We are halfway through the month. Some of us are amazed at how much we have accomplished. Some of us are amazed at how fast the time seems to be traveling. But we are all two weeks older and our behavior during the last two months has determined our status today. That is how life works. Either we die or we keep on living. And we are alive - hopefully doing some new things, thinking some new thoughts or pursuing some new dreams. The major accomplishment should be a new appreciation for goals.
Before I begin to describe how to manage the process of reaching goals, I want us to review what we have done and to spend some time analyzing the results.
I have stated that we are much more successful when we have written goals. I have also stated that our written goals should be divided into five categories in order to have a snapshot for complete life. Those five categories are: Personal, Intellectual, Career/Vocational, Financial and Spiritual. I have spent the last few entries offering brief descriptions and examples for each of these categories. The objective is to write down two or three specific items under each category in order to flesh out the outline of our goals.
This strategy assumes that we can fit all of this information on one side of one sheet of letter size paper. Whether we are planning for three weeks, three months or three years, there is value in being able to see our entire lives on one side of one sheet of paper. When we do that, we are able to see our goals in proximity to each other and analyze their potential impact on each other. This is vitally important!
It is critical to remember that great goals can conflict with each other if we are not careful to consider the goals as a whole. A friend of mine once shared with me that she had the goals of paying off all of her debt, going back to college as a full time student and quitting her job in order to have time for school. These were all great goals but it was not feasible that she would be able to quit her job and pay all of her bills also. But she had never considered the conflict that existed between those two admirable goals. She had actually created a plan for failure.
And this happens much more than we might imagine. Good people with meaningful goals fail to consider them as a whole and end up accomplishing very little without ever realizing why it happens.
So lets write down our goals. If you have never done this before, I suggest that you start by focusing on a few weeks or months. After you analyze the goals you have written, you may discover a need to modify a particular goal because of its impact on another goal. Then you will be ready to develop a strategy for accomplishing your goals.