Now that I have passed the Christmas season and am are approaching the New Year, it is time to end 2015 with a practical plan for attainment of those abandoned goals. Hopefully you have completed your self evaluation, I certainly have, and you are now ready to take advantage of those two hours of planning.
I chose two hours of planning time because I excel at short spurts of planning – this is an important lesson you learn while partaking in on the job mommy training. Two hours undisturbed is a luxury that I try to embrace every chance I get. I have learned that I can accomplish a lot of things in 2 hours when I put my mind to it. However, my 2 hour rule was originally created as a way to ensure that my mind wouldn’t begin to wander away from the purpose of my activity. I have asked friends how much time they spend planning various tasks and two hours seems to be an appropriate amount of time for a quick strategy session.
Now it’s time for me to introduce one of my favorite goal attainment strategies. I do not consider myself an expert on the subject of goal setting as broad and varied with multiple books written about the topic. I think my strategy is pretty simple and hopefully at least one or more of the steps can assist you.
Five Steps to Outcome Planning
1. Outcome Mentality
You did the hard part and identified why the goal is important, now its time to stop referring to the goal and start thinking of it as an outcome. This makes it more realistic in my mind and allows me to focus on the process I have put together instead of the goal.
2. Identify Barriers
I always identify those things which could be hindering my path to my final outcome. These are my obstacles to success and the must be removed so I can make momentum. I give myself a few minutes to jot down the barriers that could hinder that outcome. Some examples include tendency to procrastinate, dislike of the gym, no one to hold me accountable, minimal financial resources.
From my barriers list, I begin to identify what my strategy will be to remove each of the barriers indicated. Opportunities for the removal of my identified barriers is important because if I overlook them, I am leaving them myself open for these to continue to be potential roadblocks. By creating a strategy for each barrier, I acknowledge that this is an important step that must be addressed so that I don’t fall into a pattern of no progress.
Dislike of the gym = Walk my dog twice a day, Walk four laps around the park while the kids plan, have 30 minute dance offs with the kids.
Minimal Financial Resources = $30 improvement fund, coffee at home, take my lunch
I always identify external resources I may need to access in order to increase my ability achievement of the outcome within my target time frame. I also look for things I will need to do in order to utilize those resources once obtained. Needs are the most important feature of my planning session. This tells me how I will spend the money I have invested into my improvement fund or whether I will need to alter my barriers or strategy. The needs becomes the foundation of my overall plan of action and creates ladder steps along the way which allow me to see my growth.
Overall the four steps are not interdependent but I have found that when used together, they provide me with a means in which to determine if this is the outcome I am sincerely interested in. If after these steps, I still have doubts about the possibility of success then it goes back into the abandoned pile never to be seen again.
This is my plan and it works for me. Hopefully, it will help someone else who might be facing a few challenges in their attainment of goals. I would love to hear about your strategy, leave me a comment about how you ensure that you attain your goals.
Til next time,
“An average person with average talents and ambition and average education, can outstrip the most brilliant genius in our society, it that person has clear, focused goals” – Mary Kay Ask