At their core, goals are about action. We sometimes get bogged down in the planning and the thinking about goals. We need an action bias. An action bias is tending to take action at the earliest opportunity again and again.
When we set a goal the outcome is not guaranteed. One reason is that as we pursue the outcome and begin moving toward it, the action teaches us things about ourselves and about the goal itself. We may find new goals to get us to the outcomes we want or we may find we want a different outcome all together. Either way, it was the action that taught us what needed to change.
When we have a new calling to teach a classroom full of youth, we can learn more in five minutes at the front doorstep of their home taking action to meet them before the year starts than five months of regular Sunday lessons.
Many of us are over thinkers. Careful thought can protect us from some mistakes, but it also holds us back from greater progress. We don’t have to figure it all out before we act. We act in order to figure it all out. We launch first and fix it later. We take action and learn from the experience. We set goal loops and evaluate the good and the bad. An action bias jump-starts the stalled engine of our over-thinking. An action bias blasts through the life plans we have stuck in our heads because theoretical plans generally don’t survive contact with reality.
You didn’t pick up a book on goals expecting to not do goals. Engaged goal setting requires taking action early and often. It requires an action bias. When we engage like this, goals truly do become the engine of growth and change.
It might seem like we don’t have time for these kinds of mistakes. That’s all we do have time for. This is the great plan of happiness. We learn by experience and we gain experience by taking action.
With the new 2020 roll out of the Children and Youth initiative beginning January 2020, LDS kids will have the opportunity to have an action bias by choosing their first goals.