Thursday, January 7, 2010

Steps 4 and 5 - Set a Date and Be Accountable

Do you make goals that drag on for decades?  I do.  I have one which is going on 4 years right now.  I can't even explain the guilt I feel every time I think about it, and yet it still isn't finished.  You think I would get on the ball, but alas, it drags on and on...

We have talked about goals for the last few days and there has been a lot of advice thrown around.  We talked about figuring out what needs to be changed and why you want to change it.  We talked about defining the steps to accomplish your goals. Now it is time to talk about assigning yourself a schedule and adding some accountability.

Having steps outlined to complete a goal is only exciting if you have a deadline to complete those steps.  For example, I could want to be a pilot, and I may determine I need to go to flight school, but if I never enroll in flight school I haven't accomplished much.

Another example is organization.  How many times have you decided to clean out the junk drawer?  How many times have you put it off? How many times have you looked at the junk drawer and thought, "Gee, I really should get to that," and then promptly ignored it?  (Don't look over your shoulder, I am talking to you...yes, you.)

So how do you pick a deadline?  Sometimes the answer is obvious. "I must clean the bathroom before my mother-in-law arrives."  I have a clear and exact deadline.  (By a raise of hands, who here hasn't run in to clean the bathroom just as the mother-in-law is arriving? hmmm?) 

Sometimes the deadlines are not as obvious.  "I will finish this quilt before my child leaves for college... in 15 years." That deadline may not be as satisfying. Or, maybe your deadline is crisis based, "I will fill out my Prepared Binder before there is an emergency." (Not like you know when that is going to happen.) 

If your deadline has the words "after things calm down" in the definition there is a high likelihood you will never finish that goal. There is a high likelihood you will never even start that goal.

Pick a time, maybe even give it a date and stick to it.  While I understand life tends to get in the way of the best laid plans, it is better to adjust the schedule than to never of had one.

Once you have that schedule and you are committed to it you need to be accountable.  For some people it is enough to just say they will do it.  Others need someone to check up on them.  Weight Watchers and similar groups make their money by holding people accountable to their goals. Figure out what works for you and take care of it.  Knowing you will finish the goal because someone else is rooting for you can be an amazing motivator.

There you have it, a plan to make and achieve goals in 2010. As we have previously noted, the steps are:

1) Figure out what you want to change.
2) Determine why you want to change it.
3) Determine the steps to make change happen.
4) Assign a time to complete this goal.
5) Find accountability for your goal. 

So go forth and set goals.  Then go forth and achieve them.  I would be excited if you told me a few of your current goals and how you are doing. It is always nice to enjoy the successes of others.  Happy New Year!

No comments:

Post a Comment