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11 Top Tips for defining goals


11 Top Tips for defining goals with clarity


First thing to mention here is you should leave the ‘how’ for later.  When wanting to make a difference it helps to start with the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ before considering the ‘how’.

That is, ensuring you have a strong enough reason why to make a difference and a clearly defined goal before thinking about how you might achieve this difference.


Here are some quick tips to help you when defining goals;


1. Decide what you want. This is the first step in defining goals. Rather than focusing on things that you don’t want, or things that you wish to avoid, be definite about what you do want. Ensure you turn any negatives into positives.


2. Make your goals clear. Understand that goals are simply about defining WHAT you want. Leave HOW you will go about achieving the goal until later.


3. Write your goals down. Record your written goals in a place where you will see them. This helps you to stay focused on the differences you want to make and acts as a welcome reminder when day-to-day business gets in the way.


4. Decide on your success measures. This way you will know when you have achieved your goals. Be very specific about this and describe it in detail.


5. Make your goals important. Align your work related goals to the objectives of the organisation so they are relevant to work priorities.

  • This can be particularly important at times of change - Last week's article covered "10 ways to think right during change." Check it out here.


6. Make it personal. Ensure your personal goals are aligned with your values or priorities in life so that you have a strong enough reason why to go after the end result. Examine your core values to help you define goals that are relevant. The closer your goals are to the values that you hold, the more likely it is that you will achieve them.


7. Care about your goals. Develop a strong reason why you want to achieve something. The more it matters to you, the greater your motivation will be to get started and to keep the momentum to achieve the goal.


8. If you don’t know, find out. Imagine that you do know what you want. If you are not sure what you are hoping to achieve, ask yourself the question: “If I did know what it is that I want to achieve, what could it possibly be?” Using your imagination to seek the answer to this question will give you clarity.


9. Plan to decide. Determine a specific time by when you will have decided what you want, if you are not sure now. This means that you can create a goal for yourself about defining another goal. For example; you could plan a time and date in your diary to sit down and define a work goal that you want to achieve.


10. Prepare to prove it. Imagine your goal will be audited on the exact date you specify. If you had to prove to an auditor that you have made a measurable difference, what evidence could you provide? Be really specific in your detail.


11. What, not how. Define your goals by focusing only on WHAT you want. Goal definition is all about having clarity about the specific detail of WHAT is to be achieved, so remember to leave the HOW for later.


Whether it’s daily tasks or the vision of an organisation, goal defining is an important part of any eventual success.

Contact us for a chat about how we could help to align project goals with organisation objectives to accelerate results and create sustainable continuous improvement.


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