Classes are off to a roaring start and graduation is quickly becoming a reality. My MBA capstone class is full of minds who have done their due diligence for two, three, even four years with their classwork and now are preparing for the big day.
After the regular “this is how I teach my class”, “read the syllabus”, etc. etc. the class took turns introducing themselves (nothing new there). We had to share one New Year’s goal and then our favorite song. To my amazement, many of the goals were not quite as lofty or epic as I was expecting, not that there isn’t anything wrong with that, but in the cream of the crop of a nationally ranked MBA program I expected a bit more. Also, I was relatively disappointed in their taste in music :P
The trend that I noticed for goals was divided into three categories:
- People are incredibly vague
- People don’t take risks in setting their goals
- People are incredibly specific and very risky in their goal setting
Probably the most common goal for the year was “get in shape,” “be more healthy,” or “lose weight.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those except A) they don’t give people a lot of room to celebrate their success and B) those are the most stereotypical, non challenging goals ever created by mankind. Everyone knows vague, crappy New Years resolutions are 99% guaranteed to fail unless you have specific goals and a strong support system. That seemed to be missing…
The second category of goals was based around nonthreatening goals or activities such as finding a job so they’re no longer be unemployed, spending less time at work, or things that are practically set in stone such as graduation. Again, there is nothing wrong with any of these, but I found it disappointing that people aren’t shooting for the stars and really pushing themselves forward. I definitely appreciate the need to be employed and happy at work, but should that really be a huge change for the year? I would hope that people can find a way to make that a constant goal in life not just for 2013. Where are the earth-shattering adventures? Very few people had their sights set on running a Fortune 500 company or creating a new multimillion dollar product line.
The last category contained very few people but the few that had goals in this area were clearly a cut above the rest. One has a one week year old baby, another is trying to complete their first half marathon, and yet others are striving to move across the country, start their own businesses, etc. One particular guy completed his first triathlon last year and finished 4th from last but now he has his sights set on the top 50%. That goal is specific, challenging, and full of (calculated) risk. That’s the way to do it! All of these people will also be able to reward their successes as they progress throughout the year too, and celebration is important!
I’m excited for the year, excited for my goals (I think I’ve got some darn good ones), and excited to see what kind of spontaneous shenanigans come out of the year. Also, my favorite song is Thunderstruck by ACDC!