Autism Spectrum Australia

A Goal Den Experience

  • Posted: 15/01/2015
  • Author: Thomas Kuzma
  • Comments: Loading.. .

Happy 2015 everyone! Ah it feels good to be back. I was away for a bit, relaxing on beaches and playing new video games. I started playing The Last of Us. That game is frightening, just like the state of my bedroom. With the beginning of a new year we have a fantastic chance to start afresh. Let’s get into it!

Beginnings come in all shapes and sizes. They sprout from anything; it could be a decision, from a set date, or as a reaction to something that happens. The problem is when we see the big New Year’s Eve loom over the horizon many of us decide it’s time to make a big change. So there ends up being tons of people making last minute New Year’s resolutions; to eat more healthily, exercise more and get out of the house more often. The problem is after the rush disappears we end up forgetting our dreams, and slumping back to our original lives.

I thought about asking Earl about going for goals, I mean he had an entire show about crossing items off a list. Sadly he is just a fictional character. Today I am with Ian Skinner, Aspect’s Chief Financial Officer. Now you know by his title that he made it this far because he has set some goals. Let’s see what he has to say.


It is really important to set a goal that has the right balance between being a challenge and also being achievable. The goal also has to be related to something that genuinely interests me – otherwise it is just a task – not a goal.

Accepting a goal set by others that you don’t really believe in or care about is a sure way of not achieving the goal – it then becomes a task and not a goal.  A goal has to be aspirational to you – you must personally want to achieve it.  I know that if someone sits me down to do a goal setting session I need to be honest with myself and that person before accepting the goals.  If I am not interested, I won’t get anywhere near achieving that goal.  That disappoints the person who set the goal – which usually won’t be good for me.

 Any goals that are too soft (so no challenge) or too hard (you know you can’t achieve them) are not goals at all. And “goals” related to something you don’t really care about can’t meet the definition either.  So a goal that is set that is uninteresting and unachievable would have to be in the worst case quadrant.

When I finished school I had a goal of getting a good university education so that I could give myself a good base to develop a career.  I didn’t really know where my career would take me – I wasn’t that focused, but I did have the goal of putting myself in a position for some good things to happen. They mostly did, so I got some good outcomes from achieving that goal.

And of course there are the sporting goals. I always wanted to be a better golfer – which would be reflected in a lower handicap. This of course is an eternal goal, and one which no golfer or any player of a similar pursuit ever thinks they have achieved. To keep it real, I set myself short term focused goals on different parts of my game that I can measure. So I may focus heavily on my putting and work to reduce the average number of putts I take per round. So then, even if my overall game is poor, I can convince myself I am putting better and still feel good about something. Achieving goals that genuinely make you feel good about yourself – that’s a successful goal.

There is a very quick TED talk on the matter of goal setting. I know I have been through that, after saying on this blog that I will learn to drive, I was congratulated by my peers and co-workers. I still don’t have my L’s…

I could never do a New Year’s resolution. As a Catholic man I did give up chocolate for Lent, where you go forty days without something you enjoy. The problem was Easter was at the end and my body rejected all the chocolate I ate.

I used to have a good way of setting goals for myself. Half way through each year I grabbed an A3 sheet of paper, divided it into 8 sections based on type of goals (i.e. monetary, fitness, learning new skills etc.) and then gave myself 3 medium style goals to achieve within 365 days. I never completed an entire sheet, but I always managed to achieve more than half of the goals on the list.

I guess if I had to choose a goal for this year it would be to become more independent. I would like to get a full time job, move out and learn to drive. I would also like to take a trip overseas; I haven’t done that since I was 6 with my mommy. I was going to go with buy a hover board this year, but those arent in mass shipment yet.

The new year is upon us. All the mistakes of 2014 are back in the past and now it’s time to head into the forest, you know why? Because we need to turn over some new leaves. We saw plenty of drama last year, so it’s time to get into the action of 2015! It’s time to set new goals, learn new skills, give up bad habits. Just remember, as Ian said “ don’t set goals that are too easy or too hard, and remember to set a goal that makes you feel good about yourself!”

comments powered by Disqus
A Goal Den Experience