Archives For Goals

How to Plan Using Backwards Goal Setting

May 3, 2010

In project management, we plan from the desired end state.  I have found this technique helpful when it comes to planning for the goals I’ve set for my life.  Project management provides processes and structure to achieve that end state.

For example, last year I set a goal to climb Mt. Rainer this year.  I read lots of books and created a plan. This plan included a training plan, gear purchase, picking a date for the climb and making travel arrangements.  At the end of every quarter I re-evaluate my progress towards. As with my Mt. Rainier goal, it has now become a Mt. St. Helens goal. Unplanned travel for work during January and February put me too far behind to climb Mt. Rainier by the end of summer.  I either had to move the date out and change the goal.  Climbing Mt. Rainier in October seemed too dangerous for a novice climber.  Mt. St. Helens in August was the wiser choice.

  1. Set Goal
  2. Deconstruct the goal – that is list everything that needs to be done in order to reach that goal. These becomes milestones or mini-goals that you can now start working towards
  3. Order those steps in sequence.  Some may be done in parallel.  In my example, it doesn’t matter when I buy my gear to climb Mt. St. Helens.
  4. Add dates to those steps
  5. Execute
  6. Celebrate at every milestone.  You are making progress.  Even if the goal needs to be adjusted, the feeling of accomplishment will be there.

4th quarter of every year, I begin setting goals for every area of my life.  After each area has at least one goal, I then complete the above exercise.  By year’s end I have plan for the following year.  By New Year’s Day I’m ready to begin execution.

How do you create a plan to achieve your goals?

Happy New Year 2010

January 1, 2010

2009 was a great year for me.  I accomplished most of what I wanted to accomplish.  The things I didn’t accomplish were due to further research, I decided to change the goal.

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This year I launched this blog in July.  I’ve been learning a lot about social media through the process. When I started I didn’t know a blog from a website.  I was asking questions like “RSS feeds what and how?” and   “Who’s SEO and what does she do?”  I’ve been busy learning that I haven’t put forth effort into good writing and content. This is going to change in 2010.

I worked out my goals and commitments for the blog in 2010.

  1. Increase subscriptions to 1000 (see Seth Godin’s article on First Organize 1000)
  2. 1000 unique hits per day
  3. Post 3 articles per week
  4. Participate in forums related to leadership and blogging

I worked on my first editorial calendar over the Christmas weekend.  I’m excited about the topics I’ve got planned for this blog.  I’m more excited about the interaction you!

Happy New Year!  May 2010 be full of blessings and success for you!

Everyone Needs a Scarlett Moment

December 13, 2009

A Life Lesson from “Gone with the Wind”

December 15th marks the 70th anniversary of the opening of “Gone with the Wind”. It is still the all time highest grossing revenue movie ($400 million – not bad when it only cost a 25 cents to see a movie, adjusted to today’s dollars that’s $1.45 billion!)

The movie evokes many emotions. I first saw it as a little girl of 4 or 5 years old. One scene has stayed with me all these years.  I call it “The Scarlett Moment” but it’s known as the “As God as my Witness” scene.

Not only does this scene mark the beginning of intermission, it is the turning point and lowest point of Scarlett’s life. When the movie resumes, Scarlett the woman emerges: determined, fierce and yes, a tad bit unethical. Ok, very unethical and cold.  But since leaders are people of integrity, we won’t resort to the tactics she relied on! We can see what makes turning points in our lives.

  1. She’s VERY hungry – hunger is a powerful motivator.
  2. She realizes she alone is responsible for her life.
  3. She’s frustrated by her own situation and she makes the decision to never be in that situation again.
  4. She accepts that her formal southern belle life and ways would no longer work for to be successful.
  5. She never looks back and tries to recreate what once was her life.

What is it that keeps you from pursuing at all cost your dreams & fortune? Are you holding on to a way of life that no longer exists? Is it time for a turning point in your life?  Have you had your “Scarlett” moment?

As we approach the New Year, I encourage all to set goals and go after them with the determination Scarlett declared in this scene.

Why You Need A Life Philosophy

July 31, 2009

Some people will spend their entire lives looking for a purpose. While I think it’s important to have a purpose, I believe it’s more important to have a Life Philosophy: a conscious way you choose to live. Even if you don’t know your purpose, having a life philosophy can create a foundation to which your purpose can rest.  I have very simple Life Philosophy: live an intentional life.iStock_000000573793XSmall

Several years ago I looked at all my goals and I got overwhelmed. I believe in setting goals, followed by making plans to accomplish those goals. I have goals for every area of my life: financial, career, speaking, writing, health, relationships and personal development. Each area has 2-3 goals along with a plan. I’m a busy woman. I needed a way of living to accomplish everything I wanted, but not be overwhelmed. I also needed something to assist in making decisions on a daily basis. I simplified and told myself that I would live an intentional life.

Every thought and action now must have a purpose. Gone are the days that I wake up in the morning and wonder what I’m going to do that day. I rarely go to bed without knowing what the plan is for the next day. It doesn’t mean I don’t leave room for spontaneity. If the plan calls to clean the apartment in the morning, and I don’t feel like it – I’m single no kids- so there are times I don’t clean the apartment. This doesn’t mean I plop on the couch, eat junk food and start flipping through the channels. If I make a change, there’s a reason.

Anything I do adds value to my life and it builds upon something. At the moment, I may not see how it fits into a specific goal category but I rest in knowing it’s adding something. There are areas in my life that I’m not satisfied with the progress; but I am moving in the right direction and my confidence is high. This is because over time achieving goals has become a habit by simply living an intentional life.

I encourage you to spend time thinking about how you want to live your life on a daily basis that will assist with you achieving your goals.  If you develop a life philosophy, I would love to hear it.