personal development and self empowerment

           Goal Setting - In Theory
                and In Practice

   Creating a clear vision of what we want to accomplish in a business plan involves the cardinal task of establishing goals.

   Setting goals doesn't appear to be that difficult. You establish a specific goal, one that's measurable and has a defined timeframe for completion.

   You implement the plan, measure progress towards reaching the goal and then evaluate the outcome objectively to refine the process.

   On the surface, it sounds easy enough to do.

   But it rarely seems to work out that way for numerous reasons; primarily because we often fail to establish realistic goals.

  Additionally, we often casually set goals with only a hazy view towards how they'll actually be accomplished. And while we're typically motivated at the beginning of the process, it's not at all unusual to lose this drive somewhere along the way.

   When preparing your own goals, it's important to first understand that every goal must be realistic and readily achievable, given an appropriate amount of time and resources.


For example, setting a goal to earn $25,000 per month within three months, when your present earnings are less than $1,000, is probably unrealistic. On the other hand, setting an ongoing goal to increase your earnings by 5% or 10% per month is not only realistic, but more likely to be achievable.

Task Scheduling  

 Upon defining a goal you believe you can attain, the next step is to break it down into smaller, manageable tasks and schedule them in sequence (assuming one task depends on the completion of another). Before defining the target date for completing the overall goal, be certain that each task is given a reasonable amount of time for completion and allow the sum of the tasks to define the completion date. This is much more realistic than arbitrarily selecting a target or completion date.

Project Management

   If your project is going to take a significant length of time, schedule regular progress reviews, even if you're the only one involved. For example, scheduling time every Friday afternoon to review your progress and make any necessary adjustments will keep your goals current. Don't be surprised when something unexpected interferes with your scheduling. It's not at all uncommon. Just identify some way to compensate for the delay.

Don't become too involved in the mechanics of managing your progress - this could lead to consuming more time than you are spending on actually doing the things that are required to accomplish your goal.

   For a simple project, a basic spreadsheet will often suffice. For larger scale management, a variety of goal or project management software exists, usually scalable for most organizations.

   Aside from actually working the process towards eventually realizing your goal, a valuable final step is to evaluate the overall process and your performance. This should be done objectively and regarded as a learning opportunity, one that will help you to improve your performance the next time.

   With proper planning, setting realistic goals will benefit you and your business, especially if you streamline the goal management process for yourself

Richard Rossbauer

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"What lies behind us and what lies before us are
                     tiny matters compared to what lies within us

- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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