It is important to set goals. Whether long-term or short-term, they give us the objectives that we need for any given project or task and are an effective tool for making progress happen. This is why it is important that you set goals that work. I use the following criteria to gauge my goals. How do yours measure up?
Realistic – In order for a goal to succeed, that goal needs to be something that’s realistically achievable. This is not to say no one should set any unachievable goals. In fact, I thoroughly encourage the setting such lofty goals as a means of continued improvement. But, in the case of milestones, it is important that we set goals that can actually be met. This means that a successful result can be measured once that goal is achieved and that the goal can be accomplished within the timeframe we established.
Heard – Like horns, goals are more useful if they are heard. Therefore, we should communicate the goals that we wish to set. Otherwise, in the case of a group goal, how is anyone going to know what to strive for or what to do for that matter? In the case of a personal goal, making our goals public reinforces the need for us to complete those tasks. When other people are able to see whether or not we are achieving our goals, we are more motivated not to let them down.
Bold – Being “bold” is part of following the B.A.C.O.N. principle. In the case of goal setting, we should remember not to set our goals based on our current constraints. Imagine ourselves at our destination and work our way back to the present. Try to see what it will take to get us to your destination and set our goals accordingly. Again, being bold is not being rash. It’s okay to take big changes, not stupid ones.
Flexible – Because we need to be bold and forward thinking in our goals, we cannot always predict everything that will happen during our attempt to achieve those goals. Keeping our goals flexible gives us the ability to adjust to any situation that comes up. This doesn’t mean, however, that we are allowed to alter our goals every time we fail to reach an achievable milestone. It just means that if unforeseen events occur, we can make adjustments to our schedule or alter our goals so as not to derail the entire project.
Need to be Worked On – I cannot stress this one enough. We actually need to work on the goals that we have set. Procrastination has a nasty way of creeping into our life. Individually, we must all find out what it takes for us to remain focused, disciplined, and regimented when it comes to working on our goals. We should reward ourselves when we reach our milestones and communicate to others when those goals have been met. And if we need help, we can set priorities or have someone set them for us. And remember to delegate tasks, not relegate them.