STRATEGY 4: PLOT THE COURSE

Overview

One of the keys to successful goal-setting is writing it down. That’s one of the things we’ll be working on today.  

Welcome to day four! 

At this stage of our journey, we already have all the information we need to plot our course; we know why we are planning an exit, we know what we want,. and we’ve examined our skills and resources so we know what we have and what is required to implement our exit strategy. 

Today our focus is on plotting our course. 

Why is it important to plot my course?

Plotting your course gives you a clear map of how you are going to get from where you are now to where you want to be. If you do the work now, you don’t have to think about it when you get stuck or when circumstances change, you will merely go to your plan, review your timelines and note your next steps.

How to stay the course 

I want to take this opportunity to remind you that agility is a requirement of goal setting. We are plotting the course but we have to remember that life will throw curve balls our way, so when you are unable to complete a task or you have to shift a milestone, review your plan and amend accordingly. Don’t give up on your strategy when you face challenges. Challenges are part of the journey, this is why a growth mindset is so important. 

Goal setting techniques and models

There are many goal setting techniques and models we can use to ensure we set clear, achievable goals.

Let’s look at a technique and a model – you can then choose one that works for you.

SMART Technique:

This is the most commonly used technique. The acronym SMART describes the following and answers the corresponding question. 

S – Specific: Is your goal specific and well-defined? 

M – Measurable: Can you track your goal? Do you have measures in place to help you monitor your progress?

A – Achievable: Are your goals attainable? Can you achieve this goal within the timeline you’ve set and with the resources available to you right now? 

R – Realistic: Can you implement your goals in real life, taking into consideration your current commitments and circumstances? 

T – Timely: Does your goal have an end date or milestones with dates that provide a timeframe to achieve specific tasks and your overall goal? 

Having a timeline is important for achieving your goals. I find that when I don’t have a clear exit date then I can go in circles for months. A timeline helps me to take action consistently and to track my progress. 

If you want to try a different technique than you might want to look at the E-E-E model found on the positive psychology website, see references at the end of this lesson. This is an excerpt from the article and for me it is a more positive approach to goal setting. 

E-E-E Model Of Goal-Setting:

The E-E-E model of goal setting is a person-centered approach that describes the way a successful roadmap contributes to bringing about change.

 Author Nowack K. said goal setting ensures success by serving three purposes:

  • Enlightening Us: Providing meaningful insight into our abilities and weaknesses, and by helping us prioritise our goals depending on our needs.
  • Encouraging Us: It provides the motivation and courage to implement the goals and execute the plans efficiently.
  • Enabling Us: Goal-setting enables us to achieve the balance between our real and ideal self. By implementing the goals and succeeding from it, we regain self-confidence, social support, and can evaluate our achievements. 

What to consider before you plot your course:

The best goal setting techniques are not going to help you achieve your goals. I’d encourage you to consider the following when plotting your course: 

  1. Do your goals inspire you?
  2. Do your goals motivate you?
  3. Do your goals scare you a little?
  4. Are your goals yours, is this what you want to achieve?
  5. Are you excited by the idea of achieving your goals?

 

Reference:

  1. The Science & Psychology Of Goal-Setting 101 (https://positivepsychology.com/goal-setting-psychology/

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