Being Effective at Goal Planning

Section 13.1: Measure Effectiveness

Goal setting plans for successful living should provide you with the motivation, hope and wisdom needed to maintain your focus and commitment until the goal is achieved. Next, we will discuss how you can evaluate the effectiveness of your goal plan.

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During the goal planning process, it's imperative that you establish a clear definition of success. What is the specific outcome that you are looking to achieve before you can say, "I did it!"

An athlete knows if he or she is successful simply by looking at the scoreboard. A businessperson can tell you if their business strategy is working by reading the bottom line of their profit and loss statement.

An online business owner might see success as increasing organic search engine traffic to 100,000 visitors per month. If you are an artist you might define success based not on sales results, but by your personal satisfaction with the piece your created. 

"Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible in your life."  - Les Brown

Defining the end result that you want and identifying how you will measure success will vary depending on your objective.

So how do we know if we are winning in life? How do we determine how effective and/or efficient we are in getting ourselves from Point A to Point B?

How will you know for certain if your goal setting plan is working, or if it needs to be changed?

How To Evaluate Goal Planning Success

When assessing the level of success you are experiencing in your life categories, it is imperative that you ask and answer four key questions.

Four Questions for Effective Evaluation include:

  1. What have I learned throughout the goal setting process? - This may include knowledge that has been gained during your journey; skills that you were required to develop along the way, and mistakes that should not be repeated in the future.
  2. What goal planning actions have worked? Not worked? - Detail the effectiveness of specific tasks. Did each task achieved do what was intended to support the larger goal? Detail the actions taken that did not provide the expected benefits.
  3. What progress has been made towards your goal? - In each life category, can you honestly score yourself higher than you did at the beginning of the process? Explain how you have grown emotionally, physically, intellectually, spiritually, financially and in the quality of your relationships.
  4. What adjustments to my goal setting plans are necessary for maximum results going forward? - What do you plan to do differently? What should you do less of; more of, and what should you stop doing altogether? What should you add to your plan that you now realize is missing?

The questions you use to measure your effectiveness at goal planning are critical to your long-term success. Other tools that can be utilized to measure success, might include things such as: surveys, one-on-one interviews, and focus groups.

However you decide to measure your success at achieving your goals you must be 100% honest with yourself. Hold yourself fully accountable for the most honest assessment of your progress.

Base your judgments on facts, not merely your intent. Be true to yourself and continue to press forward until you reach your ultimate goals and objectives.

"The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken."

- Samual Johnson

Success Lesson #27: Effective Habits

"I never could have done what I have done," said Charles Dickens, referring to the time when he mastered shorthand, "without the habits of punctuality, process, and diligence; without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time, no matter how quickly its successor should come upon its heels."

For good reason, every man or woman has been defined by their "bundle of habits". Every tiny virtue we adopt, or every vice we accept, leaves its mark upon us.

"Practically all the achievements of the human race are but the accomplishments of effective habits."

- Lamartinen

Habits are commonly spoken of in the negative, referring to the habits of consuming alcohol, taking drugs, biting your nails, arriving late, displaying a negative disposition, etc.

To the contrary, habits can serve us wisely and provide us with great powers to learn, grow and achieve.

We can train and educate ourselves, through habit, to do innumerable things automatically and thus save time and energy for other more important tasks.

We can form habits that will make our lives clean and beautiful, or we can give in to our lower tendencies that might lead us straight to the poorhouse or the penitentiary.

"Life itself is to a great extent a series of habits. All the difference between a free man and a slave, is determined based on their habits."

What some people call fate, is actually a web of their own weaving, from threads of their own spinning - their thoughts and acts that have become habitual.

The effective habit of always choosing the highest within one's reach, of doing the best thing possible under the circumstances, cannot be overestimated.

Positive habits such as this are critical to the achievement of your goal setting process. Every day of your life will add a new chapter of growth and improvement to your character when higher habits are formed.

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