The Importance of Setting Goals

As the New Year beckons, people around the world are making resolutions and setting goals. Unfortunately, research shows that only eight percent of these goals will be kept or met. Whether running a major dive center or resort, or simply considering taking the step from divemaster to instructor, PADI Members are only going to succeed if they’re part of that eight percent.

Here are a few ways to make sure that’s you:

check-1Start today. Running a dive business keeps you busy. There’s always something that demands your immediate attention, and the temptation is to wait until there’s a perfect uninterrupted window to sit down and carefully consider business and personal goals. Sounds nice, but think back and try to identify the last time you had such a window. I’m willing to bet it was the summer after you graduated from secondary school. The solution is to start now and keep at it – one small step at a time.

check-2Keep at it. The 92 percent who fail to meet their goals likely set them in the New Year and check their progress the following July. Setting and achieving goals requires constant attention and frequent adjustment. Drill down into daily, weekly, and monthly actions you can take to achieve your goals. It’s an ongoing, organic process.

check-3Write the goals down and share them. No lecture here about SMART goals or other technicalities; just a suggestion to make sure you’re not the only one who knows about them. Some people keep them posted on a “goals board” in the staff room, others use a digital equivalent to set regular reminders. One powerful option for PADI Members is to attend a PADI Business Academy and have their PADI Regional Manager help with this; Regional Managers have significant experience in the development and maintenance of growth opportunities within the industry, and their knowledge is a crucial business resource.

The real-world evidence that relates setting goals to business growth speaks for itself. A recent study of PADI Members in Japan found that members who set and stuck to their goals – they participated in PADI’s Goals for Growth program – saw an average increase in entry-level certifications of nearly 16 percent over than those who didn’t.

Even more impressive are the continuing education statistics, goal setters enjoyed increases of more than 26 percent in core curriculum and 20 percent in specialty certifications compared with members who didn’t participate in the program.

“We never really set goals like this in the past. We have seen the positive effects setting goals can bring, and we plan to continue,” said one member. “I made a specific Goals for Growth plan and checked it every day. It has been very helpful in making our business successful. Step by step, setting a Goals for Growth plan will help my business be successful,” said another.


And, from an individual member perspective, sticking to your goals can be truly life changing. One hard working diver I had the pleasure of working with recently is heading off to the Caribbean as a newly minted PADI Divemaster; careful and determined goal setting helped her balance a busy career as a freelance graphic designer with her dive education, and now she’s reaping the rewards.

Make sure you’re an eight percenter in 2017; take your first step toward setting goals today.

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