Setting Goals with the Start in Mind


Happy February! It's Day one of the second month of the new year. What have you been doing to reach your goals? Taking action? Planning? Executing? Researching? Too much Netflix & Chill? I ask you these questions because so often as we enter the new year hopeful and full of energy. We have tons of plans for our new found energy to reach our goals. I am going to be honest with you. I have made tons of plans but executed on very little. It's not for lack of wanting but for lack of timing. A lot of my goals are contingent on things outside of my control. As bad as I wanted to leap into 2016 crossing things off my list on day one. Its looking like day 32 or even day 46 of the year may be my new start date for many of my goals.  

Too often in the grand scheme of planning out our goals we forget about start dates and contingencies. I used to work as a consultant and project manager for a telecommunications company. In that role it was my job to make sure all new projects were scheduled accordingly. I usually had an idea of my due date but no one ever told me “Jeanette you need to start working on this today or in two weeks. My boss didn’t care when I started as long I didn’t miss my date and nothing else fell behind as a result.

As the project manager for your life you have to do the same thing. You have to take a minute to discover what your start dates will be and be okay with the fact that they all won’t start on 1/1. There are a lot of goal setting worksheets and planners out there. Usually there is a place to list when you want to reach a goal but it leaves little room for you to enter a start date.

Get out your plans, your goals list and fill in your start dates. Be sure to keep in mind any thing that is reliant on something else to be finished before you start. As you break your large goals down to smaller actionable steps it will be easier to move them to your daily planner.

  1. Write your list of goals. High Level.
  2. Set a reach date (if you have to adjust it later so be it)
  3. Set a start date for each goal.
  4. Break each goal down into smaller actionable steps. (with start dates)
  5. Review it monthly and move them into your planner.

Once you begin to see your staggered projects and goals it will start to look more manageable. A little less overwhelming than looking at a list of 25 plus things that are all due at the end of the year. Also, there will be less guilt if you can't start certain things right away.

Please, let me know if this small change to planning your goals has helped you get refocused. I know it has for me and I am even more excited and optimistic about reaching my goals for 2016.

Stay focused, don't give up. Bonus: find you an accountability partner / group.

Until Next Time, Peace Peace!

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