What Is A Goal? A Dream With A Deadline!

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by Tom Watson on June 18, 2010

If a dream is a goal “with a deadline”, then what is a dream without a deadline? That would be called a “pipe dream”.

Pipe dreams are to be avoided at all costs. They are wild aspirations of people who don’t actually plan on following through with any real work. And not surprisingly, pipe dreams don’t come true.

Starting your own cleaning business is not really all that hard. It is nothing more than just a bunch of little tasks piled on top of one another. But breathing life into your new cleaning business becomes really hard if you have no blueprint for getting it done.

So you are going to need some goals (and deadlines).

But before you get all excited about setting goals, let me sober you up a bit. The act of setting goals will not magically make your goals come true. Most people are not all that great at goal setting. They fail for one or several of the reasons listed below.

  1. They did not write them down and put them in a place they would be seen daily.
  2. No plan in place on how to get the goals done.
  3. Didn’t follow through in one way or another.
  4. Made goals that were not reachable in the first place.

So what is the plan for setting goals that actually work?

  1. Clearly identify the goal (or goals). Write them down. Be incredibly specific!
  2. Put a date to it. You need to set BOTH a start and end (completion) date. Using generic terms like “next month” or “next week” is not good enough. Example: Start July 1, 2010. Completion August 1, 2010.
  3. List all possible obstacles that stand in the way of completing your goals. Write down the part of the process that may give you some trouble and what you plan on doing to overcome this problem.
  4. Create list of skills you lack (and need to acquire) in order to reach your goal. Not everyone has every skill needed to make things work. You may need to improve in areas or hire someone to help you.
  5. List any people who can help you achieve your goals. Do you have a mentor of any kind?  A  family member or friend who is in business?  Maybe a group like SCORE would be of benefit.
  6. Make the plan. Detail all the steps you will take to see that your goal is reached. Leave no detail out!
  7. Write the benefits of achieving this goal down for you to see everyday. The benefit must be strong enough for you to actually go through all this work.
  8. Chip away each day. Each day you do nothing is another day you must wait for your dream to be realized. So get to it and get it done by working every single day (in one way or another) toward your your goal.

This process is not rocket science and YOU CAN DO IT. If you were building a house you would not just show up with a hammer and some two by fours. No…you would have a blueprint to follow so you knew what you were doing. Goals are the part of the blueprint and are worth the time to set, plan and follow through on.

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