Thursday, May 15, 2008

Setting an Action Plan for Goals

I feel fortunate that I can "double dip" with the information and advice I receive from training I take for my 9 - 5 job, as it also applies and relates to running my business. Yesterday in my class we learned about setting goals and setting them in motion with an action plan. I'm guilty of setting goals, but not having an action plan to see those goals being met. This is what I learned about goal setting today.

Break down general goals...Most often, the goals I set are generalized, which could in essence be broken down into several specific goals. I have to force myself to move beyond broad topic goals and set smaller specific goals.

Dates...not just today's date, but the target date you would like to complete your goal.

Outcomes or results...determine measurable outcomes. How will you know that you accomplished the goal? What will change by accomplishing this goal?

Resources...what do you need or what is required to accomplish the goal.

Barriers...what might impact reaching the goal? What will you do to overcome those barriers/obstacles?

Steps...what is necessary to achieve the outcome. What will you do to accomplish your goal? List those who will be responsible and a timeline.

Success...how will you evaluate the success of this plan?

I can definitely see the advantages of setting goals in this format. Goals can be well thought out and broken down into smaller, more manageable pieces. While the broad goal may not be met in its entirety, a piece or two may have been and that brings you closer to reaching that much broader goal.
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