There is a lot on how to obtain and write goals. This post will attempt to take the best out there and consolidate it to an easy to read post. The goal (pun intended) of this post is for you to go and write meaningful goals that will help you in your pursuit of leadership, purpose, and overall sanity as you navigate through life.
The best I have read on this topic is in Brian Tracy's excellent book Goals, you can click here for the PDF of the book notes.
What does a good GOAL look like?
Michael Hyatt once wrote: “You have a choice in life. You can either live on-purpose, according to a plan you’ve set. Alternatively, you can live by accident, reacting to the demands of others. The first approach is proactive; the second reactive.”
A person with goals is a person with purpose. Life does not happen by accident. To use Brian Tracy's words, most people do not just throw themselves at life like a dog chasing a passing car. A real goal is three things:
What gets measured gets done. How can you manage something when it is not measured? Where is the end for your goal? If you are unable to know where the finish line is how do you know how to get there, at what pace, and when you have finished the race? Creating goals that you can cross off the list and build off of will give you the greatest chance of accomplishing your task.
Put your pride and ego aside, receive some hard feedback from a trusted advisor, be humble, then remember that the Goal is what is important, not how you got there. Being a leader that is flexible allows others to help with this shared goal. Their contribution will speak volumes into your leadership and overall success.
You should be able to describe your goal to someone else. It is easily understood and tangible. It may be large. However, if understood it will be shared by others, and more hands make the work light.
So what Goals do you want to create?
Consider the following questions when creating your goals:
What do you want to do with your life?
What do you want to do with your day?
Are your goals in line with your values?
What one goal if accomplished who have the greatest impact on your life right now?
Knowing what I know now, is there anything that I am doing today that I would not do again?
What are my natural talents and gifts?
What do I do poorly that interferes with my ability to use my other skills?
What one skill, if you developed and were excellent at it would have the most positive impact on your career at work or school?
Top 10 Goals for the Year
Write Down ten goals for the year. These goals must be in positive, present, and in a personal tone. They need to be real to you when you read them. Read them and re-write them every day as you enter your office or school for the first time. Re-focus your purpose and attention to why you are there. Go further and make a list of three goals that you will focus on these next couple months.
Still having trouble?
Writing goals is not a simple task. Consider the four questions below when thinking about your goals.
1. Why do they pay me?
2. What are my highest value activities?
3. What can I and only I do, that if done well will make a real difference to my company?
4. What is the most valuable use of my time, right now?