A friend recently complained that although she sets daily goals for herself, and usually meets them, she seldom feels that she is moving forward and accomplishing things. When I asked about her goals, the solution was clear to me.
Here are some examples of her recent business and personal goals:
- Work on my blog.
- Look through my winter clothes.
- Think about a title for my new product.
- Try to practice my Spanish.
- Research travel options for the February conference.
Do those sound like the tasks on your to-do list? Are you frustrated because you feel that you are working hard, but you have little to show for it? First let’s look at the problem.
Each of the so-called “goals” on my friend’s list are about doing, not accomplishing. They are not specific and do not include a desired result. For example, what does, “Work on my blog,” mean? What is the result of “working on” something?
Instead of “working” on her blog, my friend could have identified her goal as, “Write and schedule two posts on my blog.” Or she could have identified other tasks, such as install and test the new theme, put AdSense codes in the template, install the two plugins I downloaded yesterday, add my blog to three blog directories, etc.
See the difference? Each of the goals in the previous paragraph has a starting and ending point, and a specific result.
Here is one way I might recast the tasks on her list:
- Write and publish two new posts on my blog.
- Sort out two bags of clothing for the women’s shelter.
- Brainstorm with Sarah and choose a title for my new product.
- Have lunch with Maria so I can practice my Spanish with her.
- Make travel arrangements for my February trip.
Now, instead of working on, looking, thinking about, trying and researching, she is writing and publishing, sorting out, brainstorming and choosing, practicing, and making arrangements.
Set goals for yourself that are not just about action, but create measurable results.