Are Your Goals as Sweet as Halloween Candy?

Whether you’re talking personal or professional goals, they’ve got to light a fire under you the way Halloween candy motivates kids.

julia fridgeHow much time do you spend setting goals for your business and personal lives? And do you stack the deck in your favor by limiting the challenging goals so that you’ll be able to check off a lot of items with little effort? Or do you strategically set goals that challenge you, your colleagues, your family?

This photo was taken several years ago – after a successful Trick or Treating venture. Not one to be outsmarted by her Mom who had put the candy on top of the fridge for safekeeping, Julia quickly plotted her path to sugary bliss. She dragged the highchair over to the fridge, climbed up the highchair, and scaled that mountain. Execution was flawless, and the rewards were sweet.

This small act shows the power of a young child’s mind: with no fear of failure, and no obstacle too big to overcome, the strategic mind went to work. A boost from her chair was all Julia needed to begin her quest the sugar. Whatever ramifications might be in her future – falling, being caught in the act by Mom, realizing Mom had already eaten the good stuff – would not stand in her way. These risks paled in comparison to the goal of reaching that Halloween candy stash.

What do you think the world would be like if we followed Julia’s lead on a regular basis:

  • acting quickly on a hunch with the possibility we could reap a sweet reward?
  • seeking out those things that bring us joy and a sense of accomplishment?
  • throwing caution to the wind just for the heck of it?

Sure I realize we have adult responsibilities and that setting goals is a serious business. I also realize that when we bring that childlike belief that anything is possible, we can see a whole new world of opportunity. Give it a try; make sure the highchair is in place!

About Deb

Deb Nelson, principal of deb nelson consulting, is a creative storyteller. She designs and implements communication plans that leverage strategic partnerships and provide innovative solutions for her clients. You can find her on twitter at @nelliedeb.


  1. I couldn’t help but smile as I read your post and looked at the photo evidencing Julia’s ingenuity and may I add, successful goal achievement, Deb.

    I’ve often seen this ability to think things through and achieve end results in little children and animals (I wrote a blog post about Coco’s problem solving tips which was syndicated to a popular dog magazine a few years ago) but as adults, we seem to lose perspective and may I add, the skill of focus to get the end result. Perhaps, the goal isn’t sweet enough or there are competing goals?
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  2. Maybe we don’t set goals because, “setting goals is serious business”. When you are a determined youngster, you don’t think of not succeeding or obstacles. As we mature, we begin to see that reaching a goal takes steps, plans, actions. So much easier to move along from day to day, maybe even falling into the trap of believing we are moving closer to our goals. Interesting topic and presentation.

  3. Deb,

    I absolutely love the photo of Julia scaling the mountain! What a perfect visual and story to illustrate the childlike determination to reach a goal. Your title drew me in as well!

    Yes, it we would only we could all tap into our childlike belief that anything is possible, we would see a whole new world of opportunity.

    Love this, Deb. I will be sharing it!

    ~ Robin
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  4. Love the photo of Julia and love the idea of “acting on a hunch”. I would like to believe that is how I have lived my life for the last decade or so. Trusting the things that come towards me and acting on those that resonate. Although I am not an official “goal” setter, I do it in different ways every day. And as far as the big and expansive dreams, I take small actions all the time to move towards them. Whether they ultimately happen or not, is often not as important as the actions taken to move towards them. The journey not the result. Learning this one as I move through life. Thanks for another post that starts us thinking, Deb!
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  5. Hi Deb,
    This is great – I love Julia’s no fear! It’s true … kids find a way and fear is not something they let stop them. Unfortunately, I do not spend as much time as I should on goal setting; despite preaching it in my classes! I have, however, decided to take myself on as a client and do what I tell my clients to do. So now the planning, doing and measuring are happening. Thank you for the reminder that it doesn’t matter if it is personal or business – goals need to be set and action plans need to be implemented.

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  6. Hi Deb,
    I used to coach my therapists to be as inquisitive as a small child. I like how you discuss being as fearless as a small child. The goals we would accomplish if we didn’t live in or fears. Great post!
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