Setting Goals

January 25, 2008 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

So I have taken a few days off in the life plan series I have been writing, I’ve been a little busy and blogging and sharing this information is not one of my priorities but something I do for fun and maybe to help others who might bounce across my website.  So setting goals is the next step in creating a life plan which really is part of the New Year’s resolution fad that has been going on for many years.  OK, maybe it’s more than just a fad maybe it’s more like tradition or something, I really don’t know what you’d call it.  Setting goals isn’t difficult once I get started but it’s where to start and under what areas of my life should I establish goals. 

Well the easiest place for me to start is I take my values/priorities that I just listed out and I try to set a goal for each one, maybe several under a particular one.  So if I have 7 priorities in my life then I should have written down at least 7 goals, maybe up to 21, that’s not too many, right?  The amount of goals you write out is exactly up to you but if you cannot come up with a goal under a certain value then maybe what you think are your priorities in your life may not be so much a priority and its time to go back and relook at your priorities.  As far as my 21 goals I have written out I like to set my goals in this manner, I set a short term goal (maybe one month out) and then I set a mid-term goal, something that would last about a quarter of a year or 3 months, and then an annual goal something that I don’t see as an atainable goal within a year.  That way I have small easily reachable goals to keep myself motivated, medium goals that I will have to work for but will still see the fruits of my labor, and then major goals which will keep me looking toward the future.  As far as goals go I try and review all my goals and set where I am at in reaching them and establish new goals every quarter.  So on the first day of each season or sometime during that period I review my goals and set new ones. 

Now for the big thing that is probably the most important part of this entry is in what type of goals to set.  You have your categories of goals, about how many you want to set, and the timeline for the goals.  Now the hard part come in making sure your goal is measureable or quantitative.  There needs to be a set standard that you can see and say that yes this goal was met or this goal was not met.  The second thing is there needs to be some sort of timeline or some time limit on when the goal either has or has not been met.  For example, people establish New Year’s resolutions like this; “I’m going to lose weight”.  Okay that’s a great goal but it doesn’t say anything how do you know if you’ve met your goal?  I can get the flu and lose maybe 5 pounds one week from being sick, that’s great, I lost weight, my goal has been met, right?  No.  The goal should be measureable; “I want to lose 15 pounds”.  Okay, now I can measure that goal I know for certain whether or not I have lost or not lost 15 pounds.  The next thing is the goal needs to have a timeline set for it to know whether you are on track or not on track.  “I want to lose 15 pounds by the first of June”.  BAM!  That’s a great goal, I know when the specific time is whether or not I have met my goal or not.  Now that I know I have to have 15 pounds off by the first of June I know that, hey I need to lose 1 pound a week, or however much it is.  I can measure myself in March now and see, oh I have 8 pounds to go, I am right on target to lose 15 pounds by the first of June.  Another popular goal I hear a lot is to start going to the gym or to start reading.  Again, great goals, but don’t they sound better if established like this; My goal is to go to the gym 3 days a week for an hour or I’m going to read 1 book a month.  These are still good goals, on a weekly basis I can say whether that goal was met or not, at the end of each month I know whether or not I am meeting my goal of a book per month.  It makes setting the goal more difficult to figure out how to do this, for instance I want to be a better friend this year.  How in the world can I make that a measureable timelineable goal?  Well, how much time do I spend with friends right now?  Oh well I see them once a month.  There we go now let’s say I want to be a better friend by spending some time with my friends twice a month.  There it is measureable by the spending time with them and it’s set on a time line by twice per month.  I think I am starting to beat a dead horse here.

So I’ve talked about the importance of setting goals, to meet your life plan purpose.  I’ve talked about setting goals based on your priorities and values.  I also stated about reviewing goals on a consistent basis, I do it quarterly, you  may want to do it more or less often.  I’ve talked about how to set goals and how to ensure they are good goals.  Just remember when setting goals you can start out making sure they are easily reachable if it’s a new concept for you, but as you grow, continue to make the goals more difficult to reach.  This will create personal growth.  I wish you the best of luck in setting your goals are you continue to work in creating your life plan.

Next entry I will be discussing the 80-20/20-80 principle and how I think it works into your life plan.

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Entry filed under: personal.

Weekly Weigh-in (258.6) The 80/20 Rule

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