Seven Deadly Sins of Goal Setting Part II

Ginger Marks
 


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In the first part of our series we discussed the lack of planning, organization and the fear of loss of control. In Part II I am going to continue this discussion. I am going to jump right in.

4. Failure to designate tasks – This goes right along the same line as fear of the loss of control. When you finally do yield the reigns long enough to understand the necessity of allocating the menial tasks, you will have initiated the first steps of developing the team you will need to attain your goal.

Before you over commit yourself or limit your growth consider who can effectively assist you. Perhaps you need to hire a new employee but you don’t want the headaches of the overhead. Consider the possibility of utilizing a placement agency that will handle all the financial and legal aspects of employee management. Maybe your need is for a contractor who will help you organize your workspace allowing you to become more productive. Perhaps you want to accomplish a task that you are just not trained to do. If that is the case, find someone that has the skill to assist you and ask them for their input or cooperation.

5. Failure to prioritize – Once your goal has been decided upon one of the most important thing to accomplish is the development of a task list. Prioritize your tasks; write them down. Once you complete the first task it will equip you to initiate the next which in turn will enable you to remain focused on your goal. It is when we attempt to do everything all at once that we often become overwhelmed with the project at hand and loose focus. This is the precursor of failure.

6. Failure to implement – Take action! The fact of the matter is if you don't implement your plan your plan is worthless! How many times have you sat down and figured out what you need to do, how you are going to do it, and what tools you'll need to accomplish the task only to fail at implementation?

Goal setting has two components, planning and implementation. The more realistic the planning the better the results of the implementation will be. Every year business professionals and managers set aside (or press their employees to allocate) time to design their business plan for the year ahead. Then once that task is completed they return to the same old habits of the previous year without even a hint of the required action to achieve their goals.

If your plan doesn't incorporate effective measures to ensure its implementation then it will likely fail. We are all familiar with the partially crossed off “to-do" list at the end of the day – how about a trillion dollar real life example?

In 1980 President Reagan promised to balance the budget by 1984. In reality the plan was never implemented. He never proposed a balanced budget in his eight years in office or curbed Congress's ballooning spending programs. In 1985 the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings plan promised a balanced budget in 1991 - it was never implemented. In 1990 Congress enacted a program to balance the budget by 1993 – it was not implemented. In 1995 another plan – never implemented.

The lesson here is that the plan must match expectations with reality and include measures to ensure execution in the face of obstacles and opposition.

7. Failure to establish a reward system – For most people it's all about the reward. Think about it. How many game shows are there? How often are incentives given in sales meetings? It's all about discovering what keeps you focused on the task at hand. When you have rewards to eagerly anticipate you increase the chance of accomplishing the task.

Think of a reward that is realistic for the goal you want to attain. Don't limit yourself to just the end reward; consider also small rewards for accomplishments along the way. You may decide a night out, or a trip to a masseur is just what you need. Make it realistic and rewarding enough to keep you on track and go for it!

Create a plan, organize and prioritize, implement, designate, and follow-through. Accomplish your goal(s) one step at a time and reward yourself for a job well done.

© Copyright 2005 Ginger Marks

Ginger Marks is the founder of DocUmeant, Your writing assistant. For more information, visit her website at http://www.documeant.net

She is also the Copy Editor for http://www.ladiesfirstmag.biz which is your first stop for business articles, profiles and resources for and by female entrepreneurs.

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