Nerd Tools

Be, Do and Have Goals

One thing to keep in mind with goals is whether they are ‘Be, Do, or Have’ goals.

Is the goal related to having something, like a new car or a shiny new watch? Is it related to doing something, like playing football or visiting somewhere? Or is the goal related to who you are, like being sporty, adventurous, or a loving father?

It is important to recognise because ‘Be, Do and Have’ goals have fundamental differences in value. It becomes obvious when you think about what is really important to you deep down.

Does having a new tv matter to you if your passion in life is cycling? Is going on a cycling trip important when one of your loved ones is ill in hospital? No. We prioritise. What really matters to us leaves its mark.

‘Have’ Goals often relate to stuff. Things that we possess and own. They can be useful and important, like a new car if your previous one broke down or you have a passion for classic cars. Or they can be less important, like a new car if you just want to impress others. ‘Do’ Goals relate to how we spend our time, like hanging out with friends or working on a passion or an interest. ‘Be’ Goals relate to who we are fundamentally at our core. I think of them as your legacy. The person you are remembered to be when you’re not in the room.

They have different value because they have differing levels of influence on the aspects of your life that matter to you most.

If your relationship with your kids is the most important thing in your life, a goal to have a bigger television might make your kids happy in the very short term, but it won’t necessarily help you nurture and develop that relationship in the long time.

‘Have’ goals tend to have the least impact while ‘Be’ goals tend to have the greatest impact. Unfortunately we tend to think in terms of ‘Have’ rather than ‘Be’.

Quick Summary

  • Goals can be related to having things, doing things or being something
  • When compared to the aspects of your life that are the most important to you, ‘Have’ goals tend to have the least impact or value while ‘Be’ goals tend to be the most impactful!

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