Goals: Pathways To Your Dreams

Goals. Dreams. Desires. Wants. Needs. Ambitions. What do these words mean to you? In just about anything we do, we all have some ideas about what we want out of it. I’m going to talk about this in the context of shooting, of course – it is a blog about shooting, after all – but these concepts can apply to anything in our lives. I mean anything, from the serious and important (say, career, or parenting), to the trivial and mundane (maybe brushing your teeth…).

So, think about this for a moment – what do you really want out of your shooting? What are you willing to sacrifice to get what you want?

Ok, have you thought about it – I mean, really and honestly thought about it? Then read on…

The reason I ask is this – you must know your destination in order to plan how to get there. Simple as that. Sure, you can go free form, and just go for it, and see how far you get, and that may work for some folks. I haven’t spoken to an upper level shooter, yet, who’s found that to be effective, though. In fact, I haven’t spoken to any highly successful person, yet, who didn’t have some sort of plan to get to where they wanted to be.

The destination you seek is (hopefully) your dream. Maybe its winning the Nationals or the World Shoot. Maybe its being competitive in your category (Lady, Junior, Senior, etc) on a consistent basis. Maybe its something less sophisticated, like simply hanging out with some good folks and having a good time. If its the latter, you probably don’t need the rest of this post, because its overkill for what you’re dreaming of.

Now, most of us can’t just say “I’m going to win the Nationals!” and just go make it happen, much like we can’t just say “I’m going to Katmandu!” and just get there. The trip takes some planning and preparation. To go to Katmandu, you might Google it and do some research about your destination, pull up some maps, find some resources, start saving cash, buy airline tickets, make reservations for a hotel (if you can), arrange for a guide, and so forth.

There is an equivalent in our performance specialty, and its called….. drum roll please … a Goal Setting Program!!! Sounds yucky, don’t it??? Like work? Yeah, its a little bit of work to get it going and maintain it – but so is planning that trip around the world, and while that trip to your dream destination in your shooting might never take you off of your home range physically, you will take a long journey internally.

Goals are the itinerary – the plan – the stepping stones to your dreams. You might call your dreams goals in and of themselves. In fact, we often use the (highly obvious) term “Dream Goals” to designate them as such. Dream goals are big, overarching things – and they’re hard to just go complete in one fell swoop. Trying to tackle a dream goal straight off will often times result in failure and disappointment – by their very nature, these are goals that require us to grow and expand our abilities, sometimes far beyond where they are today. They’re a lot like eating an elephant. You know how? One bite at a time.

So, which bite to start with? The trunk? The left ear? Maybe the middle toe on the right rear foot? Mmmmmm…. elephant…. maybe as enchiladas with a nice mole sauce?? Oh, sorry, sidetracked….

Having a plan to reach your dream goals gives you milestones to pass, and acheivements to make along the way to your dream goal. They allow you to see progress, which is an advantage over setting a single big goal which you can either acheive, or not. And, they can act as a checklist and help identify what to work on first or next. This plan is a set of goals! (Imagine that, Captain Obvious!). Sometimes called enabling goals, you can make a list of increasingly more granular goals to identify how you want to reach the overarching dream goals you started with. They should be specific, appropriate, and attainable – I’ll talk more about that in future posts.

You can have as many or as few goals as you like or need. For most folks, this will depend a lot on their temperment and personality. Experiment and be flexible in this regard. Try things out and see what works.

In the next post on goals, we’ll talk about what “appropriate and attainable” mean. In the mean time, start thinking about the path you’d like to take ;)

About the author


USPSA Grand Master, NRA Instructor, http://re-gun.com/about/

Permanent link to this article: http://re-gun.com/2011/05/goals-pathways-to-your-dreams/

2 pings

  1. DR Performance says:

    Goals – the pathway to your dreams! http://bit.ly/m0dYj9

  2. xre says:

    RT @drperformance: Goals – the pathway to your dreams! http://bit.ly/m0dYj9

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