At FOCUS we spend a considerable amount of time talking about goals. On the very first day, the very first topic is “Blue Star” goals and how they relate to one‟s comfort zone. This is immediately followed by the discussion on SMART goals and how these relate to your Blue Star goals. Then on the last day of FOCUS we reinforce the SMART goal lesson with a dedicated segment to develop three SMART plans before leaving FOCUS. Therefore, the first lesson of FOCUS is about setting personal goals, and one of the last lessons at FOCUS is about setting personal goals.

Obviously we feel that this is one of the most important lessons to be learned at our FOCUS sessions. Without setting goals, an individual regresses into their personal „comfort zone‟ and they become a shell of who they could be. Setting goals is how we as humans grow. Without goals – if we mark time – we decay.

The most basic element of goal setting is the SMART plan. The SMART plan is short term – 30 to 90 days – and many times multiple SMART plans reflect stepping stones to achieving a Blue Star goal. SMART plans are not limited – you just don‟t complete three SMART plans and you‟re done for life. SMART plans are life‟s stepping stones. If you are achieving goals, regardless of how small they may be, you are growing and completing the mission of life.

If you are a FOCUS Marine, review your SMART plans. Where are you in the process? Don’t stop with just three. You should have a file folder with many different plans that reflect your growth and success. We suggest that you go back to your FOCUS workbook and review sections 4 and 5 on goal setting. Setting goals is preparing for life. There is a reason the message “Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail” is front-and-center on the book cover.