Someone recently asked me to write a goal setting post as a follow-up to my Empowering Others article. Goal setting is a tricky undertaking and there are far more nuances than I will be able to cover in this article. Here, though, are a few thoughts as you layout your milestones for success.
Congruency to Your Mission or Mantra
Do you have a mission statement? Do you have a mantra? If not, get one! Either of these tools can serve as a focal point and grounding exercise when faced with tough decisions and questions about direction. Stephen Covey loves mission statements. Guy Kawasaki prefers mantras. The choice is yours and there are plenty of tools out there for developing both. Your goals should be an immediate reflection of your mission or mantra. After you write a goal set it next to your statement and see if it matches up. If it does, great move forward. If not rework the goal to be congruent with your mission or mantra.
Note: You may have different missions and/or mantras for different parts of your life, i. e. Family, Work, Hobbies / Interests etc . Be sure that each goal is matched up to the correct mission or mantra. Some goals may correlate to a hybrid of two or more of these.
Every goal needs a set list of criteria. There are a number of methods for evaluating the criteria. Some people rely on SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). Others focus on large goals then break them down into manageable chunks. Some people freeze up if they dont have a metric to measure the goal against. Whatever your criteria are make sure that you are consistent. In the case of goal setting consistency is more important than design as most of the designs are essentially very similar.
Develop A Plan of Action
Unless you actually do anything about them your goals are simply just academic exercises. Thus, an intrinsic and vital part of goal setting is determining the related and required action steps that will lead to successful completion of the goal. There is a famous quote Plan your work and work your plan. This is great advice.
Evaluate and Rework
It is important to work your plan. However , some of the best laid plans turn out to be total duds when applied to real world settings. Furthermore, some are adequate but lack the sight of unanticipated situations. Therefore , it is important to reevaluate in set time intervals, or when urgent, to determine effectiveness. If necessary rework these plans for successful goal completion.
Admittedly, the preceding tenets are but a few in the myriad of ideas surrounding goal setting. However , if you can carry a few of these suggestions in mind as you approach your goals you should have a clearer picture of where you want to go and how to get there.