How to attain goals?
Never to set a goal means never to attain one. No goal means no success. And it is much the same if You persue unclear goals. A goal, which is not plain and clear, is difficult to attain. Setting yourself goals is one of the most important things in life. Setting goals properly is a fundamental method for success.
How to set goals?
Setting a goal is one of our most important thought-processes because only clear objectives can be achieved. Consider the following points:
- Formulate your goal concisely like an advertising slogan
- Write your goal down
- Formulate your objective in a way that you can determine definitely whether it was really achieved. A deadline is an important part of this.
- For great objectives add
- Personal motives
- Required uitilities
- Affected and involved people
- A list of everything that should be avoided
- Split your major objective in a multitude of smaller sub-goals. Each of them should be formulated in the above-mentioned way itself. An objective is more than the sum of its partitions such as a bag of feathers will never replace the wings of an eagle. Sub-goals are not meant to be a list, but an outline and a network of causes and effects.
How to make clear objectives from this?
A well set goal is not always clear. Clear objectives do not come out of the blue. A simple example: “Until the end of May, I want to have a lovely garden pond.” Sounds good. But what does your instinct say? Someone who is well versed in gardening would probably grab a shovel and start to dig. But people like me? There is so much, that I cannot overlook: Where to start? How big? How deep? Which shape? Which plants? And what kind of fish? What about the filtration of the water? Which pumping power? Solar panels? Fountains? How much will it cost? How to plant the surroundings? And how to get the whole thing sealed? How do I prevent kids from falling in? … And one starts to think: A garden pond would have been nice, but this is too complicated and too much work anyway.
If such easy goals make me react like this, what about inscrutable and complex things then? How can I improve this? Of course, I realize: If I want to see clearer, then I will need a simple tool. Like a bricklayer needs a folding rule and like a sailor needs a telescope.
How to start achieving objectives?
Compare a great goal with a heavy bunch of colored crayons. It consists of many individual parts. It is impossible to break the whole bunch at once. But you can break every crayon on its own. This is exactly how a great objective can be achieved. Step by step.
Time-management means clarifying the goals, sub-goals and details. The clarifying process directly leads us to planning of concrete tasks: Which are the main tasks to be done in order to attain the goal? Which sub-tasks result from them? Where do I start?
In our example above, a main task could be: “Planning the technical equipment”. Immediately I recognize that I can’t do that. But what I can do is “Collect information about pumping systems”, “Collect information about filtration systems”, “Collect information about fountains”. Evaluating information is something, I am good at. And at once, planning the technology of the pond seems to be practicable.
Very important: The clarification process is some kind of outliner structure. Everytime we are confronted with a task that cannot be executed immediately, we formulate sub-tasks or even sub-tasks of sub-tasks until every step seems to be plausible and manageable.
Time-management and task-planning immingle. The task “Collect information about pumping systems” has to be done to make my goal clearer: “For my pond, I want a pump with 40 Watt and solar panels that can energize both the pumping and the filtration system.” Setting clear objectives and achieving them is a proceeding thought-process.
Which utilities support the achievement of your objectives?
The possibility to plan and achieve greater goals in our minds is limited. Therefore, people have invented and improved very diverse planning utilities. The most important tools are:
- An Outliner: a mechanism to rearrange big, untransparent goals into small, clearly formulated, directly executable tasks
- A direct link to associated documents and additional information
- A sophisticated priority system. Both the logical arrangement of tasks and the daily execution should be controlled in order of priority
- Planning in two directions: From the logical arrangement of goals and tasks, a view on the daily execution and the calendar is required. And the other way round: From every single sub-task of sub-task, you have to be able to see its meaning in the context of the entire project
- Control of continuation: After the execution of a certain task the next task has to be found and get going in order of priority
The practical point of view
Life is not a textbook. Starting with the above said, You might decide for simple keywords instead of "will-forming" phrases and mix goals, ideas and information arbitrarily. Look at this outline for a simple energy savings plan for somebodys home.