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Monday, February 4, 2008

Keeping Your Goals on Target

It’s February. Are your New Year’s resolutions long gone by now?

It’s easy to lose sight of your goals, personally or as an organization, when you’re not keeping track of them on a regular basis.

This is particularly true when it comes to strategic planning. How many times have you written lots of ideas on flipcharts at an annual retreat, and then went back to your daily routine without giving those ideas another thought?

A more effective approach is to breathe life into your plan. Make it something you can use every day.

Here’s the start of a process to develop a tactical plan from your strategic plan:

List all the strategic goals that impact this year. Some of these should be “stretch” goals that may not be achievable this year, because reaching too far and making it half way is better than reaching too low.

Put your goals on a master timeline. Some goals will require multiple steps, like starting a new program. List the steps you will need to take and the estimated time for each. Add those to the timeline, starting with the end and working backwards.

Next to each item on the timeline, put ONE person’s name. This is the person who is ultimately responsible for the goal. Don’t put more than one name—that means no one will do it!

For the goals under your responsibility:
Pick a focus area for every month. That doesn’t mean you ignore everything else, but it gives you one goal area to emphasize.

Each week, pick specific goals to concentrate your efforts and list the tasks required to move toward your goal.

As you plan your week, ask, “How can I make progress toward one of our strategic goals this week?”

Keep your goals in sight, and your organization will achieve great things!

GoalBusters’ note: Thank you to Alice’s personal coach, Kristin Taliaferro, for inspiring this Tip. To find out more about personal coaching, go to KristinCoach.com.

For more on this topic, contact GoalBusters about “Choose Your Own Adventure” or about custom retreat facilitation.
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