It was a snowy January 1st afternoon.  With a nice cup of coffee in hand, my husband and I sat down to discuss our goals for 2011.  This has been our habit over the last several years and one I look forward to at the end of the busy holiday season. We each write down what we want in the areas of Faith, Family, Finance, Fitness, and Business.  We also review last year’s goals, celebrate the wins and incorporate the unfinished business into next year’s goals.

It has been a few weeks now and something is nagging me about our plans for 2011.  I think that like many people we were too goal oriented.  Is that possible?

Being “too” goal focused is possible if all of your goals are to be “intentional” about something.  Please understand that being intentional is one of my favorite concepts and I use it when I coach leaders.  But can too much of a good thing be detrimental? What occurred to me was that we had not included any activities or “goals” that allowed us to be curious in 2011.

Here is a model that might just bring balance to those of us who are “too” goal oriented.  I believe we need to allow ourselves to move freely around the boxes and have goals that require us to be focused, to create, to rest and to explore.  And yes you can have a goal to rest.  It fact most of us should incorporate some into our life plans.

Being FOCUSED, which most of us have down, is usually centered on key business or financial targets, or fitness and health goals.  It’s important to measure your progress and accomplishments.  Don’t forget to celebrate along the way.

CREATING means to reframe a current problem or solve a problem that’s not on your regular list of responsibilities.  Creating often comes when we combine spheres of knowledge.  What areas of expertise do you have that you can combine to make a new product, discipline, idea or project?

EXPLORING can include learning a new physical skill or sport like juggling or watercolor painting.  You could look outside your field by taking a course that is totally unrelated to your career.  You could also explore inside yourself by keeping a journal or getting a coach.

Lastly we need to plan to REST.  Read a novel, play with the grandkids, walk on the beach or hike in the mountains.  Pray, mediate and be still.

Upon reflection, my husband and I have revised our 2011 goals to create a balance between being intentional and being curious.  And if I had a wish for you in 2011 it would be to find that balance for yourself.

Here’s to your success,


Linda K sommer, MBA