2 Ways to Approach Setting Goals

There's that old joke. What do you call the guy that graduated last in medical school? Doctor.

The sales trainer I was listening to made a compelling argument. He challenged his audience to always aim to be the best and to compete against the larger field. "Don't settle for being number one in your market. Aim to be number one in the country. It's like winning first place in your local marathon versus winning first place in the New York marathon."

That's where I started to question his assertion. I've run three marathons, and my goal was never to finish first. It was simply to finish. Now before you say that I missed his point, I know he wasn't saying it's not good enough to finish a marathon, you should go for first place. What he was saying was keep pushing yourself, and one way to do that is to get out of your smaller pond and compete in a larger one.

But his metaphor got me thinking. There's a difference between "be number one" goals and "complete it" goals. So I did a quick audit of my current goals and discovered that most of mine are "complete them" goals. The only "be number one" goals I could think of were to win a recent reading contest and beat my son's high score on Flight Control (hardly a worthy goal, but it does consume a great deal of my time).

What type of goals do you set? Leave your comments about how you determine whether to be number one or simply complete the goal.