The end of the year is upon you. Typically, this is the time of year you think about what you’ve accomplished and what might remain unfinished.
You’re also thinking about what you may want to achieve in the coming year.
All too often, goals are left to chance, and dreams remain simply that, dreams. You may be getting tired of it all.
Being smart about your goals means you have a plan, a blueprint, to make the road a bit easier. Here are 10 great questions to ask when setting a goal:
1. Is the goal worth pursuing?
So often you pursue goals that really aren’t worth your time and have very little payoff at the end. You need to decide why you’re pursuing the goal, if you’re pursuing it for your own reasons, and if you see how it fits into your big picture.
2. Do you need equipment?
It’s easy to start working toward a goal only to realize you don’t have the right equipment. This can cause delays and unexpected expense.
3. Do you need cooperation?
Help from people can be critical to your success. Understand the best people who can help you and don’t be afraid to call on them. Most goals are met more easily and more quickly when you don’t go it alone.
4. Do you need money?
You might stop thinking seriously about your goal when you run into the money question. Knowing if money is required, the amount, what it will go toward, and who needs to sign off on it (whether at work or home) can make or break reaching a goal.
5. How much time will it take?
This is one of the hardest considerations to make when pursuing a goal, especially when more than one person is involved. If you think you’ve figured out the time needed, you may consider adding more just to be safe.
6. Do you have deadlines?
Deadlines are the drivers of reaching your goals. A looming deadline will motivate you to accomplish more than you thought possible. Set interim deadlines to help gauge if you’re on target.
7. When is the optimal time to work?
Your big goals may seem to never happen because your time gets eaten up by other things. Choose a time to work on your important goals when there are few interruptions, whether during the lunch hour, early in the morning, late at night, or the quiet times of your work day.
8. When can you schedule time for your goals?
Be sure to actually schedule time on your calendar for any goal that is important to you. If it doesn’t have time assigned to it, the odds are good that it won’t get done.
9. How will you handle interruptions?
When trying to reach a goal, think in advance what the most likely interruptions will be and how you will handle them. If you don’t think about them until they happen, you won’t handle them effectively.
10. What if things don’t go right?
Decide at the beginning that you will see the goal through to the end. When things go wrong, figure out the reason, what needs to be changed, and dig in your heels to get it done. All too often, this is exactly when people quit.
If you can answer these questions when setting out to pursue a goal, you’ll be off to a great start with a blueprint in hand and a plan for handling contingencies.