You set goals, maybe even realistic goals. So what? They might be easy, challenging, audacious, risky, safe or what ever you use to describe them. Who cares?

Realistic Goals

7,000 feet on Mt. Hood. Handstands on a boulder. Realistic goals set and accomplished.

Or maybe you don’t set goals. I mean really set goals (written, smart). If you don’t set goals for yourself, you can stop reading. This isn’t for you.

Realistic goals

We’re talking about strategic execution of realistic goals, not stumbling through projects, business development, or any other aspect of your life.

I have a working definition of strategic: it means making an impact — making a lot of money, having projects be hugely successful, accomplishing something challenging, pulling a lot of people together behind a purpose. It serves me well. It is not the usual definition.

The issue with realistic goals is that there are stumbles, failures, delays, obstacles that seem insurmountable. Then what?
The point is, if you make strategic mistakes in executing goals, who cares if you set them? Your likelihood of accomplishing them goes down dramatically.

Definitely do not make these 7 mistake in executing realistic goals.

Mistake 1: Don’t write them down. Goals can ebb and flow with the daily pressures and demands. If they are written down and reviewed often they have a certain stickiness to them. Execution becomes a habit.

Mistake 2: Definitely don’t view them against your values. If you viewed them against your values you might be able to prioritize the goals and make decisions about what goals and tasks should not be done.

Mistake 3: Don’t view goals against a picture of the future you want (aka as a vision). Oh, and definitely don’t have a vision. They are a waste of time (not really). If you did have a vision you deeply wanted and you viewed the goals against the vision you might see a path to achieve what you really want.

Mistake 4: Don’t make the goals SMART. Be vague. Vague unwritten goals are easy to keep talking about and feel good about. Nothing is measured, nothing is accomplished. You can continue to talk a good talk.

Mistake 5: Don’t acknowledge the reality of obstacles and definitely don’t state them clearly for each goal. You might actually come up with innovative ways to overcome the obstacles and achieve the goals. But that takes work, effort and getting outside of comfort zones.

Mistake 6: Don’t zero in what you can do within your zone of influence. Keep the discussion at level you have no control over. That way it’s not your fault. Oops. This mistake leads to the blame game. As you decide on activities that do overcome obstacles, execute, achieve a goal, you might actually make realistic progress against your realistic goals.

Novice motocrossMistake 7: Set goals so easy there’s no challenge. I once talked to a coworker who raced motocross. He told me he always won. He stayed in the novice class. I asked him why he didn’t compete against more skilled riders. He said he wanted to stay in the novice class to insure he brought home a trophy. His goal was to accumulate novice trophies.

Keys to executing realistic goals

  1. Write down your goals and review them.
  2. View them against your values. This helps prioritize them.
  3. View them against your vision. Keeps you on track and focused on what you want.
  4. Make them SMART. This creates a reality to the goals.
  5. Face the obstacles no matter how difficult. Write them down.
  6. Acknowledge what you have control over what you don’t. Stick to what you can affect.
  7. Make realistic goals and make them challenging. Push yourself.

Execution will flow from a smart goal process. Don’t give up if you’ve built a vision that is meaningful to you and goals are pointed at the vision.
If you are interested in talking about executing to realistic goals, give me a call, let’s talk.
at 503-753-9971 or email me at

Get unstuck. Make things happen.

“Dominate your life with Focus, Decision and Execution.”