Dr Rob: Create and Document Your Goals for 2017

posted in: blog | 0

For most of my life, I’ve used a simple goal-setting method that I learned from a colleague as a young man.

set goals concretely - write them down!
Set goals concretely – write them down!

I write my goals on index cards using this format:

  • What? The specific, measurable goals that I want to achieve and the date that I set them. (No vague dreams.)
  • By when? The date for achieving the goals. (Research shows that 90-day goals can be most effective. Longer-term ones tend to get lost; shorter-term ones come to resemble to-do lists.)
  • Why? The reason why each goal is important. What values are central to the goals?
  • How? The process, step by step, that I will use to achieve each goal.
  • Support? The people I will work with to achieve each goal.

I like this system because it’s intuitive. It follows the questions your brain would naturally ask: What do I want to do? How fast am I going to get it done? Why do I want to do it? How will I get it done? Who will help me?

Your plan doesn’t have to be hugely detailed, but you do need a plan. I have a whole box of goal cards going back to 1968. As a reminder of the goals I’ve set, I carry a folded-up index card in my wallet listing them. I add and cross off as I go.

You can find more detailed goal-setting approaches, but this low-tech version is easy and effective. And it’s easily adaptable to our microchip-driven world. Feel free to make your shoebox full of goals a digital one.

Your Assignment: Write Out Your Goals

Write out the short- and long-term goals that will get you the next steps towards your lifetime vision. Define their what, by when, why, how, and describe the support you will need to achieve them.
Prioritize and make a plan for each goal. Consider what might keep you from achieving these goals and make plans to address perceived obstacles.

Prioritize and make a plan for each goal. Consider what might keep you from achieving these goals and make plans to address perceived obstacles.

**this is an excerpt from my book Self-Aware: A Guide for Success in Work and Life.

Leave a Reply