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Goals & Priorities
Goals: A goal is a pre-determined result.
Something you intend to achieve over the long term.
Priorities: A priority is a ranking.
(1-2-3 and A-B-C, etc. of your daily tasks so the tasks related to your most important goals become your top priorities.)
Our goals provide our direction. Until we have established our goals much of our activity is pointless. Without goals, we have no reason to organize, ourselves and our time because we’re not going anywhere in particular. It then makes no difference how long anything takes. Every activity is of equal value.
But once we have identified our goals, we are able to judge the effectiveness of or time choices. Did our choices make real progress toward our goals - or were they distractions?
Goals and time are your keys to success. You achieve success as defined in your goals - through the medium of time. Nothing approaches the motivating power of setting demanding goals and then systematically measuring progress toward achieving them.
If you don’t manage your time, you’ll never achieve your goals. But if you don’t have goals, you don’t need time, because you aren’t going anywhere. Top goal achievers are always top time managers.
Goal setting is a common denominator of effective individuals and organizations. Weekly goal setting will help ensure that you devote time to your first things – your important things.
Weekly goals contribute to the achievement of your personal mission. To help you identify your weekly goals, ask yourself: What is the most important thing I could do in each role this week to have the greatest positive impact?
Weekly goals are not typical “to dos” or daily action items, but represent activities such as relationship building, planning, preparation, personal development, and personal renewal. They are important, but not necessarily urgent.
Goethe is quoted as saying: “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least!”
Characteristics of Effective Goals
Effective goals share the following seven characteristics:
I. Owned by those affected
Goals which are defined by those who are effective are much more likely to be carried out with enthusiasm and commitment. People have a better understanding of a goal when they have participated in its development. They are also far more motivated to carry it out.
When people in organizations together develop goals consistent with their mutual success, they have taken the first step toward highly effective time management. They have created a standard for evaluating whether or not their is activities make sense in whether or not their use of time makes sense.
Goals that are not demanding are barely goals at all. Nothing is more motivating than setting demanding goals that reflect your values and then figuring out how to achieve them systematically.
Goals must be feasible enough for you to achieve them. If you set goals that are so unrealistic you have no hope of attaining them, you set yourself up for frustration and failure. However, if you have an “impossible dream” that you really want, don’t abandoned it. Break it up into smaller, more realistic, attainable goals and begin achieving them, one at a time.
Your goals must be measurable so you can judge your progress so you know when you have succeeded. Measuring progress is also an excellent motivator and enables you to correct your course when necessary.
V. Given Deadlines
Goals need deadlines. Otherwise, they will be shifted aside to whatever seems pressing at the moment.
Goals should be written so they won’t be forgotten. One person said “Out of sight, out of mind.” Another reminded us that “The palest ink is better than the best memory.”
Goals must be flexible enough to accommodate changing conditions.
About the Author: Pj GermainPerformance Consulting
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