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By David Harder on January, 2, 2015

Why goals don’t work

“Commitment is an act, not a word.”
Jean-Paul Sartre
Today, gyms will be filled with newcomers. Most of them will be gone by February.
Whenever I ask the question, “Who wants to give up goals?” I am aware that I’m stepping into, what for many of us, is sacred territory. From Confucius to Tony Robbins goals are presented as religious absolutes. And yet, why do so many people make goals on New Year’s Eve that never really come to fruition?
To establish a little credibility, here is my experience with goals:
Prior to finding my life’s work I was a staffing executive in Southern California. I managed sales teams in recruitment and temporary help. During those 12 years, I was responsible for annual, bi-annual, quarterly and monthly goals programs. I also worked on corporate, regional, branch and individual goal reporting. I recall countless of awful meetings as management sat in a room pontificating about goals with one year, three year and five year plans.
Throughout this experience, five percent of my sales people generated ninety percent of the revenue. Most were way too busy to discuss goals:
“Don’t bother me, I’m closing a deal.”
“I’m too busy, just make something up.”
“Are you kidding? I keep exceeding your goals.”
The remaining ninety-five percent of my sales people prepared fantastic goal planning sessions. They would bring in beautifully crafted spreadsheets. Others brought in pictures of expensive cars they would proudly buy before the end of the year. Except, most of them were gone by the end of the year.
In 1988 Los Angeles Times Magazine published an article about the Platinum Triangle, which, at the time, was the hottest real estate market we have ever experienced. The Triangle includes Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Malibu. Jon Douglas, Mike Glickman, Jeff Hyland and others were raking in millions each year. But, the article disclosed the average of several thousand agents flooding this most premium of markets. The annual average was $18,000. I have since met with and in some cases worked with the top brokers from that period. Bring up goals to them and they look at you as if you just don’t quite get it.
The basic problem with goal programs is they are based in the future.
If anything is based in the future, we can get away with murder and humans are capable of playing extraordinary games with the semantics of goals.
I am a perfect example.
In September, my partner and I spent two weeks in Italy, most of it at the perfectly idyllic Lake Como. We landed in Milan and planned on spending a day in the fashion district to buy clothes. After two hours walking through the Galleria and the salons of Armani and Versace we looked at each other and in unison said,
“We’re fat.”
So, we made a deal to go back shopping in Milan when we’ve lost the weight, when we are as perfect as the svelte Milanese who walk ten miles a day and smoke a pack of cigarettes.
In December, my internist said,
“Well the good news is you are remaining steady with your weight.”
This was not good news.
How many cookies can get swept under the rug if we are going to be at our perfect weight when we return to Italy?
How many sales calls can be forfeited if we are going to make a $100k in six months?
Unless there is a compelling reason to change our behavior right now, especially if the behavior includes discomfort, very little happens.
Goals are often based on creative thinking and the world’s mental institutions are filled with creative thinkers.
No, unless we based our action on existing and present need, nothing really changes.
Unfilled goals create a feeling of inadequacy which is far more damaging towards the probability of our success.
What do you urgently need and want today?
Truthfully, what actions do you need to take to fulfill those needs right now?
Our participants get this distinction! Our community is filled with thousands of people who’ve landed dream jobs, launched new companies, found their life partners, become soul mates and live the lives the are meant to have.
None of that happens in the future because no matter how hard we ever try, all that we have is right now.
I hope you get the gentility of this message without having to experience a few more brushes with mortality.
You don’t have December 31st, 2015. You have January the 2nd.
What will you do to change your life today?
What is worth the discomfort?
Let’s stop playing games! Or, at the very least, perhaps we can have more fun with them.
All the best,
President & Founder
P:  (310) 277-4850

January 10 & 11
At the beautiful Luxe Summit Hotel (Los Angeles)
For the vast majority of us, work is the biggest relationship that we have.
We spend most of our hours getting ready for, driving to, being at, coming home and recovering from work.
Inspired Work’s entire purpose is to improve our relationship with work and hence, our entire lives.
  • We serve the father who is backed into a corner with work that he doesn’t like; the father who does it because he believes he has no option except to keep showing up. We serve the father who finds that life purpose and happiness in one weekend and the children? He ends up becoming their greatest role model.
  • We serve that brilliant young man who thinks he is stuck as a “gopher.” Three months after the program, he gets his first film deal. Today, he has a gopher.
  • We serve the hard charging career professional who “has it all” except meaning and purpose. She finds the life she was meant to have and has been living it ever since.
  • We serve the loyal employee who did everything by the book as the world changed around her, who realizes in just 48 hours, she has what it takes. She takes off. Now, she changes the world.
  • We serve the powerhouses who are always looking for a competitive edge and a richer, more satisfying life; the ones who come in the door to work on their goals and end up married and with children. We call it irrevocable happiness. 
  • We serve the workers who have been on the market looking for “anything” only to realize that when they commit to their destiny, it appears.
  • We serve the career climber who realizes she will never be happy as long as she has to follow orders. She walks out of the room as a new business owner.
  • We serve the executive who’s been boxed into a corner until it dawns on him that a solution was always there. So, everyone wins.
  • We serve the Baby Boomer who just retired and wants a fresh and exciting new life. This is the one who walks in with “option paralysis” and emerges a community leader.
  • We serve the organizations that want a fully engaged workforce, where everyone is accountable for involvement, enthusiasm an collective support.
  • We serve the unhappy attorney who wanted to be a rocket scientist and ends up…a rocket scientist.
  • We serve that worker who got laid off and found his life’s work.
  • We serve the most discerning fans of human potential.

About your facilitator – David Harder:

“David served as more than a career coach, although that was my initial interest in seeking his counsel. His has a unique gift (process) to bring your dreams to the forefront (regardless of how hidden or unreachable they may seem). Once your “greater good” comes into focus, the path is cleared for your success. One workshop and one private session and I was on my way to a new, exciting and rewarding next phase of my professional life.”
Rita Soza – Professor – Mira Costa College
“What differentiates David and his organization, Inspired Work, from others is unique-content focused on whole person development. They help individuals and organizations establish newer, healthier relationships that result in greater engagement and productivity. I would recommend them to executives who have the courage to address the attract/develop/retain challenge with new thinking, new tools, and a new language.”
Glenn Rosen – VP – Talent Management YP
“David and I met on tour years ago, peddling our first books. Since then I’ve seen him help launch many careers. David’s like a heat-seeking missile for finding and fostering a person’s destiny. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s brilliant!”
Linda Sivertsen – Bestselling Author / Book Auteur

The program fee is:  $800
To enroll or discuss your needs, please call (310) 277-4850.
Visit us on the web at

  When you participate in Inspired Work, you become a member of a unique community filled with individuals building unique and vital careers. You get to join us in events such as this:

Thought Revolution
“What Happened to Me!”
January 20, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Join us for an exciting evening that will give you opportunities to network, meet other graduates and experience a wonderful presentation by Bill Donius – bestselling author of “Thought Revolution – How to Unlock Your Inner Genius.”  
Copies of Bill’s book will be available for signing.
Here is the agenda:
Get personally introduced by Inspired Work to the alumni members who could most benefit you.
What Happened to Me!
Experience our new video featuring graduates from all over the world tell amazing stories of what happened since they participated in Inspired Work.
We will select individuals from the audience to come up to the podium and share their stories as well. We are proud of all that our participants are doing with their lives. 
Thought Revolution – Unlock Your Inner Genius – Bill Donius
Leonardo da Vinci could write with one hand at the same time he would draw with the other. Imagine what you might accomplish if you trained yourself to use your whole mind.
Bill, former CEO of Pulaski Bank became interested in right brain development. The pursuit brought so much to his life that he created a method that gives us “creativity on demand.”
As work gets handed off to software and cheap outsourcing, the need to develop right brained work grows every single day. What we most love about Bill’s work is that he embraces the left brain as well (logic, critical thinking, black & white). 
Most everyone who experiences his sessions walks away with a “big idea.” Expect the same during what will be an engaging evening.
If you would like to attend and are not an alumni member, come to the next Inspired Work Program. Our tribe offers many benefits.
Reservations:  (310) 277-4850
Program fee:  $35/person

Enroll by calling (310) 277-4850.
Visit us on the web at