Writing Goals Part 2
From previous page, How do you eat an
elephant? One spoonful at a time.
4 - Timing
Putting real dates as deadlines for completing activities increases your success rate. Get out your diary or calendar and have a look at your existing time commitments. Be realistic.
A friend loved to go to the theatre but always forgot to book tickets in advance. As a result, they missed special offers, got the worst seats or missed the show, all of which they complained about. A desire to be ‘spontaneous’ led to a lack of organisational skills that was causing them to fail at their goal of seeing shows.
If you suspect you may have similar tendencies, don’t panic, help is at hand. Some people are naturally organised – to spot them, check out their CD collection. If it’s neatly lined up in alphabetical order, then you may want to get some tips from them!
These lucky people will find “doing” their goals much easier as they are skilled in organising themselves. For the rest of you, organising your time is a learnable skill (there are hundreds of Time Management gurus after all) so work hard at it, keep focussed and avoid distractions in order to increase your goal achievement success.
5 - Self AssessmentTop Tip – Do some research on the widely used Myers-Briggs personal preference profile. Take a free online profile, or there are many fee paying sites that offer a personalised summary.
In this context, the important Myers-Briggs dimension is your personal preference for organising yourself and information. At one extreme is the “Judgement” (J) personality where events and activities are planned and executed with military precision, and at the other is the “Perceiving” (P) personality that cruises along seeking distractions and pulls all-night sessions to complete goals on time. Most Myers-Brigg’s sites or books include tips and activities to improve the non preferred profile – so all you “P’s” will find tips to improve your “J” skills.
As with all such models, Myers-Briggs is only that – a model, but it can be helpful in identifying your areas of potential development!
When considering a goal, it is a good idea to examine both your ability and enthusiasm for it.
Tasks that require you to learn a new skill require a different approach than a task you know how to do. There is no need to worry because any gaps in ability or enthusiasm can be closed by appropriate activities. This self-assessment has a direct link to personal development planning (see the Project You Personal Development Plan guide), and with goal achievement itself.
Go through each task in turn and ask yourself the following questions. If any of the elements is missing or low, then you can say you have low ‘skill’ or ‘will’ in that area. If this is the case, then consider how you can close that gap, and plan it in as a task.
- have I been taught to do this?
- do I see this as my role?
- do I know how to do this?
- have I successfully done this, or something similar, before?
- do I want to do this? Is it in line with my personal values?
- what’s in it for me?
- what is the risk of failure? Am I okay with taking that level of risk?
- do I think I can do it?
6 – ResultsTop Tip - If you would like to research this model further, suggested reading includes “The One Minute Manager” by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson and other books on Situational Leadership.
This is a practical, objective approach and an honest self-assessment will maximise to your goal achievement. A tradesman has to purchase or hire special tools to do some jobs, so why shouldn’t you? Admitting you don’t know how to do something or that you are scared of doing it is not an admission of weakness. It just means you haven’t got the tools… yet.
A useful resource in this area is the free self confidence course from Uncommon Knowledge.
As you progress, note your key results and update your goal sheet on a regular basis. A quick review of the tasks, timing and self-assessment will enable you to make any necessary changes.
Allowing yourself the flexibility to change, whilst keeping true to the main objective will boost your success rate more than sticking doggedly to your original plan.
Now take a look at the following Example Goal Sheet to give yourself a template for setting your own goals…
Next, Goal Worksheet
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