I was re-reading First Things First by Stephen Covey last night, and spotting new insights as I did so. To paraphrase my newer understanding about goals, and why we do or not achieve what we set out to do, the four questions we need to ask about a goal we are about to set are:

  1. What is the truth, now? (What is my reality, and how might it affect the commitment I am about to make?)
  2. What is possible? (Am I setting an easy goal, and if so, how could I make it better and achieve a greater result?)
  3. How can I do that?
  4. Am I willing to do that?

Only when you’ve answered all four questions should you set a challenging goal. And only if the answer to the last question is an ethically charged ‘YES!’