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What does it really take to achieve your goals?

New Years resolutions.
Personal Goals. Professional goals.
Organizational goals.

Why do we so often fail to achieve what we aspire to?

It’s not for lack of wanting the result. We want to get healthy or travel more. As community benefit organizations, we want to make a huge difference in some aspect of our communities. So, then, what stops us?

The answer lies in the very first tenet of Catalytic Thinking:

Our power to create powerful results
lies in our power to create
favorable cause-and-effect conditions
towards those results.

When goals are achieved, it is because we have created conditions for that success. Conversely, when goals and resolutions FAIL, it is because we have NOT created conditions for them to SUCCEED.

That is why Catalytic Thinking leads us to focus on creating conditions for success once we’ve determined what actions we want to take.

What will it take for us to be able to do what we said we want to do?

When asked that question, our knee-jerk answer is so often “money.” However, without systems in place to support our success, money will only forestall the inevitable – a crash due to lack of infrastructure and systems.

To ensure success in reaching for your goals, you will want to consider all the systems in your organization.

  • Programs
  • Personnel
  • Equity, Inclusion, Diversity, Justice
  • Community Engagement
  • Internal Communications
  • Board Mechanics
  • Financial Capacity
  • Facilities and Equipment
  • Administrative Needs
  • Regulatory Compliance

For each of these systems, ask, “What needs to be in place for our goal to be achieved?” (You’ll find additional questions for each of these areas in the Resource section below.)

From there, make sure that your FIRST step is to ensure those conditions are in place.

Because your power to create great results
rests in the conditions you create for your success.

As you look at the questions in the resources below, you may find some of them surprisingly helpful for your personal life as well. For example, 

For equity and inclusion, and for community engagement, how might your goals benefit from connecting with and learning from people who are not like you?

Whether for your personal life or your organization’s success, let’s make this the year you use Catalytic Thinking to create conditions for your success. And please tell us what you learn and achieve along the way!

Resources to Further Your Practice

  • CHECKLIST: This list of questions will help you solidify all the systems that will support your success! Print the PDF here
  • LEARN: See how Catalytic Thinking can help you achieve all your goals, personal and organizational. Start here…

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Most of the programs at Creating the Future are free or low cost, with liberal tuition assistance when they aren’t.

If you find our programs of benefit, we hope you will consider contributing, to help keep these programs available to as many people as possible.   Donate here ...

eJournal Archives:
If you’re new to our eJournal, or just want to remind yourself of past practice exercises we’ve shared, check out our eJournal archives here.

Creating the Future's Mission
Teach people how to change the systems they find themselves in,
to create a future different from our past -
all by changing the questions they ask.

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