Definition: the first thing we need to do is to define exactly what a goal is. Webster defines a goal as “an end that one strives to attain”; a goal is the end results that helps bring about a desired change. The key in this definition is “end” or result. A goal begins with a mission, a purpose, or a reason for wanting to achieve the end results. This mission is usually based on a need, want or a desire. Such as wanting to develop new friendships or desiring a better paying profession or a better marketing plan for our crop. These desires are not goals within themselves, yet individuals frequently begin with a mission and believe it to be a goal.

A goal has the following key elements:

    • 1. Mission
    • 2. Emotional Core
    • 3. Role Model
    • 4. Commitment
    • 5. Specific Guidelines
    • 6. Focus
    • 7. Timetable
    • 8. Assessment/Achievement

As we look at each one of these, we will make the difference between Goals and Missions more clear.


The Mission provides motivation for wanting to achieve a goal. For example, an individual may state, “I want to make 3 bales of cotton to the acre.” That states what we want to do – we now have a mission. Most all businesses whenever they create a business plan have a “Mission Statement.”

Emotional Core

The Emotional Core is what an individual needs or wants from a goal, based upon the mission. For example, “I want to pay off my tractor or equipment in a short period of time or a shorter period of time than the period for which the original loan was written.” This can also be the driving force. Generally, it is a feeling or a belief that is extremely strong.

Role Model

A role model is a person, their life or another business operation you would like to emulate, as we begin to attain our goal. When selecting a role model, considering choosing someone whom you admire, or someone or some business who has a highly successful operation. Perhaps you’re the type individual who can simply visualize the changes that can occur in yourself or your operation once you achieve your goals, if you are then congratulations to you, as this is a rare trait. Using a role model can help us create an enticing vision that helps keep us motivated as the work continues toward achieving those set goals. Perhaps there is a “country home” in your community that you would like to build one of comparable size and proportions to. That is always a good role model. Using a role model can help us create an enticing vision that helps keep us motivated as the hard work continues towards achieving those set goals.


In order to achieve the goals that have been set you must want to achieve them first of all. Therefore, your goals need to be based on personal satisfaction and interest, not on what you think you ought to be doing, and not on what others need, want or expect from you. It is not a good idea to set goals designed to please others, or to gain their approval or love. How can you be truly committed to someone else’s goals? Set goals for yourself because those are the goals you want to achieve. To assess your level of commitment to a goal, ask these two important questions:

      1. 1. How badly do I want to achieve my goal?
      2. 2. How hard am I willing to work for it?

If you do not want your goal badly enough, then chances are you will not be committed to the goal and its attainment.