10 Questions About Your Goals


Photo by Seán Venn

Time Management Ninja had an excellent post on friday about goal setting. It was helpful and clarifying to me as I consider and evaluate my goals. I wanted to share these 10 questions with you.

10 Questions You Must Answer About Your Goals:

  1. Are They Written Down? – Writing your goals down is a magical act. It makes them real. It clarifies them, and helps bring definition and accountability to them.
  2. Are They Your goals? – Before you pursue them, make sure that your goals aretruly your own. Or are they goals that have been put upon you by expectations of your family, job, or society?
  3. Do They Have a Deadline? – Goals without deadlines are like a race without an end. You need a finish line to define your goal and when you will accomplish it by. (You can always adjust later… see #7.)
  4. What is the Cost and Are you Willing to Pay It? – Every goal has a cost. Whether it is time, money, or sweat. Make sure you are willing to pay the price to achieve your goal.
  5. What Help Will You Need to Accomplish Your Goals? – Truly great goals require us to go beyond ourselves. Every successful person learned from someone else. Plan in advance how you will get the assistance you need.
  6. Are You Focused on Your Goal? – Many people fall into the trap of unfocused goals. Or perhaps, they have too many goals at once. You must have laser focus on your big goal. It must be front-and-center in your life. It must get constant attention.
  7. Are Your Goals Adaptable? – Life changes. You can’t control that. So, your goals must be adaptable. This is not to be used as an excuse at the first sign of difficulty. Adaptable goals change, instead of break, when life throws you a curve.
  8. Do Your Goals Stretch Your Limits? – If your goal is to do something that you have already done before, then you will get the same results. Your goals should stretch your abilities. That is how new capabilities and limits are reached.
  9. Do Believe in Your Goals? – More than anyone else, you have to believe in your goals. There will be critics, doubters, and people who want to see you fail. Don’t listen to them. Listen to the inner voice that drives you.
  10. What Did You Do Today? – You must act on your goals every single day. It is not an optional activity. If you truly have the determination and focus to reach your goals, you will not only think, but act on them every single day.

My reflections on these questions

  • I’ve already thought through most of these. When this blog was first just an idea in my head, I considered “do I have the money to make these goals happen?” and “Is it selfish to focus on these goals?” (question number 4). We don’t want to set ourselves up for failure, but we don’t want to be pessimists either.
  • I hope you know by now that I love, love, love question number 7. In certain areas of my life I can be a perfectionist (cleaning my house is not one of those areas) and I tend to hold myself to a standard of performance that isn’t helpful or healthy. I’m learning to be flexible and give room for the unforseen changes of life.
  • The last question was a big kick in the butt! It’s unusually cold this week, though the snow is gone and the sidewalks are clear for running. I told myself I would start again but I don’t want to go out in -10ºC after being accustomed to +1ºC! Sigh. Out I go for my first run of spring, reminding myself I was running in -10ºC last November.

Have you thought about these things as you first planned for your goals? Had you forgotten to consider any of these questions? Leave a comment here with your thoughts.

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