Goals Without Plans = Dreams
By Gail Doby, ASID
CVO & Co-Founder, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting & Design Success University
It’s the start of a new year, and no doubt you’ve already spent some time thinking about goals you’d like to accomplish for yourself and your business in the months ahead. Good, now it’s time to transform those thoughts into actions. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself a year from now reflecting on how the time has flown by and you haven’t accomplished nearly as much as you’d hoped to.
It’s great to have dreams. They allow us to imagine how we can make ourselves and our lives even better. But they will stay dreams and not become reality if we don’t take the necessary steps to make them happen. That requires setting goals and then developing plans to reach those goals.
To create a meaningful plan you have to start with realistic, concrete, achievable goals. The more specific you can be about what you want to accomplish and by when the better your chances are of achieving that goal. For that reason, I recommend limiting yourself to no more than two or three game-changing goals at a time. You don’t want to spread yourself and your resources too thin. Achievement comes through focus. Relentlessly tackle one major goal before taking on another.
Once you’ve identified and defined your goal, create a plan on how you are going to get from where you or your business is today to that goal. Just as it sounds, this means putting down on paper a step-by-step action plan. What do you need to do first so you can accomplish the second step, then from the second to the third, etc., until your goal is realized? What resources will you need at each step? Who will you need to engage to help you at each step?
Your plan can be written or visual, whatever works best for you. With plan in hand, two more things you need to do before you begin to implement it. First, determine how you are going to measure your progress and success. If you don’t track and measure your performance, all you’ve got is a wish list, not a real plan. Second, decide what you can stop doing or delegate to someone else so you have time to carry out your plan. If you try to squeeze it into an already-overfull schedule, by force of habit it will get put on the back burner and languish, instead of getting the attention it deserves.
As the old song says, wishing and hoping won’t get you anywhere. Change comes through directed effort. A plan is your roadmap to your desired future. Without it, you won’t know where you’re going or when, if ever, you’ve arrived.