Why do we make goals? A goal is what you want to achieve in your program. Knowing what you want to achieve allows you to focus your efforts on accomplishing something. Do you ever feel that your partnership (or other projects) is not really accomplishing anything? Did you sit down and create goals? If you do not have a goal for your project, often times you end up spinning your wheels because you do not have a set direction on your horizon. We waste time and energy on pointless projects that are not helping us move forward in a chosen direction. Making a reasonable goal can help you stay focused and moving in a chosen direction. This will give you focus, motivation, and confidence.
If you do not have a plan on how to achieve your goal, you most likely will not. Let us first discuss this goal and then we can break it down. It is ok to have a number of goals. In fact, I suggest having 2-3 well thought out goals for your program. Stop reading for a minute or two and write down at least four or five things you would like to achieve in through your partnership right now.
Now that you have brainstormed some thoughts about what you are wanting from your partnership, it is time to make them into some goals. I remember seeing some time ago that goals need to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound). I would suggest that first and foremost, a goal needs to be written down. If you do not write down a goal, then it is just a thought or even a dream. The next thing that I will suggest is that the goal is specific but not to specific. If it's Pie in the Sky like “oh I want my partnership to be great”’ you have really not thought about what your goal should be. So make sure the goal is somewhat narrow in focus. Yes, the goal needs to be measurable to a degree. However, the goal itself should be broad enough that we that we cannot set matrix for it. Achievable, yes it needs to be realistic and achievable if it is not then you are wasting your time once again. Relevant is a bit trickier for me. Are the ideas you jotted down earlier relevant to your project and to the audience that you serve? Now go back to your list of ideas about what you are wanting from your partnership and turn them into two or three goals. Seriously, just stick to two or three.
Under each of your goals, you need to three O’s. What are the objectives of each goal? An objective is what we are aiming to achieve. They should be very specific, measurable and be tied to a timeline. What are the outputs of this goal? The output is what we actually deliver. The last O is the outcomes. The outcome is what the business or organization that I am working for gains from the outputs. In essence, we are running a business and in the end, the outcome is the answer for “what’s in it for me” for the business or organization.
After you have your goals and the 3 O’s for each goal, ask yourself each time a project pops up; how does this help me meet my goals and objectives? If it does not help you, then it is just slowing you down from meeting the goals you have defined. Speaking of meetings, never leave a meeting without action items. In order to make progress towards a goal, you must act! So after each meeting, write down everyone’s action items and when each item needs to be completed. Start the next meeting discussion the action items.