Goal Setting and the BIG PUSH

Yesterday I had a conversation with a colleague who in our conversation mentioned to me how she did not have any goals, that she had hands full trying to raise her three kids.

I asked her what about the goals for her kids to which she stated that they have things they want but they were not specific or written down in the way that I talk about them.  We talked a few more minutes about setting up a one to one to talk about goals in a little more detail, so I thought about a post I did a few times.

Goal Setting and the BIG PUSH!

Back in 1981 going into my senior year of high school, I learned a valuable, lifelong lesson about Goal Setting that I apply to everything I am doing today.  My head football coach called it the BIG PUSH, we called it insane and we just knew he was crazy.  After 30 years, I am still convinced he was crazy, but I am also sure that the BP prepared me for any challenge I would face in life.

We were a decent football team coming into that senior season.  We had finished the previous year, barely above.500 but we knew we had a bunch of committed, talented players who survived our junior season’s “house cleaning” process that this same coach took us through which resulted in only 25 players suiting up when most teams had 50 – 60 players.

The BIG PUSH was a combination of psychological and physical tearing down, house cleaning, and a test of will for only the committed and insane.  I am sure that the “ax handle” drill by itself would have gotten my coach arrested today.  But I must say I am so grateful to coach Watson even to this day for instilling in me the drive to set a goal and go after it, work my ass off trying to reach it and no matter when roadblocks get in our way we need to readjust or just go right thru them.

One example of the BIG PUSH was the day we all showed up to the field only to find over 500 yards of cones, spread out over the entire practice and a soccer field.  At the end of the cones was a tackling dummy with our jersey over it and a helmet sitting on top.  Coach gathered us all together and told me today we are going to find out who will be going to battle with us and who will not.  He then said “Wells you are first”.  I recoiled and asked “why me”, and when I thought about his response not realizing it at the time, but he gave me one of the highest compliments.  With a straight matter of fact way that he spoke, he said, because you won’t quit, you will die trying, and I know when your teammates see you make it, they will believe they can too so they will not give up as well.

We all made it and although we did not win CIF, we finished 10-2, won some big games.  We helped turn a program around that has now gone on to win many championships and in the process created lifelong winners who will never give up!

Goal setting is an integral part of my work and life.  Goal setting is the most important of all personal improvement ideas. Goals give you a sense of purpose and direction, a process to keep score, and the confidence that only comes from knowing where you are going. When you have goals, you develop an almost mystical ability to achieve them. You begin to develop that insatiable desire to do whatever it takes, to develop whatever you need to develop, to achieve your goal. Occasionally, most people have thought about changing or improving. Some even go to the extent of buying a self-improvement book, but few ever complete it

A common question and attitude about goals include “Why are they needed? I’ve gotten this far without them.” “Why set goals?”

Some of the benefits of having personal goals are:

  1. Goals help you to discover your own personal uniqueness.
  2. Goals help you to overcome negative conditioning by forcing you to concentrate on positive, achievement-oriented areas.
  3. Goals add to the excitement of life.
  4. Goals help you to make better decisions.
  5. Goals help you to live your life the way you want (if you do not set your goals, someone else will set them for you).
  6. Goals help you to bring out the “best” in you.


Goals are like the road map for the highway of life.  Some of the reasons that goal setting may fail  are:

  1. Goals are not specific.
  2. The individuals have no personal goals.
  3. Top management does not commit.
  4. There is no feedback.
  5. There is no regular measure of progress.

Many people dream of becoming, of succeeding, but very few will ever realize their dreams because they never do anything about it!

When your goals are clear, problems become “opportunities for solutions,” and determination becomes our dominant characteristic. Our attitude becomes positive and confident. The late Will Rogers, one of the most quoted and remembered Americans, once said, “The difference between winning and losing any contest begins long before the game starts… and it’s no secret. The winners expect to win – the losers just hope.” If you expect to win, to succeed – you will!

In life, you cannot always decide what will happen to you, but you can always decide how you will react to what happens.

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