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Breaking Goal Setting Into Its Component Parts

This post might best apply to engineers, because we’re taking the goal setting agenda and breaking it into little pieces, to make it easier to put back together. The idea comes from Lynn Truong, who guest posted over at Zen Habits. She splits goal setting apart into the areas that affect (effect?) is execution. That’s not marketing speak, it’s just saying what needs to be done is to find out what needs to be done.

Time, Work, Money, Connections, and Health.

What are you doing with them, and how will they effect (affect?) your goals?

Time Reflect on what you’re doing with your time, and ask yourself whether things need to be readjusted. Make time to do the things that you really want to do—spend time with your loved ones, make a phone call instead of sending a quick birthday wish in an email, write, read, take a bubble bath. There’ll never be enough time to do everything, but there’ll always enough time to do what’s really important (yes, a bubble bath is important!)

Money Like time, the inability to manage money is often due to perspective. If you value saving more than spending, you will save more and spend less. Decide what you really want to use your money for. Instead of making the resolution simply to “spend less,” “save more,”.or “pay credit cards down,” make a specific goal. Set a goal of x amount of dollars to go on that trip. Know exactly how much you are trying to save each month (realistically!), rather than making an arbitrary end of the year amount or vague statement of where you want your finances to be eventually. It’s easier to put off saving until tomorrow when you don’t have a specific number you are working towards.

The rest of the post is at Zen Habits, but the purpose is to remind you to write down what you need in order to accomplish those goals. Saying you want to go to Cabo for a week requires the research into how many vacation days and what kind of cash outlay you’re looking at.

All goals are like this, but we often only look at the big picture. Dig deeper, and you’ll be able to set realistic milestones on how to those goals.


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