one room available with a twin bed and there are three of you. As it turns out sleeping in a chair really isn’t the type of sleep you were looking for and the magical fresh start was appearing to be more of a myth. The remaining days consisted of crappy food, motel rooms that could have been the hideout of a terror movies axe murder and you arrive back home four days early to find your dog chewed your favourite par of heels while your boyfriend was home “dog sitting.” You’re tired, frustrated and more uninspired than when you left.
Needless to say, no one in their right mind would pick the second option as the getaway of their choice. I’m sure that most people would do everything they could to avoid the second option. Hate to ruin the spontaneous with the practical, but setting goals and creating a plan to attain them is how you avoid situations like this.
Get to the point already…
Setting goals and being realistic about HOW and WHY will you achieve those goals will not only keep you on track but it will prepare you with back up options for when things don’t according to your master plan. In no way am I naive enough to think that if you create these magical goals, nothing bad will ever happen. Of course, you could have planned that trip out to a tee and it still could have been a minor disaster but my point is that you would have had back up options that didn’t leave you wishing you never went in the first place.
For me, it comes down to this: How do you know how far you can go if you don’t plan for the next destination? Whether it’s personal or professional, we all have places we want to and we can’t just wait and hope to get there. We get there by making it happen and we make it happen by setting goals and crushing them!
I want to know about you! Are you a goal setter or do you just wing it? Do you believe you can achieve everything you want to without setting goals or do you agree that goals are critical to your success?
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