Step 3: Set your new goals and timescale

If you’ve been following my little series, parts 1 and 2 are here. Today, I’m going to be looking at the topic “setting goals and timescale”.

Once you have considered your goals, it’s time to reach a decision on what goals you wish to pursue, what goals are not relevant, what timescale you will be using, and how you will know if the goals have been met.

Where are you going? Reaching a decision

It’s not easy to reach a decision on specific goals that you need to take, such as increase your traffic to your blog, unless you examine specific means by which you can choose to effect the outcome.

In other words, any goals you need to have have three requirements:

1. they must be specific, not general. Good examples would be “Increase visitors to my blog by 50% month-on-month within 3 months” or “Lose 10lbs sustainably and realistically by increasing exercise frequency and duration over six months.”

2. they must be measurable in some way. Each goal would need a measure by which you understand where you are now and, by effective comparison, where you want to be after the set period is up. In the two examples, Google Analytics would help, as would an accurate set of scales. Obviously, you need to choose an appropriate measurement tool for the task at hand.

3. they need to be achievable, or at least have a good chance of being achieved. If you set goals, you will need to be aware that they are neither too difficult (you can’t achieve 50% weight reduction) that you are instantly defeated, nor too easy (I’ll climb the stairs twice more each day) that you’ll never bother yourself.

Setting the StopWatch: Choosing an appropriate time scale

I always like to set goals, but I never usually choose a particular time scale upon which to achieve the goals. This isn’t a good practice. In fact, this is the lazy person’s way to set goals. However, choosing a suitable time scale is very effective because once a time period is up, you will be able to examine what you have achieved, what you missed by, and the reasons for each. This tweaking is an essential part of the process. Without a definite end point, you may never figure out what you are doing wrong as you may never consider your failures or successes properly.

Routes, Maps and Markers: Setting out on the way

Making your goals clear, setting them and reminding yourself of them will pave the way to achieving something. However, if you are like me, you’ll set them in your mind, but you’ll never tell anyone or write them down. Nah! That’s too easy! Moreover, if you never tell anyone, you don’t have to be accountable for not meeting them. It sounds like you’re building yourself up for failure.

So why not find some way to make accountability more part of the process: tell your friend, write it on the refrigerator so you see it every day, blog about it every day in your blog, talk to your wife about it, seek encouragement somewhere! Don’t forget to recount the successes (I got a link from someone! I DIDN’T eat that chocolate bar!), even the little ones!

Right now I’m weighing up a decision to revamp one of my blogs: I have three ways to go – but I’m still torn. Once I reach a decision, I will lay it out for you all. I hope that by sharing with you, I’m encouraging you all to find a way to move forward in whatever field you are interested in.