EP 20 Goal Setting More Than Just for an IAP

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Hi and welcome to EM student this, your host, Todd DeVoe speaking and today we’re going to talk a little bit about goal setting and the psychology of what it really means to set a goal. And there’s two reasons why I want to talk about goal setting here. One of the things is very important is when you’re talking about… during emergency management, during emergencies, obviously one of the things you’re going to do in the operation section and in the planning section is you’re going to set goals, priorities, and objectives, right? And so I want you guys to take that consideration, the idea of setting goals, priorities and objectives, and putting that into your life goals. And the reason why is because in order to get from realistically from point A to point B, we need some sort of map and I know, today, it’s really easy to use, you know, the, um, your GPS, right? Everybody has it. Google maps on your phone. I use it all the time, right? It’s really great because it gets you around obstacles, right? It gets you around those obstacles, you know, they’re coming,  you know, Siri or google GPS or Ways or whoever’s on there, they’re telling you how to get around those obstacles and if you don’t have that goal of getting from point A to point B, you won’t even know there’s obstacles in the way and it’s really important for you to really sit back and figure out where you are in your… one, in your education goals and career goals and how to get to the next level and, and realistically get that, um, get those goals and directives out there and, and, and make them. And so what is it to make a goal? And I’m not going to go into the idea of SMART goals. We all or most of us know what it is, we’ve taken some sort of class and we’ve done SWOT analysis for, for this or for that. I just want to kind of get into, you know, what it really takes to really know what you want. What does it really take to really go, this is my educational goal. This is how I’m going to get there. This is my career goal, this is how I’m going to get there, and that’s a lot what we’re talking about here on EM student is helping you create that path to your goal.  Whatever your employment is going to be, whatever job that you think is going to be satisfying for you to have a long career in emergency management.

So goal setting has been part of our lives for a long time. It’s been a part of my life for, for better part of 30 years now, and there’s a couple things that you need to do. First thing you need to do is set your priorities right. What exactly are your priorities? So for instance, my priorities today are much different than they were 20 years ago, much different than they were 30 years ago, right? Your goals coming out of school might just be getting that first job. Your goals might be getting a promotion, right? You decided to go back because you needed to have that bachelor’s degree or master’s degree to get promoted.

Put those goals down, write  them down, and I want you to write them in that SMART model. Right? That’s very important and I really think that if you take at least your top, say five goals, write them down, write them down bold, and I don’t…, I kind of go back and forth if I think that you should share your goals with everybody, you know, because, uh, there’s been studies saying that once you share your goal, mentally you go, I’ve completed it. And I don’t mean to keep it a secret. I mean, share it with somebody who’s close to you that you trust. Um, you know, for instance, uh, I have a close friend who I’ll talk about my goals with and I have my wife, right? Those are who I speak to about my goals and that’s really it because I want to make sure that I’m meeting my goals that I have written down on my own for myself. And I checked my goals every morning and every weekend I reflect on those goals.  And I think it’s important for you to do the same. Take a look at them in the  morning., and then that way you know they’re fresh in your head. And then if you meet them? You can check them off if not you moving forward with them.

I was watching swimming this weekend and it was Olympic swimming,, it was on TV and I forget the young lady’s name who she just set a world’s record that day I was watching and she talked about her goals. She’s very goal oriented and she has a smartphone and she has her goals on her phone and it would pop up every morning and she had a goal of breaking this time into this, you know, I’m not a swimmer. So for those of you that competitively swimming could probably. First of all, you probably know who she is. Secondarily, you can correct me what it is, but I think it was like, I don’t know, like a thousand meters or 1500 meters or something like this.  And she had a goal. She wanted to break a record. She wanted to. Her first she wanted to set a record I guess, or break the record, whatever it was. And she had  her goals.. and it was 15 months that that would pop. And that was her goal and she didn’t take it off her goals list until obviously she made it. She didn’t change it. She said it was there, she looked at it, and when she finally was able to click that off of her goals list, she was so excited about that and she shared that story, on the, on TV, you know, and it really kind of drove home to me or the idea of setting those goals and really having that grit, that sticktuitiveness to stick with those goals because setting the goal and then changing it later because it’s too difficult, was it really a goal? it wasn’t obtainable, right? Part of the  SMART portion of the goals was it attainable, you know, be realistic, right? Part of the SMART goals.

Be realistic with that goal. All right. I don’t think that I’m going to run a marathon within this year, you know, uh, I probably won’t run a marathon ever in my life, but definitely won’t run. One. Definitely won’t run one this year. That was hard to say. Right. And you know, you have to make those goals a priority. So setting this grandiose goal of running a marathon this year, well maybe for some of you that’s attainable, right? For me it’s not. And why would I waste my time on something that I know I’m not going to be able to do? And at the same time, don’t set your goal so low that it’s the low hanging fruit. Like I’m going to set my goal for waking up in the morning. Yeah, it’s going to happen. I mean, hopefully it happens, right? But don’t set your goal that low. Right? Make it something that means something to you and without goals. Like I said earlier, you’re lost. You don’t have that roadmap to where you’re trying to go.

It’s okay to fail in trying to obtain the goal. And what I mean by that is if you’re striving to meet that goal and for whatever reason something occurs where it just can’t happen, sit back, reevaluate that goal and see where you can go next. I don’t ever think about abandoning a goal,  but sometimes things happen to where it just can’t happen. And a good example of that is say Navy SEALs. How many people that went and joined the Navy, the wanting to be a SEAL and didn’t make it through BUDs. It’s like a 90 percent dropout rate and some of those guys rolled back in, try it again and have guys that are two or three times, you know, and finally the third time realized physically they just cannot do it, whether they’re hypothermia, uh, whether they just learned their Knees go out on them, shoulders bust out, just physically can’t make it through the training and they have to move on from that. And at some point you have to take a look at and ask is this realistically is it going to happen.

I’ll tell you another little life story here.  I had an intern who, his goal in life was to become a police officer and during the battle… he was a marine. He was in the battle of Fallujah and he lost his hearing or really damaged his hearing. And because of this, he couldn’t pass the physical for the police department. So he sat down one day and we’re talking and he looked at his life where he was going and said, you know, I could still be involved in law enforcement in a sense I’m going to go to law school and I’m going to work in the DA’s office. And so he didn’t give up on his goal necessarily of serving.  He just changed what his role was going to be from police officer to DA. And he went to law school and last time I spoke to him, he was finishing up and I’m for sure he’s going to pass the bar because he has that sticktuitiveness to it is, has a tenacity. And it wasn’t because he gave up because of he just gave up. He just came to a wall to where he could not get through that. And so I want you to make that mental shift. Okay? And when you fail at something, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Right? And there’s, I think it’s a small, thin line there on one side to the other. And what I mean by this is that if you fail as you’re trying your hardest, as you’re, as you’re putting your real effort into it, and sometimes things just come short, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means that you’ve learned something about yourself to where you can make changes, right? We can take a look at my intern, for instance, he didn’t fail becoming a police officer, but he excelled and becoming a lawyer and because if it wasn’t anything that he did wrong but he couldn’t be a police officer. So was that a failure on his part?  I wouldn’t say so. You can really only call yourself a failure is if you give up something. And I don’t mean give up like in the sense of like what happened with my intern. I mean not even try that even go forth, you know, and it Kinda goes back to, and I’m not gonna say it, most of us have probably read it, but it goes back to Teddy Roosevelt’s speech of the Man In The Arena. And it isn’t the critic who counts. It’s the guy who gets in there and gets the dust in his face and gets marred bloodied and fights his way through everything, and if you still can’t make it through, screw the critics, right? They’re not putting themselves out and that’s what I’m talking about here today. It’s a little different. Take on the ideas of setting goals and what they really mean. You know,  just because I want you guys to really take a look at it, take your time with it, set the goals hard and be successful. Talk to you guys next week.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Teddy Roosevelt

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