Monday, January 1, 2018

The Importance of Setting the 2018 Goals



Hope that you had a great time ringing in the New Year!  Hope you had fun celebrating!  Hope that you enjoyed the annual tradition of staying up super later!  Hope you enjoyed the extra sleep this morning!

AND NOW THE WORK BEGINS!!

I know that you all have your written goals in hand and are ready to hit the ground running.

Wait?  What?  You do not have your goals written out yet?  Personal, nor, work?  Today is the beginning of the year.  What did you say?  You know what you want them to be and have not gotten around to writing them down?  I do not mean your BHAGs – Big Hairy Audacious Goals – But, the goals that are a bit of a stretch, something you actually have to work toward and are achievable.

I know that we all have BHAGs.  If that is our focus, attainment of the BHAG by itself can seem daunting (it is).  This is where my background in Project Management can lend a hand.  When I am working on a project (similar to a BHAG), I create a plan for the team and myself that breaks down the components into smaller groupings made up of sub-groupings, which are made up of individual tasks.  As tasks are assigned and auctioned, it is easier to focus on the task than the overall project.  For example, a major software upgrade would include retrofits, development and testing.  Development could include analysis, interfaces to other systems, or general enhancements.  Below this could be the individual task, like a listing of the various enhancements, the programs involved, the timing and the resources. 

I have heard more than one thought leader compare BHAGs to a flight of stairs.  They point out that the flight of stairs is made up of individual steps.  As you set your goals, the objective is to have the goal be the step, not the flight of stairs, as it is easier to focus on a smaller, obtainable goal, rather than a large goal that might look unobtainable.  With each step successfully achieved, you become one step closer to your bigger goals.

The classic reason for writing down your goals was given by the young comedian that stood on a hill, with no money in his pocket and had written down on a piece of paper his multiple million dollar goal.  That young man was Jim Carrey.  I know someone that wrote down what he wanted his wife to be like, including a sketch of what she would look like – he ended up meeting and marrying someone that matched his description and picture.  Not that these people, or others, used magic paper and pens, because they did not.  The fact that they wrote down their goals and desires helped their minds to better focus on what they were after.  The old adage about what a man thinketh so he becomes, has some truth behind it. 

I have goals for work, I have goals for my personal life, and this year, as later in the year I become president of my synagogue, I have goals for that as well.  Granted, some of the goals cross over, and that is okay, too.

Here is to a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2018!  May all your goals be achieved and all of your dreams fulfilled!