“The most important thing about goals is…having one.” (Geoffry F. Abert)
This quote, of course, speaks volumes to me. I have always been a goal oriented person, so this quote serves as a reminder that goal setting is so important. There is another adage that says “If you don’t know where you are going, and path will get you there.” Having a goal give purpose to my actions. What the author is also pointing out in this quote is that it doesn’t matter whether your goals are set up perfectly, what matters is that you set them. It is then that the benefits of living a goal-driven life flow forth.
At work we have recently concluded our objective setting for the year. Our Performance Management system is set up as a yearly exercise, and we are encouraged to limit our objectives for the year to only 6 or 8. They objectives tend to be painted with fairly broad strokes. They are measurable and time bound, and there is a level of specificity to them, but they aren’t of the kind that you can pull out every day to see what is next. That is where my personal, short term goal-setting comes in.
As I have mentioned before, I tend to be a bit old-school. For example, I prefer a good pen and notepad for taking notes, while others use the myriad of electronic tools available. I try always to have two pads of paper near my computer at work. One I use for jotting notes or reminders that come my way through email and phone calls; the other is for keeping a short list of to-do items. I do this to keep certain thoughts top of mind as I go through the day, and also to make sure that I am answering the requests that are sent my way.
Fridays are catch up days for me at work. The project I am on has a norm set up that says there are no project-related meetings on Friday. This is done to give us more desk time, less time in conference rooms. I use the time to work on my non-project related work as well as tidying up any leftover to-do items from the week. I sit in a team room with 8 other people, and it has become a running joke that I refer to it as “Friday Funday”.
Goals are important to me. When I write them down and work them, I usually achieve them. When I keep them in my head, they get shuffled to the bottom of the deck. This weekend I am going to look over my professional and personal goals and see where I might be keeping some only in my head that need to be written out so that they can be worked. I even wrote a note to myself to remind me!