Sunday, August 25, 2019

SMAC Your Goals! - s3e9

In the big picture of "whatever it is you are trying to do," any chance at being successful requires you to have effective goals. A good goal can help guide your planning and inform your resource utilization so that your quest for success is more easily completed.

A bad goal is one that doesn't clearly define what you are to do and when you are to do it. A bad goal requires you to expend resources you may not have or may have allocated to other goals. A bad goal is unrealistic or incompatible with the "whatever it is you are trying to do" in the first place.

So what are good goals?

Simple. Not in terms of being easy to achieve but in terms of being independently attainable. A simple goal is not bound to other goals.

Measurable. "Better" is not actually measurable. "Increase by five" is. If you can't measure it, you will never know if it has been achieved.

Attainable. You can say you set a goal, but if it is not attainable, it's really just a wish! Goals must fit within the context of possible. NOTE: there is a difference between something that's hard and something that's impossible. Goals can be hard… But there must be some plausible path from where you are to where the goal ask you to be.

Compatible. Every goal that you decide to pursue must fit with and not compete with all the other goals. You can't have two goals that require thirteen hours of time each day. Two such goals are not compatible.

If you want your goals to be effective… SMAC them!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

What's Your Problem? - s3e6

The idea of mission and goals can be viewed from many perspectives. One such perspective is that the "thing you are trying to do" is solve a problem. The mission becomes solving the problem and the goals and everything else lines up to do just that.

However, from this perspective, the subsequent essential actions can only be effective if the real problem is identified.

It is easy to set out to fix a problem only to eventually realize you're working on the wrong thing. Doing this will result in frustration and require abandoning the plan because the plan was meant to solve one thing when something else was the real problem.

A simple example of this might be related to not being ready for a job or school task. Perhaps a presentation is expected on some certain day at some time. Perhaps reaching some particular phase of construction is expected to be done by a certain date.

Failing to reach a deadline could be caused by many factors. If the real cause is bad habits and bad time management, the goals and plans to fix that would be one thing. But suppose the problem is that the tools needed to finish the project were inadequate? Suppose the copier was chronically jammed or frequently produced bad copies… Suppose a particular nail gun needed for some aspect of the construction was underpowered or unreliable. The failure to meet the next deadline could be avoided by fixing the tools (or getting replacements).

If the problem is the tools, changing habits might solve the problem by creating more hours to do the work, but that would be a bandaid solution. The real problem—inefficient tools—would still exist.

Conversely, if the problem is bad habits, then investing in better tools may or may present a solution. No matter how good the tool is, if the person using it is watching Netflix on the phone, the work won't get done.

It is vital to identify and fully clarify what the real problem is before trying to create a plan to solve something. A great deal of time, energy and resources can be wasted by working on the wrong essential actions.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Another Different Look At Missions and Goals - s3e4

There is more than one way to describe the mission-goal-action process. One way is to think of goals as being subparts of larger, broader goals. In that paradigm, goals line up from broadest to most specific with each smaller goal nesting under bigger goals.

If you think of a specific goal such as winning the state championship in marching band, goals would fall under that one getting more and more specific down to a very basic essential task, such as learning the notes in a musical scale. And further, "winning the state championship" might be a subgoal of something even larger, such as creating an exciting and effective music program, which itself might be a subgoal of having a high-quality school system.

Each goal in the continuum might be met by completing certain essential tasks. Each essential task might look like a goal with smaller parts associate with completing it. In this way, goals can nest under each other and organize downward from broad and general to narrow and specific.

It all begins with that broad, large scale purpose. What is it, in the most general terms, that you are trying to accomplish? Knowing this will give direction to everything you do, to every goal you set, and guide the achievement of those goals all along the way.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

If You Don' t Have Goals You Are Lost - s3e3

If a journey is the metaphor for your life, then the purpose of the trip is your mission statement and the destination is a goal. The route you take is your plan, to carry the metaphor further.

Whatever your purpose in life, your goals need to line up in such a way that, reaching the goals are steps toward fulfilling the purpose. Every goal—every thing you set out to accomplish in the specific—needs to fit with your general, overall purpose.

Or purposes. A fulfilled life is a balance between numerous areas such as work/career, family, and recreation.

If you want to be effective and successful, you need specific, measurable goals, and every goal needs to fit within the big picture. They need to work together to move you toward satisfying the demands of your mission.

Know what it is you are trying to do—develop a clear, meaningful mission—then create goals you can work toward and achieve that move you in the direction of your purpose.

Friday, August 09, 2019

It Starts With Your Mission - s3e2

What is your mission? What is your whatever it is you are trying to do?

If you don't know what you are trying to accomplish, you will never be done! Your mission (or missions) define what you are trying to accomplish. They set the boundaries that give your actions direction and purpose.

If you are setting out to be effective in anything—business, social life, recreation—having a mission and knowing what it is guides everything else. It informs your goals, your plans, your practices.

Operating without knowing what you are trying to do is a chancy behavior. You take a chance that you might get what you want or you take a chance that you might get—who knows what.

Make sure you have a mission and can articulate it. This is a key aspect at being effective and successful.