Key elements for goal planning

A Goal is an achievable objective triggered by an individual’s or a group’s ambitions and aspirations. To make sure that this objective is indeed achievable it is important that Goal Planning is successfully implemented and executed. Goal Planning, therefore, is the critical pre-requisite to achieve your goals. Let us take a look into some of the key elements that are a significant part of the plan that will help you achieve your dream goals.

Identify the Trigger – Define your Goal 

The first thing that you need to identify is the aim or the goal. This is the reason or the trigger that will set the ball rolling for your planning exercise. Every goal is based on a desired aim or purpose. For example, as a software professional your goal is to build sophisticated AI tools.

Your aim is driven by your individual aspirations. Therefore, every individual’s aim will be different from the other person’s. If you are working as a group, it is important that all the members in your group share the same objective. This cohesiveness is critical in order to proceed further in your goal planning.

When you define your goal, it is better not to be motivated by peer pressure or emotional reasons alone. You need to introspect and realise why you wish to achieve this goal. Only then will you be able to structure the next steps of the plan successfully. Discuss your goal with your circle of friends and advisors to understand whether you are suited for this goal. Attempting to achieve unsuitable goals may lead to wasted efforts resulting in frustrations.

Identifying Parameters – Define Measures and Timelines

Once you have identified your aim, you have completed the first part of your goal planning. However, now you need to make it more realistic by assigning measures and timelines. These help to moving your goal from being just an utopian thought to ensure it remains more grounded. Assign measures like its critical aspect on a scale of 1-10. You can also provide a comparative reference with other goals to highlight its significance for you.

Along with the measures you also need to define a timeline by when you wish to achieve this goal. This will depend on the nature of the goal you have identified. Short term goals may be achieved within 1-6 months but others may also take as long as 5-10 years. No matter how sooner or longer you need to achieve your goal, your goal planning needs to capture the duration. This will help to keep you on track and prevent unnecessary procrastination.

Identifying Factors – Define Causal and Enabling Factors

Every goal is aided by a series of factors. Some of these are directly responsible for making it happen and are known as the causal factors. There are some other factors that help or enable the causal factors to ensure that the aim is achieved and are called the enabling factors. These, though indirectly responsible in making the goal achievable, however, do play an equally crucial role.

For example, if you need to build sophisticated AI tools (the Aim), you need to understand, machine learning (the causal factors) for which you need to undertake relevant courses to enhance your knowledge (the enabling factors).

Define all such factors that will help you in achieving your goal. The ideal way to structure a goal planning is to trace your way backwards from the aim. Look at all the possible causal and enabling factors that will help you in achieving your goal. Do a thorough research to identify the factors. For each factor assign a parameter and a timeline. Giving yourself a deadline will help to keep you on your toes and your goal in focus.

While defining factors, you should focus on both positive as well negative aspects. For example, in the above scenario, taking up a course in machine learning is a positive factor. However, the course timings may clash with your current schedule thus becoming an impediment that you need to work around. Therefore, when you outline a plan, make sure you include every aspect that aid or impede your objective. It is only then that you will end up with a fool-proof plan.

Every goal needs a sound planning in order to be achieved. In the absence of an efficient Goal planning, you will not be able to achieve your desired objectives. However, there is no defined process that you can follow to draw up a plan. Every plan varies depending upon the goal you define and your individual situation. Nevertheless, keeping in mind these key elements will help you research your ideal goal factors and come up with a sound Goal Planning.

You may also want to read other articles written by the same author ‘Tips To Knowing Yourself Better‘, ‘The P-C-R approach to achieve financial stability‘, ‘Emotional awareness for personal and professional success‘, ‘Tips to improve your resume writing‘ ‘Back from the break – 3 tips to make you rock it’ , ‘5 easy and helpful ways to staying motivated‘  , ‘ Alternate Career Options for Women‘ , ‘ Plan the Ideal Comeback with Reskilling or Returnship‘  .

About the author:

Amrita is a freelance writer currently based out of Pune. She has worked  with organizations as a Technical and Web Content Writer. Her short stories have been published on Amazon and on Juggernaut books. She is an avid traveler and her travel stories are available on her blog – Amritawrites.

(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)

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