If you have trouble setting and meeting your goals you don't have to read a three hundred page book. Just read this article and make it work for you. The system is simple, and it works.

How's your life?

Is everything going according to plan?

Oh, there isn't any plan. It seems like you cannot get in gear. Let me guess; You are able to set goals but you also fail to meet them. This is a vicious circle. And, over time, you will be worn down as your confidence is eroded away.

I suppose I could recommend some books on setting your goals? I will bet that there is not enough time to read a book. Let's focus on a system that is short and sweet. Let's make sure we can implement it in a few minutes. If you think this might help then let's move on.

Think of a soldier in the field. He gets his orders over the radio to proceed with the mission, and there is no time to debate an academic philosophy. He records the mission statement and executes on that immediately

Your goals all consist of three distinct elements that will come merge and make a short and sweet statement. This is your goal. From now on, goal-setting should be painless. There is an additional benefit that we will cover later.

  1. Task: Write down one single action oriented statement. "Build the Deck", "Complete my 2008 Income Taxes", and "Replace the Engine in my Car" all work within reason. But, the more you refine them, the better. An Example:

    Pay Eighty-One dollars on the Tax bill.

    Replace the Engine in my 1988 Trans-Am.

  2. Conditions: What conditions do you work under to accomplish this action statement? What factors will assist or limit you. Write them down. Using the "Pay the Taxes" statement, your conditions could include "between six and eight pm using only the funds in the household checking account". Conditions focus your mind by placing you in the thick of accomplishing the task.

  3. Standards: "Mission Accomplished" is a great concept, but without a measurable set of results to point to it is only a slogan. You must set a completion standard that is reality based and measurable by unbiased methods. For the "Pay the Taxes" example you might say "until every bill due on or before the fifteenth of the month has a check written, deducted from the account, and postmarked no later than eight am on Saturday the sixth". Don't be lazy by making your standard something that cannot be specifically measured.

So, our completed goal now reads:

"Pay the 2008 Income Taxes between six and eight pm using only the funds in the household checking account until all the tax due on or before the fifteenth of the month has a check written, deducted from the account, and is in the mail no later than eight am on Saturday the sixth."

As you can see, the goal specifies exactly what you are to accomplish, how to do it, and how to measure it. As you inspect the final result there will be no doubt that you have accomplished your goal.

Remember the additional benefit mentioned above? Here it is. This system also works to assign goals and/or missions to subordinates. This method ensures that you are never accused of not clearly communicating exactly what you want your team to accomplish. Your final desired result becomes their reason for coming to work.

That's it, a short and sweet system proven by countless uses at all levels by the US Military. All you have to do is sit down and apply it. Thanks for reading. If you know of someone who can benifit from this short course, send them here, or email the article to them. Thanks Again.