By Jeff Beals
You might be sick of this question by now, but have you set your 2014 goals yet? Don’t worry if you haven’t as it’s still plenty early in the year.
But don’t rush through it just because the year has started. You want to do it right.
And even if you have completed your goals, you might want to give them a second look after reading this article, because “dream-setting” should occur before your “goal-setting.”
Whether you are setting goals for yourself, your staff or a whole organization, start with dreams. Not to sound corny, but before you write a single goal, take some time to dream.
Dreaming dreams is the highest, most important position on the planning-process hierarchy. Dreams can range from the reasonable to the outrageous and from practical to whimsical.
Individual professionals as well as organizational leaders should sit down at least once every year or two and just dream. Imagine your organization’s “ideal.” Imagine your personal “ideal.” What would you and your company look like if time was unlimited and money was no object? A dream can be as far-fetched or as practical as you like.
All dreams are good dreams if they’re your dreams.
Write down every single dream that enters your mind. Your list should be a stream of consciousness. Don’t evaluate the practicality of dreams at this point in the process and don’t edit the wording. Don’t judge. Just get them on paper.
Don’t worry if your list of dreams grows lengthy. That’s actually a good thing.
After you have thought of every dream you possibly can (don’t be surprised if your dreams number in the hundreds), you may want to organize your dreams into categories. At this point, it’s okay to clean up your writing and edit the dream list as long as the editing doesn’t change the meaning of your true desires.
The final dream-setting step is to identify those dreams you want to pursue sooner rather than later.
After all this, it’s finally time to write your goals. Set goals that help you move closer to your dreams.
If a goal doesn’t help you achieve a dream, why would you bother with it? That’s why dreams come first – they are your vision, the end result to which your goals should lead.
So, let’s say you’re the diligent type of person who already set their 2014 goals. This dream exercise is still worth your while. After writing your dreams, look at those recently declared 2014 goals. Do they still apply? Do they need to be tweaked?
I wish you the best of success in 2014 and beyond!
Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (402) 637-9300.
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