I always start out with gusto and within a few months look over in the corner of a room to see my not so shiny notebook untouched, unloved and completely neglected.  I won’t even mention what my garage looks like.

I fall into the trap of single minded, goal achievement.

I fail miserably and feel worse than I did when setting the goals after reflecting on how I did not meet my goals for the ending year.  Let the wine and Haagen-Dazs flow!

Not this year.  I had an awakening at of all places – Disney World.

For Christmas we spent the day – and night – at Disney World.  At 5:30 am we started like most everyone else, with a plan.

We had a plan of hitting certain rides, watching the time, scurrying from one place to another beating out all the crowds.  We had a plan. We were determined.  We were going to hit our goals, doggone it, not matter what.

That lasted until about 7 am, when we ran into a snafu right off the bat at the entrance.  After about a half hour delay, we were off.  But the crowd had already began to infiltrate, we had to dodge and weave to get to specified locations to enjoy ourselves.

Oh no!

We became rats in a maze and the cheese was unobtainable.  We blindly followed crowds and became defeated at the sight of lines.

That is when it hit us.  Here we were in 80 degree weather, not a cloud in the sky, in the happiest place on earth and we were concerned about hitting targets.

What the heck.

So we abandoned our original plans by remembering one key piece of advice we had both heard – it is not the destination, but the journey.

We stopped making specific plans and began to enjoy the scenery around us.  We ignored the adults scoffing at their kids that there was no time to enjoy the things they were doing at that time because they had to hit their schedule and began enjoying the laughter and delight in the kids’ faces.

We stopped planning every move and strolled through Frontier Land thoroughly enjoying a turkey leg.  We stepped out of the way of the families that were pushing through to get to their next destination and had fun conversations with other strollers.

We hit every single ride we wanted, and more.  Our longest wait time was 25 minutes, but that was one ride; the rest we eased on in 10 minutes or less.  We saw, and more importantly experienced, every single thing we wanted and more than we anticipated.

We stopped to find ourselves front and center five minutes before the parade.  Best spots in the place and we just happened to luck into them by sheer accident.

Goals are like that.  It is great to have a goal; however, if you only focus on achieving that goal, you miss the most fun, learning and enjoyable part about the whole adventure – the trip itself.

I have decided 2016 goals are going to be more like the adventure of Disney World: an eye on the goal but the focus on the experience.

There was only one ride we did not ride which we wanted to; but given the amazing adventure and fun that we had, we were okay with that.  Instead, we did something neither expected.

Neither one of us are roller coaster ride people.  I do not like them, never had.  A bad experience on Space Mountain when I was a kid turned me off on them forever.  But that day, we were having such a fun time that we threw caution to the wind – we rode it.

We ended up having a great time.  I’m still not doing loopy-loopy roller coasters, but on that one day, I rode a real one.

When you take your eye off only the achievement of the goals, you find yourself doing more than you anticipated because you are enjoying the experience.

Looking back on our adventure that night at the resort, we were amazed at how everything just seemed to fall right into place for us.  We realized it was because we were enjoying the moments in between the goals rather than checking off the goals one by one.

Yes, 2016 the goal is to enjoy the ride along the way to the goals and in doing so, I know I can mark off all those goals I plan on making – and more.  This begins with stopping to look at where I am now, today, and enjoying what this day brings.


I help identify and set a path to achieve individual career and company goals by using the V Formula:

Your Value + Your Voice = Visibility

Visibility is the leverage to move up or move on in your career; expand your book of business, grow your company and strengthen your team.


Lisa K. McDonald, Owner and Principal of Career Polish, Inc. is a speaker and seminar facilitator at companies and professional organizations speaking to leadership, sales, teams, transitioning/downsized employees and networking groups about career mobility, personal branding, networking, creating executive presence and achieving career movement success. To find out more, visit Career Polish, Inc.