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Goal Getter...What To Write Down

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Part I, "Goal Getter"

The recent entry, Goals and Plans, generated quite a number of emails by readers of Here We Are. In that entry, I stressed writing down your goals. This is a very important step in the process of meeting them. Many of the emails asked for clarification on what to write down, and then what to do next after it is on paper.

For some people setting goals is an easy process. If this is you, great! If not, then grab your pen and paper and let's get goaling!

There is no mystery to this process. It is straight forward. The detective work comes in defining and then refining the steps you need to take. Don't worry, learn the saying, "Inch by inch makes a cinch!" I use it a lot in life and we are going to use it now on Here We Are to get you across the finish line.

Follow these steps in as detailed a manner as possible, don't cheat yourself, allow the ideas to flow:

Inch 1: WHAT do you wish to accomplish or achieve? Use this exercise to practice on a small goal. Is it losing five pounds? Organizing the basement? Learning digital photography? Since most of us are not preparing for the next Olympics where the world will be watching, think of this as a chance to conquer a private goal that will make you feel better. It is most effective to move beyond this step with a precise answer to the "What."

Let's say you write, "I want to read more books." At first it seems clear; however, upon a closer look, it is too vague. Instead, pick the exact books with a time frame to complete reading them. Example: I want to read Anita Shreve's books, "Sea Glass" in February, and "The Pilot's Wife" by the end of March.

So far, this seems simple, right? You wrote it down. You feel good thinking you are on your way to meeting your goal. This is partly true. You are ready to move forward to the next Inch.

Inch 2:  Now you have to take action to achieve the goal. This is the part where you turn the "What" into the "Why." Using the book example, there are probably many reasons the books haven't yet been read. Start by listing your reasons in clear, specific, simple terms. Yes, the "reasons" why you may not be getting to your goal. Think, "Why haven't I reached this goal before?"

Pay no attention to the order, be free in knowing there are no right or wrong terms, no one is checking grammar, and there is no limit to the number. So list away!!

The frustrated reader's list might look like this:

  • No extra time to read
  • Getting headaches, I think I need new glasses
  • Can't decide if I want to read or listen to audio book of "Sea Glass"
  • Lost the 20% off discount coupon for book store
  • Can't find Library card
  • Might have a copy of "The Pilot's Wife" in messy basement
  • My friend promised to loan me her copy, but I can't remember which book she owns
  • Should finish reading stack of magazines before starting a new book

This is the skeleton that will become your "plan of action." While it is still January, write down the "What" fromInch 1. Mull it over, make it more specific. In a day or two, when you are ready, move forward to Inch 2. Sit down and let it pour out of you, be honest, it is only you and the paper.

Look for Part II of "Goal Getter" in early February, so goal get your pen! Inch by inch...








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This was excellent! Cannot wait for the next INCH. You always hear about the first Inch but Inch #2 was new to me. What a great tool in all areas of life. I am a nutritionist who has counseled weight loss for over 20 years - using the concepts in inch 2 would be incredibly helpful. Great example. Thanks!

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