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Is it time to retire the daunting word “goal” and substitute a more appealing word that resonates with you, such as intention, aim, purpose, or desire?

I believe words are meant to inspire rather than drag us down.

Ultimately, the responsibility falls on each one of us to bring positive energy into our life, family, team, and society. Therefore, if the word “goal” doesn’t motivate you, then change it. Your challenge is to design a “goal” that makes you feel alive, engaged, and inspired. When your goal speaks to your heart, you are on the right track. As long as the goal means something special to YOU, it’s a good one.

A more approachable way to think about goals is to view them as a path that will increase the chances of a desired outcome. Setting a goal or purpose is an effective way to make sure you don’t leave any of your potential on the table. Even a small amount of progress can be the momentum you need to make a change. Chances are, you will be further along than if you did nothing.

Think about what you would love to accomplish this coming year that would bring you more joy and fulfillment.

- Do you want to complete your yoga certification?

- Would you like to carve out time to take photography classes?

- Perhaps it’s time to finally change jobs and do something that you enjoy?

For some, the word “goal” is a turn-off because it carries too much pressure in the form of showing results and making yourself accountable.

All too often, we are judged by our results, when, in reality, results are simply a reference point to see if we are creating the life and experiences that make us feel fulfilled. Personally, the word “goal” is a positive energy word for me because it represents moving toward something that is meaningful, fulfilling, and exciting. I feel incredibly empowered when I successfully move outside my comfort zone to achieve something. This feeling of accomplishment helps me think expansively about what else is possible and gives me hope. For example, writing your first blog may provide the inspiration you need to write the first chapter of your book you’ve been talking about. Perhaps managing your first team project gives you the confidence to start your own business. Setting a meaningful goal/intention can take you from impossible to possible.

Too many people stir up drama when they think about setting a goal. Be honest, you plan vacations and use Google maps to get directions, don’t you? Setting goals or intentions are another way to think about making your vision a reality.

I’ve seen clients achieve incredible results when they go after a goal and put themselves on the line. One client set a breakthrough goal for her company, AnnaBeck, to have their jewelry featured on a major TV show. Her vision came true this December when they were part of Katie Couric’s holiday giveaway show to help women who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. And, yes, sometimes you don’t achieve your complete goal or meet the target date, and that’s ok. When I decided to write my first book, Living in YOUR Top 1%, I set a goal to publish it by January 2011. However, we had to make some necessary edits and move the date to February 2011. And you know what? I was disappointed, but the project was still successful and has inspired thousands (and hopefully many more). Be flexible, and do whatever you need to get in the game!

Top 1% Bottom Line: If the word “goal” doesn’t float your boat and inspire you to take action, then make a choice and change your words. The key is to turn your ideas into action however you can. Don’t get derailed because a simple word such as “goal” triggers you. Take charge and find an appealing substitute so you can take a step forward.

Here’s to a wonderful New Year filled with abundance, hope, and many more top 1% moments! Believe in your dreams!


Alissa Finerman is a Professional Business/Life Coach, motivational speaker, and author of Living in Your Top 1%. She works with individuals and organizations to help them think bigger, redefine what’s possible, and get results. Alissa has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. She has appeared on national radio stations such as CBS and Clear Channel Radio and has worked with the Milken Institute, LA Business Journal, Prostate Cancer Foundation, and NBC Universal. To learn more about coaching with Alissa, please visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Please join Alissa for her on-demand, downloadable four-week online class to Live in Your Top 1%. Turn your ideas into action!

You can now enjoy Alissa’s book, Living in Your Top 1%, as an audio book.

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