“If I had 60 minutes to cut down a tree, I would spend 40 minutes sharpening the ax and 20 minutes cutting it down.”
This is Attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but only appears after 1960 so it’s unlikely to be Lincoln.
The point is that; in planning – in refining our purpose and focussing on it; we can take a more direct route and acheive our goal in a much shorter time with less effort.
So, you have your list, and you’ve scored each item.
you can easily eliminate 80% of the items on the list.
Just select your top 2 (or 3 if it’s really close)
The goal we select must follow the ‘S.M.A.R.T’ rules. I guess you may not know what these are so here’s a quick rundown.
S = Specific, the goal should be specific like ‘I have x job’ or ‘I earn xx’
M = Measurable, the goal should be measurable, it’s no use having a goal of ‘being loved more’ or ‘looking younger’ because these are intangible things.
A = Attainable, is it a realistic goal? are you beyond yourself.
R = Relevant, is this goal relevant to you? or is this someone-else’s goal? it has to be your goal not one someone else would like you to have.
T = Time-bound, is there a clear time you want to acheive this goal by? eg I want to lose xxx lbs/kg in 1 year.
for instance a goal might be “In 28 weeks I will have lost 28lbs of weight.”
let’s break that down:
It’s specific (28lbs in 28 weeks).
It’s Measurable (weight).
It’s Attainable (if you have 28 lbs of excess weight to lose then it’s possible).
It’s Relevant (only YOU reap the benefit)
It’s Time bound (28 weeks).
check that your two (or three) follow these guidelines.
Then put them on a piece of paper with four columns.
Put goal one above the first two columns and goal two above the second two columns.
each of the two columns then gets it’s own title
PRO | CON
Remember, your two chosen goals should be so close together that you can’t decide between them.
Clearly you want to achieve both eventually, but we’re trying to select just ONE so it can be focussed on and conquered. before moving on to other goals.