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Goal setting is a powerful performance tool. It helps people stay on target for the things they want to accomplish. Goal setting helps people set higher goals, which push them to work harder and prioritize their energy for the attainment of the goals.
However, some goal setting can be just a paper exercise that someone has mandated. It might be at the new year or a boss might strongly suggest the types of goals employees should achieve during the upcoming year.
One of the key elements of goal-setting success is a personal commitment to the goal. This personal commitment can be obtained in two ways. First, it has to be a goal that is personally important. A person is not going to work hard for someone else’s goal. Second, the goal must be kept in your mind when important decisions are being made. Many decisions contribute to successful goal achievement including decisions about resource allocation and time and energy commitment.
The story of Jason Terry is a remarkable account of a personal and professional commitment to his goal. Terry is a guard on the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team. Last October he set the goal that his team was going to win the NBA championship. This goal is remarkable because virtually no one believed the Mavericks were good enough to win a championship at the beginning of the NBA season.
At a team-building party before the season, Terry made a dramatic commitment to his team. He proclaimed that he believed his team would win the NBA championship. To make his point he had a tattoo placed on the inside of his right bicep. The tattoo was a picture of the 2011 Larry O’Brien trophy, which is the championship trophy of the NBA.
Tattoos are a very permanent form of body art. They obviously do not wash away. The only way to have a tattoo removed is surgically through a very painful procedure.
This was his commitment statement. He was committed to doing everything possible to make it happen for himself and his teammates. Lots of people made fun of him for being so bold as to make such a permanent statement. For Terry it was his inspiration when things were tough. When he did not feel like practicing more, he would look at his bicep and it encouraged him to keep working.
There were ups and downs during the season and yet Terry kept believing his team could win the championship. Even as the Mavericks made the NBA finals, they were still the underdog and people still were making fun of him. Lots of people talked about how foolish he was for putting this tattoo on his bicep. They talked about how it would hurt when he had it taken off. The doubters thought there was no way the Mavericks could beat the mighty Miami Heat.
The amazing part is that Terry was instrumental in helping his team win the NBA championship. He displays with pride the trophy his team received for winning the championship as well as the tattoo of the trophy still very visible on his bicep.
Commitment to goals is hard work. Terry found a way to keep his goal very visible to him at every waking moment. He believed in his heart he was an NBA champion and now by hard work, he is part of the 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.
Dr. Wilson is a performance consultant in Hardin County and owner of The Wilson Center for Performance. He is performance anxiety consultant to the Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center. He can be reached at TheWilsonCenter7@aol.com.