I was just over at a self development forum, and was very intrigued by one of the member’s ideas for giving himself a “50 skill challenge,” which sounds like a great way to help set and achieve goals and objectives
This forum member, who goes by the user name of “Mounds” stated, “I can make you a guarantee with this challenge. If you walk into it and learn 50 skills in a year, you will walk out a better, more developed person. How can you not?”
What a brilliant concept! I always temper big goals or objectives with one of my favorite sayings by Carl Schurz (paraphrased):
“Ideals are like the stars. We may not reach them, but like the mariners on the sea, we chart our course by them.”
In Mounds’ case, he talks about some skills being more simple (and therefore easy to chalk off the list) – such as “learn to change a tire.” Certainly not a difficult skill to learn – and also one that would always be helpful to know.
He then mentions adding skills that present a bit more of a challenge, such as “Learn origami.” Or “Learn how to salsa dance,” or “Learn…website related skills.”
This is where I thought about categorizing and prioritizing the skills I might target for myself. Thinking about some of the examples Mounds offered, I could quickly determine that as cool as it might be to learn origami or salsa dancing, I honestly don’t see myself using the skill very often. First, John just simply does not like to dance. 🙂 And, origami might be useful for an art teacher – but, not really for me.
So, I thought about how this type of challenge would work best for someone like me. As I mentioned to Mounds in his thread, I’d probably give thought to what my OVERALL goals are for the year (or whatever time frame I’d consider for this).
What am I trying to accomplish this year?
There are a few things that come to mind right away.
For example, I would dearly love to sell our house – but we don’t know of any realtors who are using the type of marketing that we feel could really help. Putting the house on the MLS is fine – but what ELSE could bring attention to our home?
So, thinking in terms of the goal to sell our home this year, I instantly think of “video marketing” and “social network marketing.” To the best of my knowledge, the agency with whom we had the house listed last year didn’t do any of this. If they did, we weren’t told of it.
So, what skills would be required for me to bring myself closer to my goal? Here are some of the things I came up with that one might need to learn:
- Learn how to sign up for YouTube
- Learn how to record a video on the free “Movie Maker” tool that came with my computer
- Learn how to make a Fan Page on Facebook to market the house
- Learn how to stage a house for photos and showings
Then, once these skills are learned, I could build my objectives (targeted action steps) toward the goal, based on using these skills. For example:
- Prepare each room for photos
- Take photos of each room
- Arrange photos in Movie Maker and add captions
- Complete the movie and publish on YouTube
- Create the Facebook Fan Page and add the video
So, as a result of this exercise where I learned some new skills, I also naturally find myself moving towards my goals.
It’s certainly an interesting concept – and one that I think would be a lot of fun to work on. It’s just a little twist on achieving goals and objectives.
And, at the end of the year, I’d walk away having learned at least a FEW new skills – which is an accomplishment in itself!
In the meantime, I’ll let you know if I really do anything like this to help sell our home!
(2014 Update – the forum I talk about is no longer available; therefore, I removed any links to it)
Ok everyone! You know that I want to put my money where my mouth is… I gave you a real life example of following my own advice when it comes to setting goals and objectives in my blog post about “Setting Goals and Objectives using the Mantis Rototiller as an Example” last week.
****Well, I wanted to give you an update.****
You saw that I did not hit my target on my 5th objective, which was:” Build a Squidoo Lens about small garden tillers and add Amazon links to it. Target Completion Date: Thursday, February 24, 2011.”
Well, I’m here to tell you that I have completed that objective
No, not on February 24th – I completed it on Saturday, February 27, 2011.
Yes, I realize that I did not hit the target date – but you know what? That objective was staring me in the face, and I need to account not only to you, my readers, but to MYSELF.
Having that objective WRITTEN and IN FRONT of me pushed me forward.
And I have to tell you, I had an absolute BLAST writing that Squidoo lens. Actually, if you want to read it, you’ll see that I had a little TOO much fun with it since now we have weiner dogs (aka dachshunds) and videos of “The Garden Song” in the mix.
So, I invite you to see the results of my ACTION that I took on that objective. I hope it puts a smile on your face as well. Enjoy it here => Mantis Rototillers, Weiner Dogs, AND The Garden Song.
I hope you can see that setting goals and objectives – and taking action on them – doesn’t need to be a brutal or painful process. After all, if we’re making progress, we should be feeling good about it, right? Something to think about. 🙂
Again, please pop on over to the Squidoo lens and I hope it makes you smile => Mantis Rototillers, Weiner Dogs, and The Garden Song
See you all soon! Thanks for reading.
My long-time readers know how much I emphasize the importance of setting goals and objectives. Or, if you prefer, you can call it setting targets – some people just don’t like the word “goal.” 🙂
Well, this particular post is a bit off the beaten path in that the goals and objectives I’m going to share with you are not related to self development. BUT… What this post will clearly illustrate is how:
1) I practice what I preach in my Personal Goal Setting Strategies Guide, and
2) anyone can write clear and concise goals and objectives for nearly any endeavor.
Also, if you are a long-time reader, you know that I feel that most people get stuck right at the get-go – primarily, I believe, because they don’t know the difference between a goal and an objective. I’ve written extensively about this in my Goal Planning Strategies Guide, as well as in numerous articles online.
(If you would like your own copy of my Goal Planning Strategies Guide, you can buy it at =>Personal Goal Planning Strategies at Self Development Strategies )
Rather than go into the whole long explanation of the difference between goals and objectives here, let’s just do a quick recap since you can read about that in depth in the Personal Goal Planning Strategies Guide. In a nutshell:
=> Goals = the broad view or “big picture.”
=> Objectives = the measurable steps you take to achieve your goals.
Because of some positive results I have seen from this activity, I decided to share my own latest activity and results of setting goals and objectives from the last week.
So, there I was, thinking about gardening, and THAT thought got me thinking about our garden (which is currently under snow at this time). Then, my mind wandered to how soft the earth would be when we got home in May, and how that will be the perfect time to get it ready for the garden.
And THAT got me thinking about our small garden tiller – The Mantis Rototiller/Cultivator that we’ve had for at least 10 years. 🙂
And THAT got me thinking that this would be the time of year when people would be getting ready to BUY a Mantis Rototiller/Cultivator, and THAT got me thinking, “Hmmm… I wonder if I could sell a few of these on some of my websites.”
So, I went over to Amazon.com and sure enough, there were several Mantis Rototillers for sale. I decided to go for it. BUT, first I needed a strategy.
Here is what I came up with:
GOAL: To market the Mantis Rototiller/Cultivator
a. Make a dedicated blog so that I can place content and ads about Mantis Rototillers/Cultivators. Target Completion Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
b. Place Amazon links for Mantis Rototillers/Cultivators for sale on the blog. Target Completion Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
c. Write article about Mantis Rototillers/Cultivators for sale and publish at eZineArticles.com. Target Completion Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
d. Build a “small garden tiller” page on one of my websites (that I owned at the time), and add Mantis links to that page. Target Completion Date: Monday, February 21, 2011
e. Build a Squidoo Lens (which was a “page” in Squidoo-speak – but in 2014, Squidoo was sold to HubPages, and so that’s where the article is now) about small garden tillers and add Amazon links to it. Target Completion Date: Thursday, February 24, 2011
How do you think I did? 🙂
Actually, I did quite well – although I did not hit my target dates. Here’s how I measured up:
a. (Make dedicated blog) = I got the Mantis Rototillers for Sale blog up and running on Wednesday, February 16, 2011. (One day off, but at least I got it out there)
b. (Place Amazon links on blog) = Also completed Wednesday, February 16, 2011
c. (Write article for eZineArticles.com) = Completed Wednesday, February 16, 2011, but it didn’t go “live” until Friday, February 18, 2011.
d. (Build “small garden tiller” page on a website) = Completed new “small garden tillers” page on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 (a couple of days late)
e. (Build a Squidoo Lens) = Not yet complete – probably won’t get that done until Thursday 2/24 or Friday 2/25. (Remember, 2015: It’s now at HubPages.com)
As a result of this activity list, I was able to MEASURE my progress. Something else it did for me was make me realize that there were other aspects to the goal that I had NOT written a plan for – namely, researching the viability of whether or not I could actually COMPETE with others in selling Mantis Rototillers/Cultivators! 🙂
Fortunately, I did do research to make sure I wasn’t going to waste my time – but because I hadn’t PLANNED on that activity in my step-by-step plan, and determined it would be a good use of my time.
So, here you can see from my own “real life” example how I used the process of setting goals and objectives – and it really started with knowing the difference between goals and objectives to begin with. 🙂
Hopefully, seeing how I applied the knowledge to get a commercial campaign up and running fairly quickly will help you as well.
(PS: Because I market on line for a living, I did add a section here at Self Development And Growth that talks about Internet Marketing Education and Strategies that may be helpful as well. For example, you can read about my experiences with Chris Farrell, who has a #1 voted internet marketing education service. To read the article click on => Internet Marketing Education with Chris Farrell)
Actually, since you are here, you may already have a copy of this book, or are a member of my newsletter.
Do you know how many people search online for help with goal planning every month? I did a quick search out of curiosity, and was stunned to see that the following statistics for search terms related to goal planning (the numbers are approximately how many people search that term globally in a month):
Personal Goal Setting => 3,600 searches
Goal Setting Exercises => 3,600 searches
Smart Goal Setting = > 5,400 searches
Setting Goals and Objectives = > 1,900 searches
Setting and Achieving Goals => 1,600 searches
These are just a FEW of the terms people search for regarding goals and goal setting.
If this many people are looking for help with goal setting, then this must be an important topic indeed! Would you not agree?
Anyone who knows me knows how much importance and value I place on setting goals and objectives.
Here is why: Without a goal, you can’t really move. You would have no direction.
Look at any game like soccer or football – without goal posts or nets, there’s no game.
Being the visual sort of person that I am, I can’t help but picture a soccer field without goal nets at either end – I see all these soccer players hanging around in the middle of the field just kicking the ball back and forth and around in circles aimlessly. None of them are kicking with any real vigor – just sort of lethargically and mindlessly passing the ball around. I also picture them all with a rather quizzical look on their faces, as though they’re all wondering, “So, what exactly ARE we doing here? What are we supposed to do with this ball?”
A goal – no matter how small – can be what it takes to spur us into some sort of action.
Take my visualization of the soccer players without their goal nets. Now… take the same scene, and this time – all of a sudden people bring 2 goal nets onto the field – one at each end. Almost as if by magic, the players on the field suddenly see that there is something that they can kick the ball into – something they can begin moving toward on the field. Now they can take some ACTION, and the fun has begun.
So, without a goal, you won’t take action. Without action, there’s just no game. And without a game to play, a goal to attain, something to work for – there’s just no fun.
I like Gary Ryan Blair’s approach to his Personal Strategic Plan. He isn’t known as “The Goals Guy” for no reason – His programs include competition (maybe not quite like soccer!) and accountability. Without accounting for your goals and actions, most people simply will not take the actions required to succeed.
Get some goals! Any goal that will entice you to move, take action, and enter the game… Then, be accountable!
You won’t be sorry!
PS: Have you heard of Gary Ryan Blair the “Goals Guy?” If so, you already know that he is one of the premier motivators in the United States! If you want to REALLY kick yourself into high gear and become VERY effective, please visit this site and get your own Personal Strategic Plan. => CLICK HERE